Escaping the Gravity of Life

November 10, 2015  •  5 Comments

Autumn is the perfect time to escape from it all and talk a walk in nature.  It isn't hot and humid nor is it too cold.  The insects of summer won't be circling your head nor will Jack Frost be nipping at your nose.  The wildlife may get a little easier to see because of the fallen leaves and some birds will be more plentiful because of their migration path.

Before I continue with more photo blogs about the White-tailed Deer rut, I'd like to share more photos of our beautiful wildlife found during my time in the field. 

Sometimes hawks are difficult to identify when they are young.  One really needs to know their birds to be able to differentiate between a young bird or an adult of another species.  Usually, Red-tailed Hawks are pretty easy to identify because of their red tail.  The Red-tailed Hawk in the image below is a juvenile, therefore, it doesn't yet have a red tail.

Red-tailed HawkRed-tailed HawkJuvenile


Although the Northern Waterthrush looks a lot like a thrush, it is actually a wood-warbler.  Wood warblers are New World birds, distinct from the true warblers of the Old World.  Usually, this bird would be found, if you can find one, on the shores of deciduous swamps or the swampy ground of coniferous bogs.  In the spring and fall, when there aren't as many insects, you may find them in drier areas, in parks, backyard ponds, and trails.  I found this Northern Waterthrush at the edge of a swamp in a tangle of shrubs this fall.

Northern WaterthrushNorthern Waterthrush


The Lincoln's Sparrow bears the name of Thomas Lincoln, a young companion of John J. Audubon on his voyage to Labrador, Canada.  They breed in Canada and spend the winter in the southern United States and Mexico.  They rarely sing during their migration stay in Pennsylvania.

Lincoln's SparrowLincoln's Sparrow


I love the soft, feathered look of the Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern PhoebeEastern Phoebe


Pennsylvania is the northernmost range of the White-throated Sparrow's winter home.  Most of their breeding ground is in Canada.

White-throated SparrowWhite-throated Sparrow


Sometimes, I'm being watched too.  This little Red Squirrel waits patiently, in hiding, until I pass through.

Red SquirrelRed Squirrel


Similar to the longer tailed, paler House Wren, is the Winter Wren.  The Winter Wren is most identified by the short, upright tail.

Winter WrenWinter Wren


The Hermit Thrush is usually pretty difficult to find.  Although the photo below isn't as good as some others I have of the Hermit Thrush, it does demonstrate how they can blend into their surroundings easily.

Hermit ThrushHermit Thrush


Yellow-rumped Warblers flood our region (western Pennsylvania) in spring and fall.  Their breeding range and winter range come very close together with most of western Pennsylvania being in their migration route, at least according to Cornell Lab of Ornithology's range map.

Yellow-rumped WarblerYellow-rumped WarblerFemale


The Dark-eyed Junco breeds in the far north of Canada.  They must like the cold weather as their wintering ground is most of the United States.  I know winter is coming when I begin to see them flocking in our trees and feeding stations. Dark-eyed JuncoDark-eyed Junco


Fox Squirrel's, the larger cousin of the Gray Squirrel, are busy gathering acorns to cache for winter.

Eastern Fox SquirrelEastern Fox Squirrel


The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a fantastic little bird that is difficult to photograph.  They don't sit still very long while jumping from branch to branch looking for insects.  When on alert or excited, they will display a red patch on their crown.

Ruby-crowned KingletRuby-crowned Kinglet


I found this Carolina Wren, along with two others, on a cool, dark, autumn morning gathering some meaty morsels from under the leaves.

Carolina WrenCarolina Wren


This Black-throated Green Warbler found his protein among the purple-blue fruit of the wild grape vine.

Black-throated Green WarblerBlack-throated Green Warbler


One Sunday morning my wife, Elena, and I headed north towards Pymatuning State Park.  On our way, we decided to stop at Lake Wilhelm at Maurice K. Goddard State Park to see if the Bald Eagles are perched in what seems to be their favorite tree.  Both adults were sitting high in the tree with the wind at their backs.

Bald EagleBald Eagle


Later that day, at Pymatuning State Park,  we saw several Bald Eagles flying around.  Once in a while, one would circle close enough for a decent photo.

Bald EagleBald Eagle


We visited the spillway area where the ducks walk on water.  Actually, they walk on Carp.  The fish are waiting anxiously to be fed bread by the 50 or so people visiting the spillway that day.

Pymatuning State ParkPymatuning State ParkCarp


Of course, when people are throwing bread, you will find gulls.  In this case, they were Ring-billed Gulls.  Even though they are common, I still like to photograph them flying around.

Ring-billed GullRing-billed Gull


Here is another Ring-billed Gull waiting for a piece of food to be thrown into the air.

Ring-billed GullRing-billed Gull


And finally, back in the Butler area, an evening drive through Moraine State Park was filled with Canada Goose, more Ring-billed Gulls, and American Coot.  Our lakes are filled with American Coot in the spring and fall.  This one was part of a large flock feeding in shallow water at Moraine State Park's Lake Arthur, during sunset.

American CootAmerican Coot


I can honestly tell you that all the experiences I included in this photo blog was relaxing, exciting, and peaceful at the same time.  I hope, no matter where you live, you too can get out, escape the gravity of life, and appreciate the wildlife around you.  I sure will.

Check back soon as I get back to sharing some White-tailed Deer rut photographs.

Thanks for looking,



Wonderful Images :)
Willard Hill(non-registered)
An exceptional group of photos. The photo of the carp is very unusual and amazing.
don epstein(non-registered)
Thanks again for taking me with you. Nicely done, great photos.
Paul Staniszewski(non-registered)
Very nicely done..
Jim Weixel(non-registered)
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