Many of the trails near my home in Hazle Township, located in the higher elevations of Northeastern Pennsylvania, still had a lot of snow cover last Sunday. So, I decided to head south and the lower elevations of the Lehigh Canal in Weissport, Carbon County.
There is a lot of history in this area, from it’s beginnings as a fort founded by Benjamin Franklin to it’s importance as a hub on the famous Lehigh Canal. I have done a few posts on it’s history and they can be found in the archives section of my blog.
I was glad to find the path along the old canal was snow free and I found only a few isolated patches of snow on my hike.
As I thought I would , I found plenty of mallard ducks looking for nesting sites along the canal. I also saw a pair of wood ducks, but, as is usually the case, they flew off before I could photograph them.
I walked the path west and north as it winds between the Lehigh River and the remains of the old canal.
The Lehigh River was rushing with the waters from the rapidly melting snow and I saw a lot of white water on my walk. There were also many geese, and like the ducks, pairing off to find the perfect place to locate their nest. Here is a link to a video of some geese on the river I uploaded to YouTube. https://youtu.be/qw5gqe4k8Ek
Although is wasn’t too cold, temperatures were near 40 degrees, the trees along the path were still bare and the gray overcast skies made my walk fell more like Winter than late March.
However, unlike my hike in the PPL Wetlands near Berwick, there were some signs of Spring including a few green buds on this tree.
And a lot of plants on the ground were starting to set forth their first green leaves, in anticipation of the warmer weather, which I hope is on it’s way. It was nice to see even this little bit of green.
There were also many birds in addition to the water fowl, including the usual Winter residents, the black-capped chickadees, who fluttered in the trees on both sides of the path.
I also saw a flock of blue birds, including this one
a few cardinals
and blue jays,
They left plenty of evidence of their search for a meal under the bark of many trees along the trail.
And there were the very welcome new arrivals, including, of course quite a few robins who were scampering along the mussy ground in search of a meal as well as plenty of red winged black birds in the brush along the trails and their noisy chattering calls.
Although I didn’t see any, I also knew there were beavers active in the area as evidenced by many small trees such as these along the trail.
I hiked out to the observation area, about 2 1/2 miles out the trail, and decided to return when the wind changed, knowing the forecast was for rain later in the day.
On my return hike I noticed this young holly bush along the path, somewhat rare in this area. I was surprised I hadn’t noticed it on my many walks along the canal.
I walked past the “bridge to nowhere” a nice resting area sponsored and maintained by a local church.
As I neared the parking area, I noticed this beautiful bird perched atop a utility pole near my car.
I haven’t seen an osprey here before but it would make sense since there are plenty of fish in the waters of the canal.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t happy with me watching it and it took off for a more private dining area. Here is a link to some more photographs of the osprey and other birds I saw on my hike. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/Lehigh-Canal-Weissport-birds-March-26-2017-
i was glad I decided to hike the old Lehigh canal trail and was treated with a lot of bird activity. I am hoping, next weekend, that the snow cover atop the mountain will be gone and I can once again, walk the trails closer to home. The woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania should be coming to life and I hope to be out there, with my eyes peeled, enjoying the many wonders it will offer. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/Lehigh-Canal-Weissport-March-26-2017-
Summer, fall, winter, spring,
The seasons rotate as each brings
its special beauty to this earth of ours.
Winters’ snow and Summers’ flowers
Frozen rivers will flow come spring,
There is a renewal of everything.
– Edna Frohock