13 Aug 2016 10:41 am
ysengrin: Yep, that's me. (shy-wolf)
From our local burger place's specials menu last Wednesday. Wish I'd taken a photo. It was one of the best burgers I've ever had.

The Francisco Cervelli Burger

A half pound burger topped with pepperoni, grilled onions and peppers, Parmesan cheese, and a homemade basil Parmesan mayo on a butter grilled Italian roll. Served with a side of fries.

That's Daddy's Main Street in Clarion, Pennsylvania, if any of y'all make it out this way. No guarantees the Francisco will be on the menu, but there's usually something eye-catching in the daily specials.
ysengrin: Yep, that's me. (shy-wolf)
I'm certainly now living out in the woods (literally) with a more varied assortment of critters that visit after sundown - the night crew. No good pix as the cellphone doesn't like *that* low a light level.

Deer. They roam the area in general, and I've seen three different groups - a buck and two or three does in each - that occasionally check out what's growing in the yard. They also tend to nibble back new growth in the gardens, now that the mass planting of bulbs from the previous owner are coming up. They're not as cautious as the Texas deer, so I'm assuming there's not as much hunting pressure on them. Or, there's more of a deer population and they come around because of that pressure.

Groundhog. They don't roam as far, and there's one denning somewhere between me and the neighbor to the east and down the hill a bit. This one's a bit grumpy, and climbs onto very low branches (a foot or two off the ground) to eat new leaves and flowers.

Black bear. There's one that makes the rounds the night before garbage pickup, scavenging, and that stays away from habitations otherwise. Doesn't seem to visit this house - I haven't actually seen him - but neighbors up and down the street sometimes have garbage scattered or bird feeders raided. The bear's been spotted in an area from half-a-mile to the west to a mile-and-a-half east. It's not like bears are unusual in the area, either - tweet of a picture taken a few days ago.

Raccoons & Opossum. I'm told both are common. Haven't seen any sign of them on site (yet). EDIT: Skunks - I've scented one, but haven't seen any.

Foxes. There's a vixen and cubs in a culvert up the street.

Feral house cats. Yep, even out here. There's a colony up the street, also based around a culvert. They occasionally come down this far, and I think a mother cat relocated her kittens under our back deck for a while before moving them again.

Frogs. Haven't seen 'em, but their night chorus is *loud*. Guessing from the sounds there's two predominant species with a third less common one mixed in.

Not so much a part of the night crew - the birds. I'm working on identifying 'em. So far our most common visitors are orioles, mourning doves, and a plethora of small "peep peep" birds I haven't identified yet. I've also seen blue jays, woodpeckers, ravens, a bald eagle and several other large raptors (unidentified).
ysengrin: Yep, that's me. (shy-wolf)

You're looking generally east, across the Clarion River, at the site of the old wharf at the village of Piney, Pennsylvania. From 185 to 135 years ago, that bank was the site of a little river port. Iron ingots from the Beaver and Madison furnaces were shipped south to Pittsburgh on flat boats built here, with 75 to 100 tons of metal on each boat. Later, fire clay was shipped as well. Going south from the wharf stood boat scaffolds, a saw mill, general store, blacksmith's shop, a hotel and several homes. Hahn's Ferry (now the site of a highway bridge across the Clarion) was at the southern end, where Piney Creek entered the Clarion.

None of this remains now, though a careful eye can still trace the remains of the old dam across Piney Creek that directed water to the sawmill's spillway. The coming of the railroad to Sligo in 1873 shut down the river trade, and the village of Piney slowly slipped away as acid runoff from the mines increased.

The forest you see dates from well after this period.

Location of the old Piney wharf (approx): 41°10'13.79"N, 79°28'17.02"W
ysengrin: Yep, that's me. (shy-wolf)

Clearing out underbrush paid a dividend - the first fossils I've found in Pennsylvania, and on the property!

Pretty sure they're the trunks of Lepidodendron - scale trees. Unfortunately, not much fine detail since they're made of coarse-grained sandstone. Not sure what the more wood-textured bits are on either side of the first one are, though. For scale, the first rock is about 6"x14", and the other two both about 24" long.

Pennsylvanian (the geologic term) for certain, and likely at the very top of the Pottsville formation (with an outside chance of being at the bottom of the Allegheny formation) according to a county geologic map. So, 310 million years old, give or take a bit.

EDIT: It's almost certainly Homewood sandstone, and the uppermost part of the Pottsville formation. Found a couple of texts (from 1891 and 1905) that specifically mention how numerous the Lepidodendron trunks are in this sandstone.

ysengrin: Yep, that's me. (shy-wolf)

I love my Baffin snow boots :)

We had a spring snowstorm on 09 April. This is after I had been stomping around outside for a while and had come back indoors. My circulation in my feet isn't the best, and these boots were a lifesaver while shoveling and working in the snow. Even though this winter was mild, they were appreciated.

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