A Close Encounter With A Thunderstorm On An Afternoon Hike In The Susquehanna Wetlands.
Last Friday I decided to try something different and took an afternoon hike in the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township Luzerne County. As you may know from my many blog posts about the wetlands I usually arrive early in the morning when the temperatures are cool. It was hazy, hot and humid when I arrived. The temperature was 90 degrees. I wasn’t expecting to see much wildlife activity in this heat but, one thing I learned about my many experiences exploring nature, you never know what you will find unless you look.
I started my hike by walking to the Susquehanna River. We have had some severe thunderstorms and heavy rains for a few days and the river showed the results. The waters were high and a deep brown color from the fast moving water run-off from the storms.
Once again I saw, for a second or two, some wood ducks, these were young ducklings, but as usual they didn’t stay still for long and this was the best photo I could get before they swam into the reeds.
There were a lot of the delicate and interesting Indian pipes or ghosts plants too.
When I walked about 3/4 of the trail along the lake, I noticed some cumulus clouds appearing on the northeastern horizon. The possibility of a thunderstorm appearing totally slipped my mind. The sound of thunder in the distance quickly reminded me of the always present possibility on an afternoon hike in the Summer.
Of course, I decided to end my hike and head back to my Jeep as the storm clouds approached. I don’t mind walking in torrential rain but thunderstorms, that’s a different story. I have had a few interesting experiences with lightning in my life. They were not pleasant.
Just as I approached my Jeep a loud clap of thunder had me run the last hundred yard. However, the storm was more bark than bite, and after a full more bolts of lightning and a sudden downpour the storm passed. I was already driving out of the wetlands so I only hiked four miles instead of the five miles I had planned. I didn’t expect to see much wildlife , and I didn’t, but it was nice to outrun a thunderstorm again. I haven’t done this in years. But i will also remember to check the forecast next time I walk on a hot afternoon. Here is a link to some more photos from my afternoon hike in the wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands July 16 2021
“It was one of those heavy, sultry afternoons when nature seems to be saying to itself, ‘Now, shall I, or shall I not, scare the pants off these people with a hell of a thunderstorm?”