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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, June 19, 2011

The Pa Wilds is at our doorstep.

One thing about wildlife photography, it’s like reaching into a grab bag because you just don’t have a clue what you will end up with.  There are days that all the conditions seem to be perfect and you have high expectations only to have those expectations fade away just like the setting sun.  Then there are days that absolutely amaze us.  Yesterday ended up being one of those days that remind us once again that we are so lucky to reside in the Pa. Wilds.

Our travels and hikes all took place in Elk and Cameron County and we really never got further than 45 minutes from our home.  Now how cool is that!

Our first photo opportunity presented itself when we spotted a huge bull taking a nap in the shade of some hemlock trees.  That bull was doing some serious snoozing and most likely dreaming about some cute little cow that made his big old heart go pitter-patter.  We snapped several pictures before he finally awoke and lifted his head and really showed off that giant set of antlers.  He’s got some time to grow yet but seems to have the makings of a 8 X 8 or 7 X 8.  We’ll be watching for this big fella in the future.  We were actually looking for newborn calves but this guy sure held our attention for awhile.

After deciding to move on we decided to explore the Porcupine Hollow and Bell Draft area.  This turned out to be a good plan because as we moved up Bell Draft we spotted movement to our left.  Sure enough, there was a big Black Bear looking right back at us.  It’s difficult to estimate a weight but probably 250-350 lbs.  By the time I had the camera fired up and pointed in the general direction that guy was heading for the hills.  To our surprise there was a little cub trying his best to keep up with Momma.  That cute little guy wasn’t much bigger than a large porcupine but he sure could move.  Unfortunately we didn’t get a picture but it was still awesome.

Next wildlife encounter was just minutes away when a Chipmunk decided to do a little modeling for our photo shoot by perching himself on a stump for several minutes while we snapped away.  Minutes after that we came upon a Momma turkey followed closely by 7 or 8 little chicks or poults that had to be less than a week old.  These little poults were about the size of my fist and at this point weren’t able to fly making them a very easy meal for their many predators. 

So far it sounds like quite a day but it got better.  Before the day would be done we got a good look at 2 Fox pups but they weren’t going to hang around for the photo session.  We think we know where the den was so we may get another opportunity to see them again.  For now the image will have to be viewed in our memory.  Would you believe that we ended up seeing another Black Bear that was probably last years bear.  Once again no pictures….Dang!!

We ended our day by hiking back into the saddle area once again in hopes of spotting some calves.  That didn’t work out as planned but we had elk all around us and got some great pictures of a Momma with two cute little fawns.  Apparently our silence and concealment paid off because we got some pretty good pictures before they finally got our scent. 

All in all it was an exceptional day in the Pa. Wilds.  Is there any better way to end a day then by standing high up on a hill with sheer beauty for 360 degrees, surrounded by elk and watching a beautiful sunset drop down over the distant horizon.  For us, it just doesn’t get any better than this.

This picture really turned out to be priceless.  This litle fawn was very annoyed by the flies buzzing around and continually flung it's head around and flicked it's ears.  It was making it difficult to get a good picture but as it turned out, it is really a funny picture.  It kinda' looks like a dog.

This doe sure had a strange looking face.

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