A Late October Hike On The Greater Hazleton Rail To Trails.

A Late October Hike On The Greater Hazleton Rail To Trails.

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October, as described by the poet Henry Ward Beecher ,”… is the opal month of the year . It is the month of glory, of ripeness.   It is the picture-month.”.  I found this to be true on a couple hikes on my local Rails to Trails a couple of weeks ago, before the cold and snow moved in. 

 I have been so busy since my return from my African trip and haven’t had time to work on my blog posts.  However, I still found time to hike and enjoy the beauty of the Autumn here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. So this is about two of these hikes.  It was a chilly and sunny Saturday morning when I started my hike under the colorful canopy of the trees along the trail. 

It is much quieter in the woodlands now. The song birds, insects and frogs are silent having migrated south or gone into hibernation. However, I did see a large flock of  what I believe were white-throated sparrows fluttering in the trees. 

There were still  color on many of the trees including the vivid red

and yellow leaves of the oaks trees.

I was the only one on the trail at the start of my walk but I soon was overtaken by some runners and a few fast walkers as I stopped to take photographs.   We chatted briefly, agreeing it was a beautiful day to be outdoors. 

I walked out about three miles encountering only a few more birds including this sparrow like bird. 

Along the way I encountered some witch hazel trees. the only tree in Pennsylvania that blooms in the fall. 

I walked out to the bridge that crosses the active railroad line and decided to return, stopping at a small lake  that was created from the former strip mining that took place in the area.

On my return walk I encountered some hardy insects still lingering in the cold weather and short days of late October, including a dragonfly,

this butterfly and 

this woolly bear caterpillars. Some folks believe the length of the red and black bands can predict the severity of the upcoming winter. 

The late October sun warmed it up and it was a pleasant walk back to my car. 

I returned to the Rails to Trails the next day but the weather had changed. It was overcast as I started my walk. 

I walked out about a mile when a steady rain started to fall. I had only encountered a few black-capped-chickadees in the woodlands. The skies opened and it began to pour so I had to end my hike.  Such is the weather in late October here in the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Here is a link to some more photographs from my late October hike. Rails to Trails Hike. 

“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls, and calls each vagabond by name.”
― William Bliss

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