A Hot End Of July Hike At The PPL Wetlands
It’s hard to believe this is the last weekend of July. It seems like we were just welcoming the flowers and migratory birds back to the woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Summer is now near its peak. I decided to hike in the PPl Wetlands in Salem Township yesterday. I got off to a late start, arriving at the river lands section of the park around 10.am.
Usually I start my hike in the wetlands. . Temperatures were in the low 60’s overnight but had already warmed to near 80 when I began my hike near Lake Took-A-While. And it would get hotter. There were a few folks fishing along the shores of the lake and as few talking a morning stroll.
In addition to the people there was hundreds of dragonflies darting along the lake. They love the warm weather. They usually reach their peak in late July and August. I was able to photograph a few that alighted on a leaf for a rest.
On the last couple of visits I made to the wetlands I didn’t see any wood ducks. I had seen at least six mating pairs in the Spring. Well this time caught a quick glimpse of a couple of these secretive and elusive birds.
It was getting hot even in the shade of the trees along the river. It got even hotter when I returned to the open trails of the river lands. Most of the birds were quiet now, although a saw a few goldfinches, this is a male,
I continued my walk past the lake and along the Susquehanna Warrior trail. It was hot. I had hiked about 6 1/2 miles and decided to head back. Most of the wildlife activity was quite now. It was too hot. But I saw this horde of caterpillars feeding on a milkweed plant. I think they are monarch butterfly caterpillars.
Mid summer at the wetlands is not as exciting as Spring, when everyday brings something new. However, even on the hottest day of summer you will find something interesting in the wetlands if you walk slow and keep your eyes peeled. Here is a link to a gallery of some more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands July 27 2019.
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” -Henry James