21 December 2019


It has been a cold week, so this afternoon's high of 32°F brought out this Opossum looking for a meal. I had hoped the little critter would do their trick of "playing dead" so I could get some close-up photos, but it took option #2, which was quickly climb the nearest tree.

20 December 2019

Cold Weather

This week started with freezing rain and snow, and for the past couple of nights the temperature dropped into the single digits (°F). This young deer's thick winter coat reminded me of small children, oblivious to the cold, dressed in multiple layers of coats and snowsuits.

07 December 2019

Resident Goose

The resident goose that had been staying on our pond spent the Thanksgiving holiday on the neighboring pond and then returned a couple of days ago. The goose has found a small patch of open water on our pond, which it left to see if I had any food. I did.

The ice on the pond is very smooth and the goose walked very slow to avoid slipping and falling.

The goose preferred to sit on the ice while eating the corn I threw on the pond.

02 December 2019

Turkeys and Deer Hunting

This past Saturday was the start of the PA rifle deer season and I was in my deer stand by 6:15AM waiting for sunrise. Shortly after daybreak I could hear turkey calling in the woods below my stand. The turkeys flew out of their roost and landed in the field below me.

The turkeys started feeding in the field and worked their way to my deer stand.

By 4:00PM I hadn't seen any deer all day but 3 dozen turkeys had been feeding in this field all day. At 4:15PM the first deer of the day approached from the woods and stood at the edge of the field. It was a 9-point buck and he was watching feeding turkeys and didn't see me in the deer stand. One shot and the buck was down.

28 November 2019

Making Thanksgiving Pie

Our grandson Reed was up early (still in PJs) to help grandma make pumpkin (butternut squash) pies for the big meal. First make the pie dough.

Mix the ingredients.

The dough is ready to rest in the refrigerator.

With the pie dough resting in the refrigerator its time to put on some work clothes and make the pie filling. Start with the dry ingredients. White sugar and then brown sugar.

Add the spices. A little of this and a little of that other stuff from the spice rack.

Time to crack a few eggs.

Add 6 eggs (without shells)

Mix thoroughly.

Now add the precooked butternut squash.

Add evaporated milk.

Mix thoroughly.

Set the pie filling off to the side and roll out the chilled dough.

Place the pie dough in pie pans.

Pour the pie filling into the pie pans.

Place the pies in a preheated oven and bake.

Thanksgiving pies.

27 November 2019

Great Blue Heron

It was seasonably warm but windy this morning when I went to our pond to check on our resident Canada Goose. I didn't find the goose at our pond, but did find this Great Blue Heron hunkered into the grass along the edge of the pond, trying to avoid the wind.

The strong winds may have grounded the heron and allowed me to drive within 30 feet of it. Later when I was returning home I found the missing goose had walked to Miner's Pond. When the goose saw my truck parked on the road it swam over to see me (and look for a handout).

24 November 2019

Fall Deer Season

The fall rifle season for deer is less than a week away and I was driving around our property doing some scouting when I found this young deer trying to dry off from this morning's wet snow fall.

Later in the day I found this buck chasing some does.

This guy will need a better hiding place when deer season starts.

23 November 2019

Nice Day For A Swim

The ice on our pond has melted and our resident goose was enjoying a swim in the ice-free pond.

The cold weather of last week has given way to afternoon temperatures in the upper 40's and the goose is enjoying this small pond (for now).

22 November 2019

Chinese Sky Lantern

I was driving around our cabin property and noticed this bright red object in our field of dry grass. This object wasn't in the field the day before so I investigated and discovered it was a Chinese Sky Lantern. These Chinese Sky Lanterns use a small very hot heat source to inflate and lift a lightweight paper balloon. I didn't find the heat source but one side of the balloon had a large burn hole.

While these sky lanterns may look very nice when launched at night, they also run the risk of starting fires if a smoldering balloon or heat source lands in combustible material, such as a field of dry grass. It is safer, but not foolproof, to launch these sky lanterns when the ground is covered with snow or green foliage but they should never be launched in the fall or spring when the risk of fire is high. Since these sky lanterns can drift for miles from the launch site, the person launching the sky lantern may not be aware of starting fires in isolated areas.

21 November 2019

Field Mice

It was a nice sunny November day when I noticed this bird house was packed full with material. I decided to clean out the bird house and found it packed with the silk from milkweed seeds.

Inside this comfy home I found a family of field mice.

19 November 2019

The Rut Continues

It was an overcast/dreary day with not much activity as I drove around our cabin property and then found this buck, in the background, checking out some of the neighborhood does.

All of a sudden this young button buck was overcome with an unexpected urge. (Blame it on the Rut)

The older buck makes his move on a young doe ...

Too late, the young doe didn't like the look in this guy's eyes.

Lookin' for love in all the wrong places ... (Time to look deeper in the woods)

18 November 2019


The PA fall turkey season closed on Saturday and late this afternoon I found this flock of survivors making their way to the woods to roost. They may be safe for now but the season reopens for two days starting on Thanksgiving.

16 November 2019

On Frozen Pond

I drove up to our cabin pond this evening to check on the injured goose and put out some corn.

The high temperature only reached 36F today but it was enough to weaken the ice and the goose broke through the ice several times.

15 November 2019

Hard Water

The Arctic cold weather that passed through the neighborhood has formed ice on our pond and confused this Canada goose. It looks like the goose may have broken through the ice several times in the far end of the pond.

I've seen a lone goose on the neighbor's pond and this goose may be the same one that had a broken wing this summer.

10 November 2019

Learning Who's the Boss

Social and shy, deer have a rigid social structure that determines territory and leadership within a herd. I found this "Alpha Doe" teaching a herd-hierarchy lesson to a "button buck".

Additional followup training on herd-hierarchy may be needed.

08 November 2019

First Snow This Season

The local weather took an abrupt change from sunny and mild to subfreezing with a touch of light snow. I found these deer nestled within the pine trees of a small valley as they looked for an afternoon meal out of the wind and some warm sunlight.