A Hike Out To The Penrose Reservoir. Shortened By Storm Clouds.

A Hike Out To The Penrose Reservoir. Shortened By Storm Clouds.

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We had record breaking heat here in Northeastern Pennsylvania this weekend. I love the warm temperatures  and humidity and decided to hike  the railroad tracks outside the town of Weatherly up to the Penrose Reservoir. Penrose railroad -1

I have been up here many times and you can search some of my earlier blog posts to learn some more about the long history of this stretch of railroad tracks. Penrose railroad -2

On this past Saturday my reason for the hike was that here are a lot of rocks along the tracks and I thought it would be a good day to try and finally find and photograph a rattlesnake.Penrose railroad -11

The swift flowing waters of  Hazle Creek  run along the railroad tracks for about a mile. I enjoy the sound of the rushing water and the refreshing coolness that it provides on these hot days. Penrose railroad -9

I was looking  for copperhead and rattlesnakes in the rocks along the tracks when I ran into this beautiful critter. I didn’t know  it at the time, but I  now believe it is a northern race snake. I was able to get pretty close to him/her. They are not venomous, but I also learned they are very aggressive, so I am lucky I didn’t get a bite as a result of the close ups I took. It truly was a graceful animal as this link to more photographs will show. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/pennsylvania-amphibians-and-reptiles/nggallery/pennsylvania-amphibians-and-reptiles/northern-racer-snakeblack snake -15

After leaving this guy critter on a rocky ledge I proceeded up the tracks, crossing a bridge over Hazle Creek near the  junction of  the old Beaver Meadow and Buck Mountain railroad rights of ways. Penrose railroad -14

The woods was filled with the sounds of many song birds but I had a very hard time trying to find them in the now lush green foliage. The railroad right of way  is surrounded by many large, second growth pine, maple, oak and hemlock trees. It is always nice to see  the forest future sprouting up. Hopefully someday, other folks will walk under the shade of this young oak tree. Penrose railroad -6

I walked up to the old Penrose reservoir and sat awhile to just enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautiful place I am becoming to know and love. Penrose railroad -16

I heard a few ducks in the distance but was surprised not to find any other waterfowl on the water. I have seen many species of ducks, geeses, otters, and an american bittern out here.  On Saturday it was only the frogs and tadpoles that shared this peaceful time with me. Penrose railroad -1

I moved on and made it to the pole line I hiked down from the Dreck creek reservoir a few weeks ago. You can see the steep hill that I took photos of on that hike. Penrose railroad -28

I wanted to spend some time on my way back looking for  more snakes and trying to photograph the many birds I heard singing on the hike out. But the weather had other plans. I first noticed some large cumulus clouds in the distance to the north. Penrose railroad -31

The forecast I watched earlier in the day said there was only a slight chance of a widely scattered thunderstorm late in the day.  However when i looked to the south I saw huge anvil clouds in the distance. I know those clouds produce thunderstorms and it was not good to be three miles in the woods when you see them. Penrose railroad -39

I headed back toward Weatherly, walking as fast as these old legs will carry me. I did scare up a few deer on the way including this leaping young buck. Penrose railroad deer -2

The clouds from both the north and south grew more ominous and I thought for sue I was going to find myself in the middle of a thunderstorm. I wouldn’t have minded so much if I had brought a cover for my camera but i didn’t and didn’t want to  walk in a downpour so I picked up my pace as the sky darkened. Penrose railroad -40

I didn’t make it back,  a steady rain fell for about 10 minutes but it could have been much worse. I avoided a torrential downpour that hit some nearby areas and avoided the thunderstorms in the area.  I was disappointed since it would have been a perfect day to look for snakes. Well I am sure there will be a lot more this Summer. And it was still a nice day for a walk, as is every day in the month of May.  Here is a link to some more photographs I took on my hike Saturday. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/penrose-and-railroad-hike-may-28-2016Penrose railroad -42


“The weather is nature’s disruptor of human plans and busybodies. Of all the things on earth, nature’s disruption is what we know we can depend on, as it is essentially uncontrolled by men.”
Criss JamiPenrose railroad deer -1