Winter’s Blue

One of the joys of winter in our area is the profusion of Eastern Bluebirds. Once rare, the bluebirds have made a comeback in the last 20 years as residents construct bluebird trails and conserve natural areas. The bluebirds are year-round residents but tend to stay in the woods in the summer. Once the cold…

Lehigh River Gorge State Park

In early October we spent a week on the Pine Creek and enjoyed the rail trails in northern Pennsylvania. We continued our enjoyment of the fall colors and rail trails in late October with a day trip to the D & L Rail Trail which goes through the Lehigh River Gorge State Park. The trail…

Favorites

My favorite month of the year is rapidly slipping away as I write this. October means cool enough for a sweatshirt but not bitterly cold, the summer haze is gone and replace by clear blue skies, grilling gives way to chili and soup, college football is in full swing (Go Southeast Conference!), and of course…

Tioga County in October

Pennsylvania’s Tioga County is a rural county that borders New York state. The county is full of beautiful scenery including: The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania Abundant wildlife – bear, eagles, elk (largest herd in the northeast) State forest lands Farms dotting the hillsides Roads that include creek crossings Pine Creek Rail Trail Colorful seasons Covered…

Pine Creek Rail Trail

We spent a week in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania enjoying the change of season and taking advantage of the great rail trails. Pine Creek Rail Trail in Tioga County goes through the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, is 57 miles long and runs along the Pine Creek. In the early morning, the mist rises…

Local Sightings

There is always something interesting to see as you drive round Lancaster County and the adjoining counties such as a farmer preparing his fields for planting. Or a Mennonite woman heading down a county road on her bicycle… Or a covered bridge… Or corn starting to grow in a field… Or a peaceful stream at…

Gardening in the Woods

One of the challenges of living in the woods is that it is difficult to find a spot that has enough sun for growing vegetables. This year we decided to try raised beds in a clearing up the hill from the house. My husband and son built two beds and we have planted tomatoes, peppers,…

Wild Azalea

One of the signs of spring in this area, in addition to the many blooming trees and wildflowers, is the wild azalea, Rhododendron canescens. It comes in varying shades of pink ranging from a very light pink to a rosy pink. The blooms only last for a short time but add a wonderful touch to…

2013 Great Backyard Bird Count

This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. The four-day count is an opportunity for bird watchers from all over the United States and Canada to submit a list of the different species visiting their yards. Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes…

Edge of the Storm

Our area just got the edge of the big snowstorm for another inch of snow. So far this winter, we have not had a major snowstorm but we are still just in February. When the snow comes through it is a great time to watch the birds… And to bake something good. And to think…

Water for the Birds in Winter

A source of clean fresh water is essential for the birds. During much of the year, they can find natural sources but as winter hits in many areas,  the creeks and puddles become frozen. During the winter, a birdbath will be very popular with the local birds. If you live where it drops below freezing…

Two Sparrows

There are two different types of sparrows sitting in our discarded Christmas tree (Christmas trees make great cover for the birds during the winter. After we remove the decorations, we move it to the patio for the birds). The upper sparrow is a song sparrow and the lower is the easily identified white-throat sparrow. Here…

The Pileated Feeder

The pileated woodpecker is a large, shy woodpecker that does not normally frequent feeders. Although, it usually stays in the woods, we are often treated to the sight of a pair of pileateds that live in the woods behind our house as they come to the edge of the tree line to feed. Though not…

Snow Topper

The pumpkins on the patio received caps of snow during the first snowfall of the season this past week.

The View from My Window

If you spend much time with four or five-year-old little girls, you are certain to hear the phrase, “That is my favorite.” It may refer to food, colors, clothes, toys, animals or anything. As I was buying groceries last week, a dad asked his young daughter what type of peppers did she want. The little…

The Drive Home

During the summer, my drive home from work looks like this. The green leaves meet over the road to provide a feeling of driving through a green tunnel. This time of the year, the green has changed to yellow, red, orange and all shades between. It is a delightful time to be out of doors…

Tiger Swallowtail – Male and Female

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly(Papilio glaucus) is one of the most common and easily identified butterflies. With the bright yellow color and distinctive stripes, it even has an easy-to-remember name. This is also a butterfly where it is easy to determine the male and female. The female has a row of blue on the open…

Sachem (Skipper)

Two Sachem Skipper butterflies (Atalopedes campestris) on Lantana blossoms. The greenish Sachem is the male. I believe the other Skipper is the female but did not get a clear identification. For anyone interested in butterfly identification, the Gardens with Wings site is very helpful in figuring out the correct name of the butterfly. You can search…

Eight Spots

Eight spotted forester moth (Species Alypia octomaculata) stopping by a Shasta daisy