A Forgotten Memory Card Results In An Early Fall Hike On The Greater Hazleton Rails To Trails.
I took a pleasant five mile hike on the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails on Saturday. And it wasn’t planned. I was planning on visiting the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township , hoping to see the river otters again. But, after driving the 40 minutes to the wetlands nature preserve, I discovered I forgot the memory card for my camera. I really wanted to try and photograph the river otters again so I decided to drive back home and return to the wetlands the following day, with my camera, and memory card. .
When I returned to my home in Hazle Township I decided to stay in town and hike on the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails located about two miles from my house. When I arrived at the trail the skies were clear. A brilliant September sun was shining low on the southeastern horizon. It was a chilly 45 degrees when I started my hike around 8:30 a.m.
There were a lot of cars in the parking lot and I encountered almost two dozen folks enjoying this wonderful, well maintained trail. (I have posted quite a few blogs about hike on the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails and it’s history. You can search them in the archives using the search tool). It was quiet as I walked on the trail as many of the songbirds have already migrated south. Some of the leaves on the trees had already turned changed into their pretty fall colors, including many of the red maples. However, most of the leaves on the trees were still green.
But, Fall was in the air. There were still some flowers blooming along the trail, especially in the wildflower garden found near the start of the trail, including pretty purple native New England asters,
native yellow sneezeweed flowers,
and these native orange coneflowers. (yes they are yellow too).
I followed the trail for about a quarter of a mile when it l took a sharp turn and headed south and east into the brilliant morning sun. I love walking under the canopy of trees as the early morning sun filtered through the leaves.
On the ground there were many acorns that fells from the oaks trees along the trail. It looks like there will be a good crop of acorns this year. This is good news for the wildlife as Winter approaches.
There were also some mushrooms growing along the trail. It was a very good year for wild mushrooms because of all of the rains that fell during the Summer. Although it is late in the season I found a few puffball mushrooms,
surprisingly, some old honey mushrooms known, in these parts, as “popinkies” or “stumpers”. These are delicious edible mushrooms and sought after by mushroom hunters like me. But, please don’t gather and eat any wild mushrooms unless you have someone familiar with the mushroom confirm their edibility. There are deadly wild mushrooms growing in our woodlands.
On the way back the sun warmed the cool morning air and a few insects made an appearance. They were visiting another late Summer wild flower, some consider a nuisance because of it’s pollen’s contribution to allergies, the goldenrod flower.
I heard some crows and blue jays calling in the distance and I saw a flock of black-capped-chickadees feeding in the treetops. As usual a few came down to the trail. This gregarious birds seem to not fear human activity and so are always easy to photograph.
I didn’t see as much wildlife on my hike as I would have in the Susquehanna Wetlands but I did encounter two dozen or more people enjoying the trail walking, running and biking. We are fortunate to have this beautiful, wonderful, well maintained trail in our area. And it should be more beautiful in the next few days as Mother Nature puts on her annual Fall display of colors. Enjoy! I’m Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike on the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails on Saturday. Rails to Trails hike September 25 2021.
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”