Other than one spell of snow it's has been a relatively snow free winter in Indiana County. However, we have had Snow Geese sightings in the County. The Snow Goose was, in the early 1900s becomng rare but with the passage of game protection laws they have dramatically increased their populations.
The snow goose has two color plumage morphs, white (snow) or gray/blue (blue), thus the common description as "snows" and "blues." White-morph birds are white except for black wing tips, but blue-morph geese have bluish-grey plumage replacing the white except on the head, neck and tail tip. (from Wikipedia).
One that we saw in Conemaugh Township recently in a corn field was the Blue morph variety.
The above photo is courtesy of Wikipedia from the following source:
"Anser caerulescens CT8" by Cephas - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anser_caerulescens_CT8.jpg#/media/File:Anser_caerulescens_CT8.jpg
We discovered this juvenile Pickerel Frog hanging out in the rocky substrate of a hillside seep area. In the winter frogs bury themselves well underground to avoid cold temperatures. However, when we found this one on February 3rd the temperature was 55 degrees.
The location where the Conemaugh River makes a wide sweeping turn upstream of Conemaugh Dam is known as Bow Ridge. During the construction of the Pennsylvania Canal the cost of building the canal around Bow Ridge was deemed to be too expensive so the canal builders constructed a tunnel through the ridge instead. The canal tunnel was the third tunnel ever constructed in the United States.
In the following years two other railroad tunnels and a tunnel for the hydroelectric plant were built through Bow Ridge.