I spent a lot of last weekend, as i have been doing more and more these days, exploring the trails at the PPl Wetlands and Riverlands. Located in Salem Township on the eastern edge of Luzerne County , these wetlands are next to the the Susquehanna River here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
I guess I am somewhat of a creature of habit and know I will always find some interesting mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird or insect here and I love spending time in the woods at the wetlands looking for them.
It was a cloudy and cool morning last Saturday with some thunderstorms in the forecast so I decided to walk the trails in the wetlands with my fixed 400 mm lens knowing I would be limited in photographing objects such as birds, insects and animals from afar.
As I walked along the trails I cam upon this great blue heron. My previous blog posts contains more comments on my encounter with this beautiful bird and here is a link to some more photographs. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/birds-of-pennsylvania/nggallery/birds-of-pennsylvania/great-blue-heron-PPL-wetlands-July-8-2017
I spent a few more hours roaming the wetlands than I had planned but , for a nature lover like me, it sure was worth it. Here is a link to a few photographs of the many things I saw on my hike last Saturday . http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-July-8-2017-
I returned to the wetlands early Sunday, which was a sunny, cooler and less humid day and started my hike along the Susquehanna River. I walked the ancient trees and took in the sunlight filtering from the canopy of leaves on what was once a Native American path known as the Great Warrior Trail.
The trail started following an old railroad track. It soon left the deep woods of the wetlands and riverlands and, with the more open areas, had many of the familiar wild plants of northeastern Pennsylvania growing along the trails, such as common mullein, milkweed, pokeweed, touch-me nots and burdock, shown here. These plants were much larger here, growing in the rich soil near the river, than the ones that grow near my home and in poor clay soil on the high ridges where I am located.
However, I think the trail was to close to the traffic and human activity to allow any observation of the more shy wildlife found in the deeper woods and wetlands. So, I decided to return to the wetlands. It was still a pleasant hike for folks just wanting to get outdoors and certainly worth exploring.
And even members of the same species each have their own unique patterns of color. I could spend an entire day observing them. Here is a link to some more photographs of some of the dragonflies I observed. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-dragonflies-July-9-2017-
This is a leaf from a corn stalk. Here is a link to some more photographs taken with my macro lens. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-macro-July-9-2017
Again, I spent a few more hours than I wanted to at the wetlands, but, I sure enjoyed it. I love the Summer here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike out the wetlands and riverlands last Sunday. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-and-Great-Warrior-Trail-July-9-2017-
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein