What greater love…

opie streamOpie, on a Bear Creek Camp run.

It’s hard to explain just how much love I feel for this little guy — and how much love I get for him, but this poem comes close.

The Dachshund’s affectionate
He wants to wed with you:
Lie down to sleep,
And he’s in bed with you.
Sit in a chair,
He’s there.
You break his heart.

E.B. White

Mountain Laurel, the state flower, is flowering….

Mountain Laurel — the state flower — is doing just that now, flowering.

Each spring and summer, the woods of Pennsylvania bask in the glow of countless pink Mountain Laurel blossoms. The glorious evergreen plant is the Pennsylvania state flower for good reason: it’s everywhere! By mid-June, sunny mountainsides from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh are covered with Mountain Laurel flowers.

The Pennsylvania state flower is actually an evergreen shrub that’s related to the rhododendron. It grows in openings of spruce-fir forests and generally reaches between 6-10 feet tall. Mountain Laurel does particularly well in the Appalachian Mountains and can be found in much of the eastern United States.

Beginning in late spring and early summer, clusters of delicate blooms open in umbrella-like fashion in red, pink or white. Because a single bush can produce many flowers, a hillside of blooming mountain laurel looks spectacular. Each year, nature lovers from Allentown to Waterford head to the mountains to catch the Pennsylvania state flower in bloom.

Despite its popularity, the Mountain Laurel wasn’t originally a shoo-in as the Pennsylvania state flower. When the issue was discussed in the 1930s, the Pennsylvania General Assembly was so in doubt about which flower should represent the state that it sent the Governor bills naming two different flowers as Pennsylvania’s favorite: the Mountain Laurel and the Pink Azalea. In the end, then Gov. Gifford Pinchot (and, according to some accounts, his wife) ultimately chose the Mountain Laurel. Today, there’s no doubt Pennsylvanians everywhere are glad he did.mountain laurel

Humanity again shows its dark side, even mugwort looks wonderful by comparison


They finally said it was MY problem because their engineers had told them that all the messages were going to my spam folder and that’s why I hadn’t seen them.

Only problem was I DISABLED my spam filter last year and had proof to show them. So, suddenly, I’m getting  the emails again but even better, while there normal acceptnce rate has been about one for every ten posted, now they’re taking almost anything…gee what a coincidence. So while they are, I gotta get pics from the last three outings out before they change again.

This is mugwort, which appears in long, long columns all over the Forty-Fort soccer complex. Undierside of leaves are silver and a good field mark.

Mugwort is an herb commonly linked to magic and has been used since ancient Roman times. Known botanically as Artemisia vulgaris, Mugwort is a leafy shrub in the Daisy family. It has many pseudonyms: Felon Herb, St. John’s Plant, chrysanthemum weed, and mugwort wormwood.

Seven Tubs article. Should run this Sunday


By Bob Quarteroni

The math is elegant and simple: Take Seven Tubs, add three trails and what do you have?

A perfect 10.

That’s correct, says Nicholas Lylo, Pinchot State Forest district forester, who oversees the Seven Tubs State Forest Recreation Area, the name given to the Rt. 115 jewel when ownership was transferred from Luzerne Country to the Bureau of Forestry.

The Bureau is part of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and “is the overseer of the Seven Tubs,” which is part of the expansive 50,000-acre Pinchot State Forest, Lylo said.

Innovative partnerships between governmental entities, non-profit organizations and forward-looking commercial enterprises has led to vastly enhanced outdoor recreational opportunities. Topping that list are three Tubs trails.

Trails are nicely sized at small, medium, and spectacular.

“We have a small quarter-mile trail that starts at the foot bridge, it loops around the seven tubs and is ideal for viewing. The trail was degraded, so we entered into a multi-year partnership with the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps. Stone steps have been put in place and other improvements made,” Lylo said.

The Audubon trail intersects with the loop trail, is 1.5 miles long and travels upstream along Laurel Run to the property boundary.

But the daddy of them all is a work in progress and the Seven Tubs is an integral part of that.

The Delaware & Lehigh Trail, part of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, will be a 165-mile continuous trail when it’s completed in 2020, running from Bristol, near Philadelphia, to Wilkes-Barre, primarily using the Lehigh Canal towpath and the old Lehigh Valley Railroad bed.

Most of the pieces of the puzzle are in place, and the Tubs is a very important one.

Rylan Coker, land protection and stewardship coordinator for the North Branch Land Trust, said the Tubs land “is not considered part of the D&L Trail but is a connector. People will be able to access the trail via old Bear Creek Boulevard (Wilkes-Barre Boulevard) by a trail that goes up the hill to the rail bed.”

On the other end, the trail will have a terminus on Northampton St., he said, adding that “The folks with the D&L National Heritage Corridor are studying ways to connect from there to downtown Wilkes-Barre.”

Coker said NBLT is excited to be part of the development of the final few sections of the D&L trail.

“With that said, our roughly 6.5-mile section going from Oliver Mills around the mountain via the Tubs to Laurel Run is in its infancy of design and engineering,” he said by email.

“Once our section of trail — which will be handicap accessible crushed gravel – is complete, we have an understanding that the Bureau of Forestry will take ownership and management of it,” Coker said.”

And one last broken puzzle piece has been repaired.

As thousands of hikers know, a washed-out bridge made exploring the old road perilous. As Eastcoasthiker.com said, “You will walk past a barrier and over a semi-treacherous collapsed bridge.”

That’s changed now that PP&L has installed a temporary bridge.

“To my understanding this will be replaced by PPL next year with a permanent bridge, all in the name of utility access,” Coker said. “But we are grateful the public will be able to use it too!.”

And one more piece of very good news.  For the last year plus there has been a gate closing the road to the bridge and old boulevard and a sign warning “Area Closed to Public: No Pedestrian Foot Traffic.”

Lylo said that was necessary when PPL was working on the bridge “and using a lot of heavy equipment. That was done for public safety. During the work day we were required to have flag men, gate keepers and signs there for public safety.

“Now twarninghat the construction is over, we’ll have to look into (removing the gate and signs) because if there’s no work there’s no safety issue and people should be able to walk there.”


Computer eats data; nature saves sanity

Ah yes, the wonders of cyberworld.

Yesterday am my computer froze. Took option to “restore earlier version of Windows” because it said “will not affect any personal files.”

So, of course, ALL photos gone and most documents, including a piece on the Tubs I’d spent hours on and now have to try to put together from memory.

Maybe it is time for some neo-Luddism and we should smash all the machines. Seems like they’re getting  a little bit too uppity to me.cow

Meanwhile, back at Deep Hollow where I still have dozens of pics to download from last week, a nice quiet little cow vetch which never did anything to anyone..

Cow vetch is easy to spot because the flowers are always lined up only on one side of the stem. Also called bird vetch. I don’t know the reason for either name.

Cow Vetch
Vicia cracca

Common Name: Cow vetch (a.k.a. Tufted vetch)
Scientific Name: Vicia cracca
Family: Fabaceae
Growth Form: Herb
Native Range: Europe and Asia
Alien Range: Southern Canada, south to Illinois, Michigan and Virginia
Introduction: Cow vetch was brought from Europe as an ornamental and escaped from cultivation.
Description: ·Leaves: Pinnately compound, leaflets in opposing rows. 8-12 pairs of leaflets. Velvety texture. Terminate in long tendril that is used to attach to other plants.
·Stem: Weak. 0.5-1 m (2-3 ft.) tall. Fine hair. Climbs over other vegetation.

·Flowers: 1 cm (0.5 in.) long. Blue or violet. Cluster on one side of protruding spike. Present from May to August.
·Fruit: Flat, brown pod. 2-3 cm (1-1.5 in.) long. Contains seeds.
Threats: Cow vetch can invade disturbed sites and prairie reconstructions, shading out or smothering native vegetation.
Fun Facts: The sweet nectar of cow vetch is commonly enjoyed by bees and butterflies.


Emerald Ash Borer piece runs in Citizens’ Voice today; also in Scranton and Hazleton

Though I was forced to cut it from 850 words to 554, I did the best job I could to keep the content at least somewhat comprehensible.tunnels

Emerald ash borer threatens baseball – Sports – Citizens’ Voice

Emerald ash borer threatens baseball. The Citizens’ Voice Sports · Tweets by SportsCV. Bob Quarteroni, Correspondent / Published: June 10, 2018 …

Summer: baseball, bear, hot dogs…and birdfoot trefoil

birdfootIt’s not really summer until birdsfoot trefoil starts showing up everywhere, which is is. So it is in Australia, as the folllowing indicates.
Birdsfoot trefoil

Scientific name(s)

Lotus corniculatus

•Perennial, non-bloating, adapted to acid and waterlogged soils.
•Provides bypass protein, and reduces methane output in ruminants.

•Seed can be expensive and seedling establishment is slow.
•Needs carful grazing management over summer to maintain persistence.

Plant description

Plant: Herbaceous tap rooted perennial that can have an erect to prostrate growth habit.

Stems: Usually hairless and solid (not usually hollow), green to reddish green, up to 60 cm long, arising from the basal crown. Branches arising from the leaf axis.

Leaves: Leaves occur as five leaflets (pentafoliate), three terminal and two basal and are nearly hair-less. The widest part of the leaf is in the lower half of the basal leaflets. Leaf shape can vary (elliptic or obovate) however terminal leaves are at least 3 times longer than their width. The three terminal leaves are also removed from the basal leave hence the Trefoil component of the common name.

Flowers: Inflorescence is umbel like. Flowers are yellow often but not always with red veins in the petals. Flowers occur in groups of 2 through to 8 (mostly 3 to 5) and are approximately 10 to 16 mm long.

Pods: Pods are usually brown, long cylindrical in shape and 15 to 40 mm in length. Pods shatter to disperse seed as they ripen. The pod arrangement off the stem is a mirror-image of a Birdsfoot, hence its common name.

Seeds: Seeds are greyish brown to black about 1 mm long (1 x 106 seeds/kg).

Pasture type and use

Birdsfoot Trefoil is most successful in areas where white clover is unable to perenniate due to an extended summer drought and Lucerne is unable to be productive due to low soil pH and/or winter waterlogging.
Birdsfoot is used primarily in combination with cocksfoot on acid soils and can be used with phalaris in waterlogged soils. It is also used in native pastures of South America.

Where it grows


> 600 mm average annual rainfall


Suited to a wide range of soils with low pH (<5.5 in CaCl). Also tolerates waterlogging.


Cold and frost tolerant.


Companion species

Grasses: Cocksfoot, Phalaris, Tall fescue, Kikuyu and Paspalum.

Legumes: subterranean clover, strawberry clover and white clover.

Sowing/planting rates as single species

4 to 8 kg/ha (not commonly sown by itself)

Sowing/planting rates in mixtures

2 to 4 kg/ha

Sowing time

Autumn or spring sowing at a depth of 0.5 to 1.5 cm into a firm, level, weed free seedbed. Can also be drilled into perennial grass stands, although grazing is required to manage the green over burden.


Special Lotus corniculatus inoculant.


Phosphorus and any other nutrients required to avoid deficiencies.


Maintenance fertliser

Olsen P soil test for phosphorus above 15


Birdsfoot trefoil is suitable for hay or silage production. Hay production should be cut at 10% flowering. Cutting after 10% flowering will result in reduced feed quality while cutting before 10% flowering will result in reduced quantity. Cutting height should not be below 8 cm to facilitate re-growth.
New stands should be allowed to reach 10% flowering before grazing and subsequently rotationally grazed. Continuous grazing of birdsfoot trefoil will reduce root carbohydrate reserves, resulting in stand decline. To ensure carbohydrate reserves are not depleted to critical levels, grazing or cutting should not be below 8 cm. Any stand decline can be rectified by allowing seed set. Subsequent autumn rains will establish new seedlings, some of which will survive to become adult plants. To assist seedling survival the stand should be grazed to reduce shading. It is recommended that thickening of stands be undertaken every two to three years.

Seed production

Pods shatter dispersing seed so several important management practises need to be considered including; monitoring of peak flowering and podding, the application of a desiccant such a paraquat at 70 percent pod maturity or at 35 days after peak flowering, harvesting with a conventional header 48 hours after the desiccant application with header concave settings at 2 mm and drum speed at 1200 rpm using a very low fan speed setting for air flow.

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