A Hike In The Nescopeck State Park: I Almost Forgot About This Wonderful Place.

A Hike In The Nescopeck State Park: I Almost Forgot About This Wonderful Place.

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As you may know from reading my posts, I have been spending a lot of my free time hiking, and exploring the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township.  I love trying to photograph the wide  diversity of wildlife I find there. But we are blessed with many other beautiful parks and natural areas here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. And I visited one of them today, The Nescopeck State Park about 10 miles from my home here in Luzerne County.Nescopeck State Park -1

I hiked out here a lot in the Fall and Winter but haven’t been here  often in the Spring.  I realized today  that this place is just a beautiful as the wetlands in it’s own way. Nescopeck State Park -10

I had to share the trails for a while  with a large group of runners who were participating in a 5K run for a local charity.  I didn’t mind although it probably decreased the chances of me surprising a bear family. Nescopeck State Park -11

Before entering the wooded trails, I walked along the shores of Lake Francis. I was glad to see many dragonflies darting about. I love these delicate insects and could watch them all day.Nescopeck State Park -3

The water lilies were beginning  to bloom adding to the beauty of the lake. Nescopeck State Park -6

As did the native blue irises growing along the shore. Nescopeck State Park -5

There were quite a few fishermen sitting along the lake trying to catch a bass or trout. I left the Lake Trail and hiked on the heavily wooded Nescopeck Trail now lush with the fresh  green growth of Spring.Nescopeck State Park -13

As I said, I have not hiked down here a lot in late Spring and was surprised to find quite a few oyster mushrooms growing on the dead aspen trees. It is late in the season and they were no longer edible but I will have to remember to come down here for them next year.Nescopeck State Park -15

The woods were filled with the songs of birds. I am now learning, with the help of some Facebook birding friends,  the large number of different species of birds in our area.  I had no idea there were so many  until I started photographing them with my zoom lens. I also learned it is a lot easier to find and photograph them before there are leaves on the trees. I heard many bird songs but couldn’t find the birds in the dense foliage.  I tried as hard as I could with little success. I did manage to photograph this bird, which  i thought was a thrush or sparrow but was told is an ovenbird. Nescopeck State Park -25

Amazing how I never even heard of this resident of our woodlands. In my entire six mile walk I was only able to see the ovenbird, a catbird and this song sparrow.   I have a much greater respect for my birding friends now. It is not easy finding, identifying or photographing birds in the heavy foliage of Spring and Summer. Nescopeck State Park -42

I walked along the now slow moving waters of Nescopeck Creek.Nescopeck State Park -23

I saw a garter snake and this frog which I managed to catch with my bare hands. I surprised myself since they are pretty quick. It brought me back to the days of my childhood when  we spent many hours catching frogs, salamanders and tadpoles in the local ponds.Nescopeck State Park -1

I also saw a lot of the next generation of our amphibian friends in the ponds, swimming around in their tadpole stage. Nescopeck State Park -9

I made my way along the banks of the creek and walked by mainly stands of ferns which are now growing rapidly in the warm and humid weather.Ferns add such an ancient beauty to our woodlands. Nescopeck State Park -33

I also noticed an abundance of highbush or “swamper” blueberries this year. looks like all we need is rain and we should have a good crop. This would be good for the bears, birds and other wildlife including this human. I have been picking them since a child and look forward to “huckleberry” season every summer. They make the best pies. Nescopeck State Park -12

I walked back to the lake, enjoying the singing of the birds overhead, and frustrated that I wasn’t able to see or photograph them.  I again walked the shores of lake Francis, watching the dragonflies and damselflies dart about the lily pads.Nescopeck State Park -43

I was glad I decided to visit the Nescopeck State park, it too, has so many wonderful secrets to reveal if only you take the time to look and keep your eyes peeled. I just wish I had a lot more time to spend in these beautiful parks and nature preserves in our area. Here is a link to some more photographs I took on my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/nescopeck-state-park-june-4-2016Nescopeck State Park -24


“I find peace where the sun kissed leaves dance in the melody of the cool breeze that floats through the air.” 

Saim CheedaNescopeck State Park -48