Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thicket Says

It's been a long summer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Besides the honeybees Monarch butterflies fascinate me. With their yearly migration from Mexico to Canada, which takes four generations of butterflies to accomplish, and the fact that the caterpillars feed only on milkweed, they are amazing creatures. Over the past 25 years their number have declined alarmingly due in part to the spraying of herbicides to control milkweed in corn and grain fields. Here at the homestead I leave milkweed grow almost anywhere it wants to. I've been watching all summer hoping to find Monarch caterpillars feeding on them and today I was rewarded, finding 3 different caterpillars. Just a grain of sand on the beach compared to the millions that have died, but I take comfort in knowing that I've done my part in trying to stop their decline.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Fruitful Back40

Some of the fruits and nuts that I've planted over the years are bearing nicely this summer.  These are some Hazelberts, a cross between a Hazel nut and a Filbert. I planted 5 bushes 4 years ago and they are all bearing some nuts.

Some Ashmead Kernel apples from the tree that the bear tore up earlier this summer.

A Purdy apple. This variety was discovered growing on an old homestead in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.

One of several Chinese Chestnut trees that are bearing for the first year for me.

This is a crabapple called the All Winter Hangover. Planted just two years ago it is bearing several crabapples this year and I will see if the apples indeed "hangover" all winter. It shows no sign of disease or insect damage and looks like a nice crab.

A pair of Keifer pears on a limb graft that I did last spring.
I've had plenty of disappointments in my "growing adventures" and it's nice to see some success.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Today Along the River

The fishing was slow today but getting to see this little guy hunt the opposite riverbank made up for it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Several More Mornings on the Water

Licking Creek along what I call the Eagle Pool. I had a Bald Eagle fly just feet away from me last year as I stood hidden by an overhanging tree. This year an Eagle flew by me again just yards downstream from last years sighting. Always an awesome thing to see.
The fishing was slow with a few young smallmouth fooled by my bait.
A Woods Turtle cooling himself in the shallows.
On this morning I waded the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River.

I waded downstream a good distance from the popular parking spot and immediately started to catch some smallies. Just as I was ready to call it quits I hooked into the fish of the day. A Smallie that stretched the tape to 17 inches. A nice thick fish, she gave me a great battle with several heartstopping jumps before I landed her.
Wills Creek had always been my "secret spot". I always caught plenty of nice smallies in this stream and never saw any signs of other fishermen. Last year I began to see some signs of others fishing along it's banks and yesterday I noticed even more sign. I fishing several spots and never had a strike, something unheard of in all the times I've fished here. Finally I walked "way" down stream to a special pool and did manage to catch a few smallies and to my surprise a Rainbow Trout

On my way back to the truck I saw this large white bird.
At home the Peterson Bird Book id'ed it as a Great Egret, the first one I've ever seen.