Recognition should be given to all those who have gone before; family members, friends, and others that may have influenced me in their own quiet way.

Special recogition should go to my father Kenneth (Kenny to all who knew him) and my grandfathers Selby and Chester (Jake), both born in the 1890s. All of these gentlemen influenced me in their own way...with time fishing, hunting, trapping, or just time spent togeher.....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mid December

Today was overcast; with the sun attempting to show itself a couple of times, but never quite succeding. It is hard to believe that it is the middle of December, but all indicators assure me that it is. The summer colors have transitioned into the subtle shades of late fall.

Emma and I headed out for an early afternoon outing today. We had the area to ourselves, until heading back to the car; we encountered a man with his Beagle hunting rabbits.

A bonus for today, was finding a folding stool, with three legs that someone had dropped and apparently continued on without knowing they had lost it. It is always my hope, that when I lose something; someone will find it and be able to use it.

Out in a restored prairie area; several seed heads caught my eye. I do not know their identity.

Emma in the prairie grass.....

I made my way to the river, where I used the stool I had found and sat on a gravelly sandbar for about 30 minutes. I had a couple of snacks and a hot beverage; and mostly sat there listening to the fast running water and enjoying the scenery.

Emma roamed about exploring and hunting; both sides of the river. When she was quite young, she did not like to get into the water, but now has no hesitation.

Emma perched on a downed cottonwood, obviousley something of interest had also climbed out there and left it's scent.

And in conclusion...just a few pictures of the fast water moving over the rocks. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pre Thanksgiving Outing

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I had the privilege to take a look around a small bit of private property in Western Indiana. Temperature was pleasant, with a light jacket very  comfortable. Getting to the property we drove through fog, about as thick as you want to attempt driving through, making for a bit slower drive; but excellent for conversation.

Within an hour, the fog had cleared away, leaving just a pleasant haze in the woods.

Most leaves are now off the trees here, with the exception of a few hardwoods that stubbornly hang to their leaves till the new buds begin forming in the spring.

There were numerous Beech trees on the property; those being of the variety that do not drop their leaves in the fall. The large mature Beech trees, with their smooth bark, seem to draw people to them to carve in their initials. First pic is one taken this day....the second pic is of a tree elsewhere covered with carving. I said, from a different outing...but an example of what is not uncommon to find on mature Beech trees. Do you suppose that Dean and Jackie are still together after all these years? It would be interesting to know.

Looking down a steep ravine. Notice the green patch of ferns. Those very hardy plants will stay green even with snow cover.

Typical ...what I call Shelf Mushroom..not sure of correct name. I have been told these are edible, but not very flavorful. I have never tried those so cannot verify that.

Here is a Blackberry leaf, in late season color. I find the leaves at this stage, after a freeze, and the chrlophyl is gone, make a very nice tea. I gather these, dry, crush, store in a tin tea can and use them all winter. On another outing yesterday, I was able to gather a nice supply of these.

And just a final bit of color...I believe this is a small Chokecherry sapling that still has leaves remaining.

Hope things are well with all who stop by...please stop again...and as always, I welcome any commentary or corrections to any misinformation I may have passed along.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Early November Fall Weekend

Weather today; began with rain mixed with snow...stayed in mid for this past weekend (just two days previous); above normal temps into low 70s, sunshine, and windy. I took full advantage of the nice weather to get out and roam about twice over the weekend...but most likey would have gotten out even if today's weather had been with us over the weekend. An advantage to less than desirable weather, is that you most often have any area you choose to yourself.

Most trees in my area have now lost their leaves; leaving the forest bare, but with a beauty of it's own and a clear view not available when leaves are present.

If you look closely, there are still a few plants sporting fall colors. These Gooseberry leaves caught my eye, with their soft colors.

Sycamore trees, with their white bark, and spreading limbs; provide a nice contrast in amoungst the other trees.

As usual, my pal Emma was along. She ranges all about the areas that we pass through, checking back occasionally to find me; and is quite adept at following my trail if I have moved on. She climbed up this tree leaning over the water, smelling whatever had been up the tree before we came along. Shortly after this picture, she climbed a bit higher...lost her footing..and fell to the ground. I was somewhat alarmed, but she continued on with no apparent harm.

Continueing along, I passed through the Native American mound site (mentioned in at least one earlier post here). It is a very interesting area, that many local people do not know about; and is in an area that is not that easy to get to. From there it is a short distance to where the river makes a sharp turn to the east. I stopped there for a rest and had a brief visit with a guy that was kayaking downstream.

From this point, I turned west and followed the river downstream, heading back to my vehicle. I encountered a couple of groups of horseback riders along the way....and thankfully my dog did not chase the horses! When I got back to the car and driving away, I saw this pheasant wander out into the open, and was quite surprised that it cooperated long enough for a few pictures.

Sunday, I decided to visit one of our local marsh areas. The weather was still very nice, but the wind continued to grow stronger most of the day. I had chosen to bring along a flannel shirt and was quite comfortable wearing it.

I decided to make another visit to the same marsh that is featured in an earlier post here. I wish that I had taken a picture of the open water area for comparison, because it is quite low now, because of the drought we experienced this summer.

Looking out across the cattails and over the marsh land. Do you see the lone narrow tree, somewhat to the right of center? It will be featured shortly....

I spent a couple of hours here; with over half of that time spent sitting or standing quietly watching and observing. Emma wandered about, checking in with me from time to time. During one of the periods she was away; there was suddenly what seemed a quite loud crashing noise in the cattails near me; apparently an animal that had nearly walked up to me, realized I was there and departed quickly through the very thick growth of cattails. Emma showed up just afterwards. I got her to head into that area to see if she could pick up a trail. You do remember the tree I mentioned above I assume. Soon after I sent Emma to see what she could find; I caught motion on a lone tree in the middle of the cattails. A raccoon was climbing up it to safety...apparently what had made the loud racket that I had heard as it panicked and scampered away. I got several pictures, but it kept it's head pretty well hidden most of the time.
After a few pictures, I left to let the raccoon continue with it's day.

Taking my time and looking about, I found numerous things of interest to me.



....unkown plant....if you know the identity....please let me know!

Again, another group of unkown plants to me. The whispy heads were probably from 5 to 8 feet tall.

A bright splash of color....

A late season butterfly....

Moving along the edge of the cattails, I began picking up that old familiar odor; that told me there was something dead nearby. I kept searching about, moved further into the cattails and came upon this area trampled down by predators, probably coyotes, around the carcass of a large 8 point buck. My assumption was that he had been wounded by an arrow, but I could see no wound on the exposed side.

**a couple of graphic pictures follow...**

...and so concluded my weekend outings. A great time....with well over 200 pictures taken. Now spending time, sorting, editing, and deleting pictures.

...thanks for stopping by my blog...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Afternoon

Archery deer season has begun here. I am not a deer hunter; but please do not read that as an anti-hunting statement. I enjoy venison and wish the hunters success. If any of my hunting friends need help setting up, finding a good spot, or any assistance with a deer, I am willing to help. I just have not gotten the "fire and desire" to give it a worthwhile try and at my age, will probably forgo that.

To provide as little disruption as possible to hunters, I chose to go for a hike early last Saturday afternoon, hoping to be out between their normal morning and late afternoon hunting times. I headed out to the closest area; walked  through a grown up old pasture area, back to a wooded area, where there is marsh. Along the way, I passed a tree stand.

We are getting some very nice Fall colors now, better than I had expected following our severe drought and very hot summer.

The marsh areas are a bit low, from the dry summer, but still back into some of the wooded areas a bit.

Looking across the very upper end of the marsh, where it blends into a very small feeder stream that is hidden away in the tall grass.

Looking out over the main body of the marsh. The marsh areas have been created by the county park management; to duplicate what was once very common in my area, until the early settlers drained the marsh land for farm land.

A hornets nest hanging in a tree over a small stream.

Once again; that old familiar odor was filling my nostrils...that of a dead deer. I knew it was very near and was determined to find it. Another clue was that there was a large number of Turkey Vultures in the trees and flying about that I had disturbed from feeding.

After searching about, I finally found the carcass. It was on the other side of a small finger of the marsh from where I first got it's scent. My dog found it before me, and was eating some of the VERY rotten and maggot infested meat. It was a small 8 point buck, and I assume another victim of the virus that was so rough on our deer population this year.

On the way back to my vehicle, I found that a hunter was in the stand that I had passed. I stopped and had a nice visit with him. He was very understanding about me passing through the area, especially since he had chosen a spot that is close to the road and easily accesible.

Thanks for stopping by!