And turn life does. It has been over a month now since my life has so drastically changed as a result of the untimely and tragic loss of my sister and brother-in-law. During that time I have continued my daily walks in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania, trying to find the peace and comfort the beauty of nature has always provided me. I had been doing a lot of reflecting on life, death and this most unexpected tragedy.
It has been difficult for me to gather my thoughts and share the beauty I still find on my walks, despite the pain and grief I am feeling. But I know Linda and Charlie would want me to continue with this blog, sharing my love of life and adventure, now, from such a different perspective. So I will try to continue my message to enjoy, appreciate and protect nature during this short time we are given on this wonderful planet. We must protect it for those who remain after we are gone, and for all future generations to come.
So I will again try and share some of my thoughts, and photographs, of the beauty I found on my hikes this past month.
Although it was a very mild month, Fall still came and the leaves donned their brilliant colors for a few weeks. I tried to enjoy that color on a number of walks at one of my favorite hiking trails, the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township. The beauty of the fall foliage did provide much needed peace as I tried to understand the great loss my family suffered so suddenly . Here is a link to some more photographs from one of those hikes. PPL Wetlands hike October 14 2017.
This past weekend I again returned to the wetlands. There was still some color but now most of the leaves have fallen to the earth exposing the bare branches of trees and shrubs. So quickly the seasons turn. As can life. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike this past weekend. PPL Wetlands hike November 4 2017.
They will wear this Winter attire until the warm days of Spring return. Change is the one constant in nature and life. And, as I have learned, sometimes it comes slowly, like the seasons, and sometimes quickly like an unexpected event in life.
I took many walks in the beautiful Fall weather and took some photographs of the majesty of the fall foliage and scenery here in Northeastern Pennsylvania this past month. Most were at the PPL Wetlands but I also walked along the shores of Lake Irene, at a local Community Park near my home in Hazle Township. Here is a link to some photographs from that beautiful hike. Community Park walk October 24 2017
Although many of the robins, catbirds, and song birds had already left our area I still came across a number of birds on my walks.
Some were still in the process of migrating south. like this cedar waxwing,
while other will remain for the cold Winter that approaches including the downy and hairy woodpeckers.
On a hike at Lake Irene last weekend I was fortunate to encounter a number of water fowl still in our area, including this pie-billed grebe,
that was accompanying this cormorant on a cool morning swim.
I also saw this noisy pair of Canada geese, mallard ducks
and a flock of bufflehead ducks that kept their distance. There were reports of a bald eagle in the area, the reason for my visit but I didn’t see it. Here is a link to some more photographs of the birds. from my hike at community park. Community park November 4 2017.
I didn’t see any of my favorite mammals, the black bear, this past month but I did see plenty of deer, including this late season young fawn,
and many chipmunks, a few voles mice and moles, and gray and red squirrels.
The cooler weather eliminated much of the insect activity in the wetlands but there were a few bees, wasp and yellow jackets struggling about in the lower temperatures,
and the few dragonflies I saw also were looking tired and worn after an active summer.
At the beginning of the month because of the unseasonably warm temperatures, I actually heard a few spring peeper frogs. But, as the day got shorter and colder they, too, were silent. The many turtles that were seen along the canals in the Spring and Summer were now rare although I did find this fellow on one of my hikes.
As you may tell from reading this post, although my life is forever changed, I still find great joy in my hikes in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
I always have loved nature , since those first walks with my dad as a young child. Hiking in the woods and gathering mushrooms with dad was a “boys” thing. Dad loved walking in the woods with his four sons. I learned so much on those hikes.
But my dad loved his only daughter, his “little princess” and “birthday girl” They shared January 29 birthdays. Their relationship was so special. Like me she was devastated when he left us. And once again I am devastated losing here much too soon. . We miss her and her husband so much. Life we never be the same for me, my mom and siblings, and the four wonderful children they left behind.
I know how much they loved life and I want to let the world know this, and so as I continue to share the beauty I find in nature, my blog posts will now not only be dedicated to my dad, but also to Charlie and Linda.They loved life and each other and their memory will accompany me on all of my journeys now. Until we meet again. For we are all dancing on this earth for a short time.
“My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.”
― Jandy Nelson, The Sky Is Everywhere