Tuesday, November 29, 2016

4 July 2016 ANF Birding

We had morning chores to do outside on the holiday, but went into the woods to avenge a couple of unfound caches in the afternoon. On the trail to the first cache we were treat to a host of birds. I never expected to capture an indigo bunting and a yellow throat warbler in the same image. There were multiple male and female yellow throats along the forest road. It was a great sight.

After our geocaching and birding adventure, we stopped at the ice cream stand in Warren. The old school hot rod in the parking lot was quite a treat. It was really well done with a great stance and look.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

3 July 2016 Sinnemahoning State Park

Sinnemahoning State Park has grown on me. It has been almost eight years since our first visit here. On that visit we stayed mainly on a trial that runs along the Sinnemahoning Creek. Since then we've visited more of the trails, seen a wide variety of wildlife, and spent enough time to appreciate one of the nicer wildlife centers we have visited. Today was all about the trails, geocaching, and whatever nature we spotted on the way.

If this is an indian trail tree pointing a direction for me, I may be in trouble...

I'm not sure if the foxglove grows here naturally or if it was planted by the DCNR. We usually see it in bloom once or twice a summer. At Sinnemahoning it it common along the streamside trail.

It is not a 4th of July weekend in Pennsylvania without spotting monarda in bloom.

We stopped for a visit at Sinnemahoning Creek so Phineas and Lizzie could get water on this warm day.

If there is a stream, they want to drink.

The real excitement of the day were the birds with sightings of male and female indigo buntings, a male common yellowthoat, and a female wood duck with her ducklings swimming solo on the water.

While we were on the trail we had the pleasure of meeting two cachers celebrating their 2800th find. For as often as we geocache, it is surprising how few cachers we meet on the trail. After our adventure, Ali spotted the tree below on the return walk. It is a survivor growing out of the rotted, split former tree which still remains.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

2 July 2016 Tyler Coke Works and Shaggers Inn

99 years ago there were over 400 coke ovens in Tyler making coke for use in Buffalo steel plants. The ovens have been silent for a long time, but seeing the rows of ovens in the reforesting area is an amazing site. This is an unopened area owned by DCNR. We were lucky to visit here before as part of the CCC geotrail. This time we were back seeking a cache permitted as part of the Clearfield County geotrail. The author at this site was able to add much more life to a visit to the Tyler Coke Ovens.

The area between the rows of old coke ovens is now a haven to wildflowers. We were able to spot pyrola in bloom and helleborine nearly ready to bloom.

While the Tyler coke ovens were a re-visit for us, we also made a new visit to a location called Shaggers Inn. Shaggers Inn Pond serves as a wildlife sanctuary nestled between Moshannon State Forest and Parker Dam State Park. The area is also apparently a very good location for evening star gazing. We couldn't stay for the stars so we just enjoyed the trails and the wild life. The nesting ospreys were a nice sight.

Friday, November 25, 2016

29 June Wintergarden Preserve

Wintergarden Preserve is part of the Bowling Green (Ohio) park system. It is a mix of woods and near-prarie open flatlands. It is a great place for me to stop on my return drives from Columbia City. This evening, I was also searching for a number of caches with space themes.

I've had little success with growing and keeping butterfly weed, but the plants appeared to thrive in the warmer weather of western Ohio and the open flat fields of the park. I wasn't successful with images of butterflies, but they were here and plentiful.

I was a little early for most of the summer wildflowers, but black-eyed susans were plentiful in the open field areas.

I was able to identify this dragonfly as a twelve-spotted skimmer.

27 June 2016 Paulding, Ohio

I was back from Tulsa and on my way to Columbia City for business. I took a different path to avoid the never ending highway construction near Toledo. I ended up passing through Paulding and stopped at the town's reservoir to the south. There were a number of caches and the opportunity to break up the drive with a long walk.

I never really noticed trumpet creeper before, but it seemed to be quite common on this trip. It appears to be able to entice hummingbirds to visit with its long tube, but I had no luck spotting them this evening. I like its other name, Devil's Shoestring, much better.

I took a gamble I could find a stage of a lonely multi which started near this quiet pond. There were no frogs to be seen and no cache stages were found.

I was able to find some lightly found caches in the woods behind the ball fields near the reservoir. I was the second find of the year on one of the hides and the third find of 2016 on another. The woods had raspberries ripening so I was rewarded for my efforts.

I was the first find in over six months for a cache on an abandoned railroad bridge at the edge of the park. There were mosquitoes on the trail and spiders near the hide location, but it was a fun hide and the best of this drive.

Yes, the cache is down there. I was glad I made the find quickly and didn't find too many spiders before I found the container.

This is my view before going down into the sub-surface structure.

After the bridge find, I made may way around the reservoir. There were two or three caches hidden in the rocks along the edge, but they were missing, or I was missing them. There's not much to see here other than flat and farms.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

20 June 2016 Keystone Lake

The longer days gave me an opportunity to visit Keystone Lake and search for a February 2001 geocache hide. Keystone Lake is a US Army Corps project outside Tulsa. Besides a large section of Army Corps recreational area, the lake is also the site of Keystone Lake State Park. This seems a bit confusing to a person who lives part time in Pennsylvania (the Keystone State) but the area made for a great place to spend an evening walking. The water views our attractive and the shoreline includes areas with sandy beaches. They are nice areas and scenic, but ATV's appear to be legal just about anywhere. Two popped up while I was near one of the sandy shore areas searching for a cache.

I hoped to be able to identify this dragonfly (or damselfy) from these images, but I seem to be lacking the skill to even say if this is a dragonfly or a damselfly. Either way, it was quite calm as I stopped for pictures.

I've seen the names of geocachers we know at different caches around the country. They are usually spotted as we look back through previous pages. In this case, Ohio cacher, Cherry Cacher was the last person to visit the 2001 cache just two days before my visit and another familiar Ohio cacher, AHolleys was at the cache twelve days before my visit.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

19 June 2016 Tupelo Pond

We stopped at Tupelo Pond to find a multi cache placed by the park district. On the way out we spotted a heron on the far side of the pond hunting for an evening meal.