August in Pennsylvania

September 01, 2015  •  3 Comments

There are a lot of beautiful places in our country.  I've seen photos of many of them and visited some of them.  With my focus being on wildlife photography, I don't capture enough images of our beautiful landscape.  I usually have some excuse like, "There is too much traffic to stop", "I don't have the right lens" or, worst of all, "I don't have my camera with me".  People who ride in the car with me, particularly my wife, Elena, can attest that I do a lot of turning around and backtracking because I "thought" I saw something unusual.  I suppose that could become tiring.  I never tire of the excitement of what could be around the next bend in the road or just over the next hill while walking in the woods. 

August, the dog days of summer, the hot, humid days and nights, isn't the best time of year for wildlife photography.  However, if you look, you can find it.

Right now, fall migration of songbirds has begun and our elk herd is entering the rut or mating season.  Shorebird migration is getting underway so a trip to the shores of Lake Erie is a must.  Whitetail fawns are losing their spots as their winter coat begins to grow.  Wild Turkey are spotted with their poults, grown nearly as big as the parents, scattered around the landscape.  And the familiar birds that are here all year are seen gathering seeds for a fatty treat or jumping from limb to limb searching for insects.  Today, I want to show you what a walk in the woods or a ride into our mountains can bring. 

I've passed this field in Lawrence county several times and it looks different each time.  Finally, one day, I stopped and captured the wildflowers, mostly Goldenrod and Joe-Pie Weed, as they take over the landscape.

August LandscapeAugust LandscapeLawrence County, PA


A trip into the "Pennsylvania Wilds" region of Pennsylvania isn't complete without a stop in Elk county, the center of our elk herd.  This bull was photographed only a couple weeks before shedding the velvet that covered the antlers as they grew.

PA Elk (Aug 2015)PA Elk (Aug 2015)


Here are a couple fawns feeding on the edge of a meadow.  What you can't see in the photograph is mom standing just inside the woods line making sure they are safe while she teaches them to survive.

White-tailed DeerWhite-tailed Deer


Most Wild Turkey you see won't stand still very long; no doubt a trait that is a key to their survival.

Wild TurkeyWild Turkey


Sometimes, you'll get a curious Jake, immature male, that strikes a pose.

Wild TurkeyWild Turkey


Early morning provides some of the most dramatic lighting for wildlife photography.  By the time of this writing, this bulls antlers are free of velvet and polished with the oils of shrubbery giving them a deep, dark color with white tips.

PA Elk (Aug 2015)PA Elk (Aug 2015)


Ripening apples are delicious nutrition for the pre-rut bull.

PA Elk (Aug 2015)PA Elk (Aug 2015)


His antlers wrap nicely around his body as he stretches for apples.

PA Elk (Aug 2015)PA Elk (Aug 2015)

Roadsides, flowering meadows, and anywhere else you find seed producing, native, perennials, you can find the American Goldfinch.  The stems of this Woodland Sunflower are gathered, by an American Goldfinch, for stability.

American GoldfinchAmerican GoldfinchFemale


The Black and white Warbler is usually found circling tree trunks and limbs, similar to the White-breasted Nuthatch, searching cavities for insects.  This female, probably a little curious of me, stopped on a branch.

Black-and-white WarblerBlack-and-white WarblerFemale


With the rut around the corner, these two playful bulls spar around an old stump.  In just a couple weeks, there will be an all-out-war as they vie for the females in heat.

PA Elk (Aug 2015)PA Elk (Aug 2015)


I see quite a few Carolina Wrens coming to my feeding stations during the winter but I'm usually not in the right place at the right time during the summer.  They are a shy bird making photography difficult.  However, I recently had the good fortune of photographing this one.

Carolina WrenCarolina Wren


It's great when a photograph captures the bright red eye color of the appropriately named Red-eyed Vireo. 

Red-eyed VireoRed-eyed Vireo


You will hear the explosive song of the secretive White-eyed Vireo before you will see its white eyes.

White-eyed VireoWhite-eyed Vireo


I hope you enjoyed this little journey through the Pennsylvania woodlands.

Thanks for looking,



Beautiful pictures and descriptions. Thank you for sharing
Mark Perkins(non-registered)
Great shots Dan
Paul Staniszewski(non-registered)
Great gallery of images. Outstanding composition and sharpness.
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