30 November 2012

Why did the grouse cross the road?

Q. Why did the grouse cross the road?
A. To get to the other side of the road.

We were driving on Joyce Road, between our barn property and the cabin, when we spotted this grouse standing in the road.

After some hesitation, the grouse slowly walked across the road.

The grouse may have been looking for new territory (or lost) because all it found on the other side of the road was a large pond. After a short walk along the edge of the pond, the grouse had to fly across it.

25 November 2012

Big Bird

Matt and I were checking out a hunting spot on our property for tomorrow's start of rifled deer hunting in Pennsylvania when we were approached by "Big Bird". The emu came within 25 feet of us and watched as we trimmed some limbs from a white pine tree.

We're not sure where this emu came from, but it followed us around for at least 30 minutes.

19 November 2012


Earlier in the year I was able to find skunks everywhere in the neighborhood and then they disappeared overnight. It looks like at least one skunk survived and is still active in the neighborhood.  I found this skunk within a hundred yards of the pipeline valve assembly.

14 November 2012

Buck Rubs

In a recent posting I described the white-tailed deer's breeding season, known as the "rut" and how the bucks are looking for does (female deer). While walking around the neighborhood I found some of the bucks calling cards, "buck rubs".

During the "rut", bucks rub trees and shrubs with their antlers and head transferring scent from the forehead glands to the tree, leaving a scent other deer can detect. The scent on a buck rub communicates a challenge to other male deer while also attracting potential mates.

The size of the rub usually varies with the size of the deer. While most buck rubs won't kill larger trees, they will slow the tree's growth and may disfigure some trees.

13 November 2012

The view from above

Google Maps has updated the aerial view of the Rome area again this year with an image that was taken sometime in September. This image shows the new pipeline activity in the neighborhood. Here's a view of our cabin property showing the access road to the valve assembly.

A view of the pipeline valves.

The prior Google Maps image, taken October 2011, showed me working on the lawn at the cabin, the new image shows my pickup truck being driven on the access road.

06 November 2012

The "Rut"

On our way home from voting we noticed a buck deer wandering back and forth in the road,  not paying any attention to our truck. It is the white-tailed deer's breeding season, known as the "rut", and the buck has one thing on his mind,  find as many does as he can. White-tailed  bucks are more active and less cautious than usual during the "rut" and this makes them  more susceptible to being hit by motor vehicles

This buck would walk up to the 5 foot high fence, look through it, return to the road, walk up the road a short distance and repeat the process.

After determining the fence didn't get any lower, the buck made a standing jump and easily cleared the fence.

After jumping the fence to enter the pasture the buck soon realized he needed to be on the other side of the pasture fence...

From another standing start the buck jumped over the fence, onto Joyce Road and walked into the woods.

Within a couple hundred yards of the buck jumping the fence we saw a doe run across Joyce Road and soon followed by another buck (with one thing on his mind).

As we approached our driveway we watched six more doe cross Joyce Road.

02 November 2012

We've been on vacation ...

You may have noticed the lack of updates on this blog for the last month ... We've been on vacation and out of the country. This vacation took us to Turkey, where we've been twice before while on cruises, but never got to see the interior of the country. I've taken a small sample of the nearly 3,000 photos we took on our 2,000 mile tour of Turkey and created the Turkish Tour photo blog.

I have divided the photos into related groups based on locations or events. Click on the links below and check out just a few of Turkey's treasures.







Cappadocia Balloon Ride