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We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Lesser Scaup joins our Blog

If you have been following our Blog for some time you may realize that we are trying to photograph and document the many species of ducks that inhabit our area.  This past weekend we visited Erie for a day of fun.  Our day began with a visit to Erie Downs to put a little money on the horses.  On a positive note we had a great day at the races and had a few horses that cooperated nicely with our wagering.  On a not so positive note, looks like I will still need full time employment and a tax shelter won't be required to hide our winnings.

No trip to Erie would be complete without a trip out to the Peninsula but today we decided to try something a bit different.  We decided to go up the tower at Bayfront and check out the Peninsula from across the bay.  If you ever get the chance, pay the 3 bucks and go up the tower at Bayfront.  You will not be disappointed.  Once you get to the top via an elevator, you'll learn a lot about Lake Erie.  We were shocked to learn that there are over 400 ship wrecks in this Great Lake.  One can only shut your eyes and imagine the action that took place during the War of 1812.  Lot's of history here for certain!

As we circled the top of the tower looking out over the bay we couldn't help but notice some ducks gathered below in the bay.  After returning to ground level we needed to check these quackers out.  There was one duck in particular that caught our eye.  After some time and a good bit of patience we finally got this duck within range of the 100-400mm.  We were thrilled to get some decent pictures of this new species which we later identified as the Lesser Scaup.  The Greater Scaup is so similar that it is difficult to see the difference. Both have the Golden eye and the blue gray bill with the black nail at the tip.  The attraction for these diving ducks happen to be the Zebra Mussells.  Unfortunately the Zebra Mussells are loaded with environmental nasties which doesn't make for a real desirable staple for the Scaups.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Long legged fisherman of the marsh

The lake at Black Moshannon is an ecological wonder.  It is home to many species of birds and all kinds of aguatic life.  Without question there has to be tons of fish but catching them offers many challenges.  If you have ever visited this lake you can't help but notice the enormous amount of Lily pads.  The fish love the cover and food these provide while the fishermen doesn't share this enthusiasm.  One particular fisherman isn't bothered by the Lily pads and that is the Great Blue Heron.  They just walk among the pads and have no problem filling their tummys with fish.

As we glided through the water in our kayaks we couldn't help but admire this giant and elegant bird as he looked for his next meal.  Great Blue Herons are huge birds with wing spans reaching 6 feet from wing tip to wing tip.  Back in the 19th century Blue Herons were hunted for their beautiful feathers.  The feathers were used to decorate womens hats and this practice actually led to their depletion.  As a result of that, in the early 20th century a law was passed to ban the hunting of the Great Blue Heron.  Perhaps the Royal family isn't aware of this law.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bluebird of Happiness

A few days ago we spent several hours high up on a mountain a few miles past Renovo.  This mountain is known as Hyner and at the base of this mountain lies the home base and landing zone for Hyner Mountain Hang Gliding Club.  If you ever get the opportunity, make the drive up to the top of this mountain and watch these crazy folks jump off the edge and soar with the eagles.  Well, in this case they were actually soaring with the Hawks but you get the idea.  On this day we got some awesome shots of the hang gliders but we also couldn't help but notice the number of Bluebirds that flew from tree to tree showing off their vibrant colors and sharing their sweet song.  These particular Bluebirds weren't much into posing for us but we managed to fire off some quick shots and capture a couple decent images.