Visiting Presque Isle State Park

Last weekend, my best friend and her family invited me to go with her and her family to the beautiful Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA.  We saw so much more wildlife than I’ve ever seen at our local state park, or even around here.  I fell in love with water and the sand and saw driftwood for the first time.  This was also my first time to a “seashore” though I still dream of visiting the ocean one day.  I love those houseboat homes floating on Horseshoe Pond too!  I’d love to stay in one.  It was a beautiful and fun day and we finished up with a hearty meal at the Cracker Barrel in Erie.

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches into Lake Erie. As Pennsylvania’s only “seashore,” Presque Isle offers its visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling and in-line skating. A National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle is a favorite spot for migrating birds. Because of the many unique habitats, Presque Isle contains a greater number of the state’s endangered, threatened and rare species than any other area of comparable size in Pennsylvania.

At the City of Erie, a peninsula, over six miles in length, arches out into the water of Lake Erie forming an expansive natural harbor. French explorers recognized the intrinsic value of the harbor and in 1753 constructed Fort Presque Isle on the mainland near the harbor entrance. The name Presque Isle means “almost an island” in French and referred to the nearby peninsula. From Fort Presque Isle, fur traders could portage their goods fifteen miles to Fort Le Boeuf, located at the upper reaches of the Allegheny River near present-day Waterford, and then float downstream to Pittsburgh and on to Louisiana. Fort Presque Isle and its portage thus became a vital link between the French fur trade network in the Great Lakes and its colony on the Gulf Coast.

Curious about those houseboat homes floating on Horseshoe Pond?  I was too.  Learn more about them HERE.

If you live nearby or if you’re going to be traveling in the area, I highly recommend stopping in at this beautiful park.  You won’t be disappointed!

 

Till Next Time…

Heather

Indigo’s First Day Out In the Big World

See Indigo’s first day out in the big world…

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Indigo hunting her first wild prey.
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She caught it and ate the whole thing!
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She really liked this tree!
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Indigo hanging out on a lilac branch.

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We found this leaf and she loved it!
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Indigo insisted on bringing this leaf back to her home.

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She had a wonderful first day out in the big world!

Mantises Dance & Feel the Beat

Mantises feel vibrations…

Praying mantises pick up vibrations around them when they hunt and that is how they find their food.  But they can also pick up vibrations from other sources too.  Here are my Phyllocrania paradoxa(Ghost Mantises) when they were “younger” listening a psychedelic music video…

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Heather

Solomon’s Molt

Come see Solomon now!

Solomon has molted.  He has gone from:

 

 

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Solomon 03 January 2017 subadult male Phyllocrania paradoxa(Ghost Mantis) shot with Nikon p610

to…

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Solomon Phyllocrania paradoxa(Ghost Mantis) male 15 March 2017 shot with Nikon p610

These are some raw shots….

and he came out of this:

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his previous “skin”

Nature is so weird, isn’t it?

 

I am actually quite frightened of him.  It’s like, he’s a totally different creature because he looks different, but I know he’s the same old Solomon.  I haven’t held him yet.  I just had him on the stick and transported him onto the table to take some shots of him.  Males fly but the females do not because they’re too heavy.  We had a male last summer that was wild caught and he flew from the living room into the kitchen before we caught him.  I am a little nervous about that.  But I know in time I will get used to handling him just as he will get used to being in his “new skin”.

Now I am just waiting for my little girl to catch up.  I’m sure it won’t be too much longer and then she’ll be all grown up too.

If you are encouraged or informed by something you have read here at Ramblings of a Plain Girl, please consider liking my page on Facebook or simply by leaving a comment below.

xo-heather

The Robins Have Returned

“When Spring returns, the Earth becomes a child who recites poetry.”

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Shot on 06 March 2017 in Olean, NY by Serene View Photography

When Spring returns, the Earth becomes a child who recites poetry.

There’s a reason we “start singing that old sweet song when that red robin comes bob bob bobbing along.”

Foremost, the red robin is a portent of spring. Robins are one of our first visual signs from the animal kingdom that the return of warmth is on its way after a long winter haul. This is a time for celebration! Bird song returns to the skies, little buds on trees are ready to burst open, and the spring flowers are poised for blooming. At long last we can put away our coats and mittens; the first red robin has been sighted!

The red robin reminds us it’s time to shake the sleepiness out of our head (both figuratively and literally), get alert, get moving, and start enjoying life! Spring has sprung, tides have turned, and no matter how crummy or grey our world has been it is time for new beginnings! Enjoy the bright road ahead because it’s only going to get brighter!

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Shot on 06 March 2017 in Olean, NY by Serene View Photography

 

Not only is the robin a promise of new beginnings with the new cycle of spring in our midst, it carries symbolic meanings of cheer, joviality and light-heartedness. We can see this in the spring of the robin’s step, and it reminds us of that wonderful song I quoted in the intro of this post. The song also hails the message: “Live, love, laugh and be happy” and that is precisely what the symbolic meaning of the red robin tells us too.