September 2013



Obama/Putin (pic from voiceofrussia.com )

Obama/Putin
(pic from voiceofrussia.com )

It is interesting to me to stand back and look at all the political followers. You have your liberals who follow Obama and have historically opposed going  into any war. Then you have the conservatives who can’t stand Obama and are all about being a Patriot and conserving America’s foundational values.

The latter group would probably be the group that you would more likely hear how bad Russia is and how unamerican any russian sympathy would be…stemming from the cold war in the 80’s.

So now we are at an interesting crossroads. Now we have Obama wanting to go to war, EVEN against UN’s advice to not do it. And we have Putin asking for diplomacy. Here in the states, the Republicans are all over the place in agreement and against it.

I will enjoy watching who the conservatives line themselves up with. If you don’t like Obama, then you gotta side with a Russian! Hows that for an identity crisis?

Just so you know, I don’t take any political standpoint. I would probably be closer to conservative Ideals, but even they aren’t a group I would align myself with. Read some of my other posts and you will get a feel for where I am at.


Beautiful contertop

Beautiful contertop

Nice dining room chair.

Nice dining room chair.

Axe handle stool

Axe handle stool

Axe Handle stools with swivel seats.

Axe Handle stools with swivel seats.

Nice milk pail stools.

Nice milk pail stools.


A few months ago I was traveling through McKean County in Pennsylvania on my way back from a job. Years ago in McKean county there was an old railroad bridge that stretched across a great divide.

Here is a quick description from Wikipedia: ”

The Kinzua Bridge before its collapse. www.alleghenyratraid.com

The Kinzua Bridge before its collapse. http://www.alleghenyratraid.com

The Kinzua Bridge or the Kinzua Viaduct (/ˈkɪnz/[4] or /ˈkɪnz.ə/) was a railroad trestle that spanned Kinzua Creek in McKean Countyin the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Prior to its collapse in 2003, the bridge was 301 feet (92 m) tall and 2,052 feet (625 m) long.

The bridge was originally built from iron in 1882 and was billed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World“, holding the record as the tallest railroad bridge in the world for two years. In 1900, the bridge was dismantled and simultaneously rebuilt out of steel to allow it to accommodate heavier trains. It stayed in commercial service until 1959 and was sold to the Government of Pennsylvania in 1963, becoming the centerpiece of a state park. Restoration of the bridge began in 2002, but before it was finished, a tornado struck the bridge in 2003, causing a large portion of the bridge to collapse. Corroded anchor bolts holding the bridge to its foundations failed, contributing to the collapse.

Shortly after the tornado. www.bradfordera.com

Shortly after the tornado.
http://www.bradfordera.com

Before its collapse, the Kinzua Bridge was ranked as the fourth-tallest railway bridge in the United States.[5] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1982. The ruins of the Kinzua Bridge are inKinzua Bridge State Park off U.S. Route 6 near the borough of Mount Jewett, Pennsylvania.

Now, what’s left of the remaining bridge has been turned into a vista where you can walk out over the edge of the hill and have a scenic look at the remains and the surrounding hills. It really is a sight to see. I would encourage you all to make a trip to it whenever you can. It would be a great trip for the fall when the leaves on the trees are most beautiful.

IMG_20121019_142529

Scenery

The walk out to the edge.

The walk out to the edge.


I am not sure how many of you follow me on Facebook. If you do, then you know all about where I work.  Almost 2 years ago I left my position as Director for Tioga County GIS and joined the team over at Wildlife Specialists, LLC. My good friend, Merlin Benner, began the business in 2007 after leaving his position as a Biologist for Pennsylvania DCNR.

Wildlife Specialists, LLC was founded in 2007 to provide clients with comprehensive wildlife assessment, planning, and monitoring services. A lot of our work is with endangered, rare, or threatened species. We also provide nuisance white tailed deer and feral hog management.

Timber Rattlesnake tracked, tagged, and released via telemetry

Timber Rattlesnake tracked, tagged, and released via telemetry

Long story short, after talking with him, they asked if I would join them to help their GIS program and also their Nuisance Deer/Feral Hog Management program. After getting certified through the Game Commission as a Nuisance WIldlife/White Tailed Deer Agent, I joined them formally as their GIS manager in March of 2012. Since moving over, I have enjoyed a great many days in the field rather than in a stuffy office in front of a computer every day. I have gotten to learn so much about the various species and habitats that we work with.

I have had the chance to work on Timber Rattlesnake habitat surveys, Goshawk

Telemetry equipment picking up a transmitter frequency inside a rattlesnake.

Telemetry equipment picking up a transmitter frequency inside a rattlesnake.

surveys, wetland delineation, rare plant surveys, invasive plant studies and removal, rattlesnake telemetry studies, Allegheny Woodrat habitat improvement projects and so on. This is the kind of work I have always wanted to be doing.

Timber rattlesnake marked.

Timber rattlesnake marked.

Consequently, a lot of the work has come from the natural gas activity in the area. As that slows down, so does the work. We are still keeping relatively busy and hope that New York will soon open up for natural gas drilling. Pennsylvania has really benefited from all the survey work that has been done due to the gas industry. The records of what is really out there in the wilds is now more robust and better documented. And I am glad to be a part of it and see it all for myself out in the woods.

The timbering gear that we carried up the mountains for woodrat habitat improvement.

The timbering gear that we carried up the mountains for woodrat habitat improvement.

Woodrat habitat improvement. Steep rocky terrain!

Woodrat habitat improvement. Steep rocky terrain!