My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Enjoying my Day in the Snow

Stonefly (Plecoptera species)

I spent the afternoon hiking along the snowmobile trail here in Allegany State Park today. Birds were quite along the trail but I did come across a few Kinglets and Chickadees. The only insect that I could locate were multiple Stoneflies visible along the fresh snow that came down last night. Stoneflies are also known as Plecoptera and the nymphs live in streams, creeks and lakes. Some of the adults are known to emerge during the winter months and I was not surprised to find these Plecoptera wondering around.

snowmobile trail
Along the Snowmobile Trail

Over the weekend . . . . we accumulated over a foot of snow which is exactly why I stayed on the Snowmobile Trail. Today would have been my best opportunity to use my snowshoes this season but my main mission was to just enjoy the day.

mink tracks
Mink Tracks

I found multiple mink tracks along the streams and beaver ponds. Deer and Coyotes tracks were seen in numerous areas along the trail and I then found some Deer running away in the distance (too far for a photo)!

Common Merganser
Common Merganser

I traveled down to the Allegheny River after going on my little hike and found a few species of waterfowl. Common Mergansers and Canada Geese were the most common birds found. A few Buffleheads, American Black Ducks and Hooded Mergansers were also along the river. Best two birds for the day were a Pied-billed Grebe and a female Scaup species.

Geese and Pied-billed Grebe
Canada Goose and Pied-billed Grebe

Overall . . . today was a great day to get outside and enjoying nature. The sun was bright and the fresh snow was just beautiful. Within the next month, I will be reporting many more species of waterfowl and other songbirds that will be arriving! We also can expect by the end of the month that the Osprey will appear and I will need to start cleaning the Bluebird boxes out. I am very glad that we have finally made it to March!!

Snowy Nest
Snow in Old Bird Nest

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31 responses

  1. Lisa at Greenbow

    It looked to be a beautiful day for you to be outside Mon@rch. Lovely photos. I have never seen one of those bugs before. It must not take much warmth to bring them out.

    2 March 2008 at 7:23 pm

  2. What a lovely day, Mon@rch! Love the snow in the nest picture.

    2 March 2008 at 7:47 pm

  3. Glad you had an enjoyable day exploring nature. I love the snowmobile trail picture. Very beautiful.

    2 March 2008 at 7:55 pm

  4. I remember learning about stoneflies on your blog last winter! Very cool! Glad you got out for a great walk, your photos are great! I especially love the second one of the trail!

    2 March 2008 at 8:02 pm

  5. That’s the kind of day I like. Just browsing, thank you.

    I’m still enjoying your snow photos :o)

    2 March 2008 at 8:20 pm

  6. Marg

    I love the Pied Bill Grebe-so darn cute! Sounds like a good day Tom

    2 March 2008 at 8:22 pm

  7. I like the snowshoes when there is a crust on the snow, new snow can be difficult. Then again, I usually have a five year old in tow.

    It looks like a great day.

    2 March 2008 at 8:42 pm

  8. The snowmobile trail is quite lovely!

    2 March 2008 at 8:52 pm

  9. Hi Tom,
    I have had company this week and have been catching up this evening. I so enjoyed all of your posts this week. The Redstart would be a lifer for me! One of these days I will venture out of my backyard. The male Cardinal is very beautiful.
    Your area is beautiful. The fresh snow is gorgeous.
    It all will melt before long and the wildflowers will be in bloom. Spring migration has already begun south of me so I expect to see Orioles by the end of the month. I too am happy to be in March. Snow is coming to me tonight. Huge temperature swings and wild winds is my March but I am okay with that. Spring is just around the corner!
    Thank you for a lovely visit.

    2 March 2008 at 9:21 pm

  10. NatureShutterbug

    I spent some time today amongst a scattering of new spring flowers, in bright sunlight – and then I read about your snow. Looks as though it was beautiful out in the cold; but I guess you can’t wait for spring.

    2 March 2008 at 9:32 pm

  11. @ Lisa – it sure was and the stoneflies are always out on the snow! Just need to look along streams!
    @ Liz – thanks and I liked it also!
    @ Rondi – it was so pretty there! Thanks
    @ Pam – Ya, I think I had both male and female in those pictures! I probably should have linked to that post! Thanks and it was great being out!
    @ Mary – Thanks and let’s hope that the snow photos will not be again until next year! But doubt that will happen!
    @ Marg – thanks and was very happy seeing it!~ No year birds today though!
    @ Trixie – it was all very fluffy snow! I just stick to the snowmobile trail! Thanks
    @ Lana – well except for the snowmobiles that passed me!
    @ Sherry – Catching up is tough! Thanks and shouldn’t be too long before many of these birds show up! And love visiting your site!
    @ NatureShutterbug – I see that and temps were around 35F today! We all can’t wait for spring!

    2 March 2008 at 10:02 pm

  12. Good lookin’ stonefly. Which reminds me I’d better get some of my flies tied pretty soon!

    2 March 2008 at 10:41 pm

  13. I remember the stoneflies from last year too!
    That is so wild that they are out bopping along in the snow!

    Speaking of snow, ours melted today. Whoot!

    2 March 2008 at 11:33 pm

  14. it was about 70 degrees here today, and a welcome relief from the weather we had last week. i sat outside for awhile and watched the birds. ~nita~

    3 March 2008 at 1:00 am

  15. What a nice day out for you Tom. I actually saw a wasp yesterday. I know the birds are ready for the insects to reappear too. Hope all the snow melts soon and you have a lush green carpet to take it’s place.

    3 March 2008 at 6:46 am

  16. Your blog is wonderful. I came here looking for owl photos from Lisa of Greenbow’s post today, and discovered a treasure. I will be back to sop up the gravy of your stories.
    Frances at Faire Garden

    3 March 2008 at 6:59 am

  17. Cestoady

    That is a fine photo of one of the Slender Winter Stoneflies of the family Capniidae.

    One of the common species in your part of the world is Capnia vernalis,Early Black Stonefly. As you saw, they are quite small,seldom larger than 6 mm. And like other of the Plecoptera, the nymphs need a lot of oxygen and hence the great majority live exclusively in flowing waters. There are a few,rare species, however, that can live near the shore in cold, northern lakes where there is lots of wave action that provides the high levels oxygen they need.

    3 March 2008 at 7:22 am

  18. Wasn’t yesterday wonderful! I enjoyed your walk. I’ll have to show Don your stone fly. He is always interested in insects due to his fly fishing.

    3 March 2008 at 8:23 am

  19. Great pictures.

    3 March 2008 at 10:40 am

  20. As always, great pictures, great education….

    Love the bug!

    3 March 2008 at 11:01 am

  21. Yes, it is wonderful that March has arrived and with it the promise of all the migrators. It is quiet now, but soon our mornings will be full of song. I can’t wait!

    3 March 2008 at 11:01 am

  22. @ Dave – thanks and it is getting to be that time! LOL!
    @ Susan – they are such great insects! Thanks and it is great seeing them “bopping along”!
    @ Nita – wow, that is very warm! Thanks
    @ Jayne – It sure was and a wasp? Crazy isn’t it? Green . . . I can’t wait!
    @ Frances – thanks for such kind words and glad we have found each other through Lisa’s site! Hope to see you again!
    @ Cestoady – thanks and didn’t know which one it was! Thanks for all the info !
    @ Toni – sure was and wish you could have joined me! Let me know what Don thinks!
    @ John – you are very kind! Thanks!
    @ Sherry – thanks and winter insects rock!
    @ Robin – thanks and shouldn’t be too long before the return! I can’t wait also!

    3 March 2008 at 12:32 pm

  23. That first picture of the trail looked so inviting to walk on. We took a drive out to Presque Isle Park Saturday and the ice dunes were really big and went way out into the lake. I didn’t see ANY animals or birds on that drive, lots of ice fishermen, though. That was so weird.

    3 March 2008 at 12:56 pm

  24. naturespalette

    I wasn’t aware there were any insects that emerged during the winter months, I wonder if we have them here in Minnesota.

    3 March 2008 at 1:29 pm

  25. It looks and sounds like you had a beautiful day. It’s days like that, that make you feel spring is very close at hand!

    3 March 2008 at 3:32 pm

  26. I love the pix of the sweet Merganser – determinedly headed into Spring :0)

    Oh, the thought of Blue Birds! We’re getting ice tonight, but Spring sings in my heart.

    3 March 2008 at 7:19 pm

  27. @ Linda – sometimes we need to get out . . not for the animals but just to be out! Sounds like a great day for sure!
    @ Naturespalette – sure is and you can even find moths that are flying around! I bet you do!
    @ Sherri – it sure was and lets hope spring is getting closer! Actually 17 days away!
    @ Cathy – thanks and Mergansers rock! We are getting our freezing rain tomorrow !Ugg!

    3 March 2008 at 8:09 pm

  28. Now there’s a good day. (looks that way from here anyway) p.s. I like your Canadian geese shot – you’ve got an excellent eye to pick out the grebe. 🙂 I also have a real fondness for the shot of the snow mobile tracks through the trees that photo was composed beautifully.

    4 March 2008 at 1:46 am

  29. @ Aullori – thanks for your kind words and I actually had a few of the snowmobile trail! But this one was my fave! Blue Sky was my goal with it!

    4 March 2008 at 7:17 am

  30. lvn600

    So that’s what a Stonefly looks like.-That puts me in the mood for trout fishing up in Maine or New Hampshire.-Nice photos-you saw some pretty cool waterfowl too!

    4 March 2008 at 7:35 pm

  31. Sounds as if you had a great outing. I also like the snowmobile trail shot. The composition draws one’s eye into the photo. Great work. (Blue sky is nice, too.)

    10 March 2008 at 2:00 am

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