24 November 2016

Deer Scouting

Next week is the start of the Pennsylvania Rifle Deer season and I've been watching the neighborhood bucks. This guy was more interested in some of the local female deer than he was with me.

When the bucks are in the "Rut", looking for doe, they tend to concentrate more on the doe than some of the other dangers around them, such as people and cars.

This guy was grabbing a snack while he was waiting for me to leave.

20 November 2016

A Change in the Weather

Yesterday was a rare November day with the temperature in the low 70's(F) and sunny, but that all changed overnight. Within a couple of hours the temperature dropped nearly 40 degrees and it started snowing. It was our first snowfall this season.

I was out early to get some photos of the fresh snow. The view of Joyce Road from the end of our driveway.

A flock of geese landing on Miner's Pond at the top of the hill.

A view from the corn field behind our barn.

Some of our firewood covered with snow.

It's always a warm feeling knowing you have a winter's supply of firewood ready before the first snow storm.

One of the neighborhood's whitetail deer studying the new snow (and wondering what happened to the warm weather).

18 November 2016

Indian Summer

Indian summer is a period of unseasonably warm, dry weather that sometimes occurs in autumn. It was 61F in the neighborhood today. Some of the local deer, wearing their winter coats, were enjoying the mild weather as they bedded down in the shade.

The deer should enjoy the warm weather which won't last much longer. The forecast is for cold and snow starting Saturday night (and the start of PA deer season the next week).

13 November 2016

Buck Rut

It's the mating season for the Whitetailed Deer and in the late afternoon this buck was making plans to party with the girls tonight with the near full moon.

11 November 2016

Buck in the Brush

It was warm and sunny today, and I noticed this buck enjoying the weather in an overgrown field. The buck is in the center of the photo, just below the two white pine trees.

Here's a little help locating the buck; He's in the center of the photo.

I decided to see how close I could get to this buck. I parked my truck on the driveway to the cabin and started walking along a deer trail toward the buck. I was able to walk within 15 yards of the buck before it stood up.

The buck stood and watched me for about a minute before it ran off.

10 November 2016

A Bird in the Hand ...

A bird in the hand ... is worth more than a bird pooping in my truck!

I've left windows down on my truck hundreds of times, but this guy must have thought he found a shortcut to the other side of the truck. Unfortunately the other windows of the truck were still up and he became trapped inside (and didn't try reversing course). I don't know how long the bird was in the truck but he left his calling cards on the dash and door.

09 November 2016

Beware of the "Rut"

The “Rut” refers to the time period each Fall when deer breeding occurs. The "rut" is the time when white-tail deer, especially bucks, are more active and less cautious than usual. During the past week I have observed more daytime deer activity as the bucks are seeking out a mate.

During the "Rut" the bucks spend a lot of time following/chasing a doe, but are careless crossing busy roads.

This young buck is in "hot pursuit" of a doe and came within 20 feet of my truck.

06 November 2016

Kids Playing in Water

I drove up to our cabin late this afternoon and saw a pair of fawn walking along the edge of the pond.

The fawns walked to the far end of the pond, near the woods, and started walking and jumping in the shallow water ...

The fawns then ran back to the other end of the pond splashing all the way ...

The fawns stopped for a drink ...

And then splashed their way back to the far end of the pond ...

They continued their splashing and jumping in the pond for 10 minutes.

04 November 2016

Deer Ticks

I did a short walk today along the edge of the field behind our barn looking for turkeys and doing some early deer scouting. With no luck on the turkeys and deer I returned to my truck and started driving back to the barn and felt something moving on the back of my hand, it was a deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). Here it is walking on my wrist.

Deer ticks can be found in the eastern and the northern midwestern United States. The deer tick is a carrier of several diseases of animals, including Lyme disease which and be transmitted to humans by the tick. Deer ticks have a two-year life cycle, during which time it passes through three stages: larva, nymph, and adult. The tick must take a blood meal at each stage before maturing to the next. Deer tick females latch onto a host and drink its blood for four to five days. After the deer tick has its blood meal, the tick drops off and overwinters in the leaf litter of the forest floor. The following spring, the female lays several hundred to a few thousand eggs in clusters.

Deer ticks are very small and this one on my finger is an adult female. I must have been the wrong blood type for this tick since it jumped off my hand while I was taking the photos.

02 November 2016

Emerald Ash Borer

Over the summer I noticed an ash tree at the edge of of lawn start to drop its leaves early, but I thought it may have been due to the very dry summer weather. I then started to notice little sections of the bark start to fall off the tree.

Woodpeckers were knocking the bark off as they drilled little holes into the ash tree. The woodpeckers were after the larva of the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis). The Emerald Ash Borer is native to eastern Asia and was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. the Emerald Ash Borer probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material originating in its native Asia and is spreading across the United States.

Our electric power company determine the ash tree was a hazard to the nearby power line and sent a crew to remove the tree before it fell on the power line.

The larva of the Emerald Ash Borer lives under the bark of ash trees and feeds on the cambium layer that supplies water and nutrients to the tree. Feeding Emerald Ash Borer larva will kill a tree by girdling it. The bark on our ash tree fell off the log because the Emerald Ash Borer larva had remove all the inner bark from the tree.

A close-up look of the damage caused by the Feeding Emerald Ash Borer larva.