It was Saturday, so, of course, we started the day off with a heavy rainfall. it seems it has been raining every Saturday this Spring here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. But like last Saturday the rain ended early, and by mid-morning the sun was shining at the PPl Wetlands, were I again decided to hike.
The sun filtering through the wet leaves, the song of the birds and the heavenly scent of the honeysuckle made me feel I was walking in the Garden of Eden.
The June sun soon dried any of the wet leaves that were exposed to it’s now intense rays, but the leaves in the shade remained wet for most of my hike.
I walked along the familiar trails of the wetlands searching for birds, bugs, frogs, mammals or any other critter I could find. The first one I saw was the ever present red winged-blackbird which appear to be everywhere in the wetlands now.
And the cool rain overnight, and the cool nights we’ve been having brought a lot more turtles out on the logs, rocks and shores of the canals and ponds to baste in the sunshine this week. I also saw a snapping turtle, or maybe two snapping turtles in the water . Here is a link to a video.https://youtu.be/UFb4yOGpW7c
I saw this furry critter swimming slowly through a duckweed covered pond. I am pretty sure it is a muskrat and not a beaver.
As I walked trails I found an abundance of small green high bush blueberries and it still looks like there will be a good crop this year. All they need now is plenty of sun to ripen them.
I made my way to the riverlands section of preserve and Lake Took-A_While where I found plenty of folks fishing and cooking out. The smell of the charcoal grills filled the air.
And I was greeted by these fellows, a pair of domestic geese who came waddling up to me looking for a handout. I am sure they must have went AWOl from a local farm.
I found a group of their wild cousins as I continued my hike out the river tail and to the Susquehanna River.
The river was high and it’s waters a deep brown from the runoff resulting from the recent heavy rains.
Most of the migratory birds have now passed through the area , but I saw a few of the ones that decided to stay such as this Baltimore oriole.
A little further on my hike I found this Baltimore oriole nest hanging right above one of the trails. I waited for around 15 minutes hoping mom of dad bird would re-emerge from the nest but I think they knew it and were not coming out.
I saw a few of the always beautiful yellow warblers and was able to capture a photograph of this one.
I was frustrated that I missed so many birds, many I could not identify and others, such as a red-bellied woodpecker and kingfisher I could. I know I had the experience of seeing them, which is satisfying, but I so much enjoy sharing them with my friends. I was able to photograph this blue heron standing along the trail.
And this red squirrel who seemed, like a lot of the birds, was gathering material to build a nest.
As was this little fellow, I believe an eastern phoebe.
I enjoyed the warmth of the June sun as I continued my walk in the open areas of the trails, and also the way it filtered through the leaves under the ancient trees in the more wooded sections of the trail.
I came across a mulberry tree that was already setting it’s fruit. This tree will provide a feast for the birds in a few weeks.
Along the wetlands I saw a few frogs in the lurking in the waters, waiting for insects, and trying to avoid being breakfast for a blue heron.
There is one inhabitant of the wetlands I do not like to encounter, the mosquito. That wish was sure not granted. There were hoards of them, breeding in the many pools of water created by the wet Spring. I have many bites to attest to our meetings yesterday, but you got to take the good with the bad.
There is so much to see out doors this time of year such as the blue flag, or wild iris which were scattered about, adding color to the wetlands.
Even the many species of wild grasses have a unique beauty to them.
As I was nearing my car, and the end of my hike, I saw this critter in the distance. At first I thought it was a squirrel that scampered into the woods along one of the canals. However, as I approached I realized it was a mink, who gave me, what seemed like a wink, before he or she disappeared under the duck weed covered waters. Here is a link to some more photographs of the wildlife I saw on my hike. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-wildlife-June-3-2017-
I have loved hiking in the woods near my house since I was a child. Each time you leave your house you never know what you will see, whether it is a new plant, flower, mushroom, tree, or bird, mammal, reptile or bee. I am so glad i can now share this adventures with you folks here on my blog. And, the sun is shining this morning as I type so time to fine another place to hike. Here is a link to some more photographs of my hike. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-June-3-2017
In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir