All posts by steve@hillview.com

Tinker Creek

Earlier this week, this was the view of Tinker Creek immediately before it joins the East Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek.

Usually, this view shows beautiful stone ledges with small, but graceful waterfalls. The other day, however, this ‘babbling brook’ transformed into a ‘raging river’.

Wikipedia reports:

Tinker Creek begins in an unnamed lake near Lackawanna Mountain in Clifford Township. It flows south-southwest for a few tenths of a mile before turning west and entering a wetland. Here, the creek turns north for several tenths of a mile before receiving an unnamed tributary from the right and turning west-northwest. After a few tenths of a mile, it receives an unnamed tributary from the left and turns north-northwest for several tenths of a mile before heading in a westerly direction for more than a mile. The creek then turns northwest, and after a short distance, reaches its confluence with East Branch Tunkhannock Creek.

Fawn

It seems that there’s quite a population of fawn late this summer. A slow auto ride along neighborhood roads just around dusk reveals several doe and fawn within a mile or so.

For everyone’s benefit, all auto rides this time of year that time of day should be slow.

Earlier this week more than a dozen dragonflies swarmed the backyard. How many can you spot in the photo below?

Cicada

This creature stopped by the patio for a few hours this morning, and was quite cooperative in having it’s picture taken.

This photo I think best showed off the detail of it’s beautiful striped and furred face.

Cicada’s are the source of the high pitched sound that seems almost like a buzz saw. 

Wikipedia reports:

The genus Neotibicen are large-bodied insects of the family Cicadidae that appear in summer or early fall in eastern North America. Common names include cicada, harvestfly, jar fly, and the misnomer locust…

Neotibicen species are the most common cicada in the Eastern United States. Unlike periodical cicadas, whose swarms occur at 13- or 17-year intervals, Neotibicen species can be seen every year, hence their nickname “annual cicadas”…

Neotibicen cicadas are 1–2 inches (25–51 mm) long, with characteristic green, brown, and black markings on the top of the thorax, and tented, membranous wings extending past the abdomen…

Hay Bales

Hay bales populate fields throughout the neighborhood.

One day dotting the landscape, the next day, as if by magic, and a lot of hard work, fields left empty readying for next cutting.

It’s the peak of the summer, evidenced by nights that now dip into the 40’s, and the Clifford Fireman’s Picnic!

Bear

On the way to breakfast last week, this fellow was out for an amble through the state game lands.

I rolled down my window, and hollered “Hey, hey you!”. 

He made it clear that he had heard me by taking a couple of faster steps in the direction he was headed.

He also made it clear that he had absolutely no interest in conversing with me, as he refused to even look in my direction.

As another car approached, I put my arm out the window, directing the other drivers attention to the bear.

“See the labrador over there?” I asked, as at this distance, the bear could have easily been mistaken for a dog at first glance.

“Why that’s a bear!!” the woman exclaimed as we all laughed.

“I’ve been coming here for 68 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen a bear!” It was nice to share the experience with her.

Later breakfasting at Arlo’s a couple and their two young children sat next to us. We told our story, and the young boy told his story of having seen two dogs chase a bear just the day before!

 

Toad

The recent heat wave drove us to sleep on the patio.

One morning upon awakening, I noticed Mr. Toad nestled not far from the futon.

Figuring he’d eat some bugs, I left him be. By the next morning, he was gone, probably on to the next pond in search of companionship.

Baling Hay

Hot, hard, dusty work, baling hay.

Not living on a working farm growing up, I’d sometimes help neighbors bale hay.

Sometimes out of a sense of community, sometimes for the workout, sometimes for fun. Kinda.

Nowadays, hay is packaged in large round bales; machines do most of the heavy lifting. The bales are sometimes protected from weather, but don’t need to be stored in a barn as do smaller square bales.

Temporary House Guests

Several weeks ago, I noticed a robin frequenting the eaves over the back patio.

After several days of this, I looked up and saw her new nest. Trying to save us both disappointment, I removed the nest and placed it on top of a pile of dead branches in the yard. 

Not an optimum relocation; I had hoped adequate. Nearby enough I thought she would find the nest in it’s new location, and either reoccupy or relocate.

My heart sank the next day when I noticed a blue egg shattered on the patio. Apparently, I moved the nest the day before she had no choice but to fill it.  Maybe from habit, or absent any other option, she left the egg on the ledge from where I had removed the nest. It must have rolled off the now smooth surface and smashed on the blue stone below.

A week or so later, a black bird, a starling I’m guessing, started to behave just as the robin had, swooping in under the patio porch roof, and then disappearing in the eaves.

Though I knew what she was doing, this time I didn’t do anything about it.

A week or so ago, a chorus of chirps erupted from deep under the tin roof. They’ll leave soon enough. It’s said that once some birds fly from the nest they grow so much they are unable to fit back in.

Once they abandon the nest, unable to return, they must continue on to their future.

After the youngsters make their way, I’ll invite the mother to leave, clean the mess made from their dwelling and contemplate ways to keep this from happening again.

Meanwhile, I listen daily as their voices thicken and strengthen, waiting as their wings do same, until they take flight.