A Lovely First Day Of May At Leaser Lake In Lehigh County.

A Lovely First Day Of May At Leaser Lake In Lehigh County.

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I returned to scenic  Leaser Lake, nestled below the Blue Mountain in Lehigh County last  Sunday. It was just my second visit. It was a beautiful start to the month of May. It was a bit chilly with temperatures in the mid 40’s. The skies were mostly clear and the strong May sun soon warmed it up. 

I started my five mile hike around the lake at the South Ramp parking lot at 8:30 a.m. . The view of the lake was spectacular from here.   There were already a few people fishing along the shores of the lake. I walked past the monument commemorating Frederick Lesser,     for which the lake was named. As I noted in my previous blog he helped bring the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown to escape destruction by the British during the Revolutionary War. The Leaser homestead , built in 1750,  is located  a few miles from the lake. In addition to the beautiful scenery there is a lot of history in this area.

I started walking south on the five mile  trail that circles the lake and found that there  weren’t only people  enjoying this May morning , but a lot of wildlife too. I saw a few deer in the woodlands as I began my hike.

There were many birds  in the trees and their songs  filled the morning air. There were a few  red-winged blackbirds along the shores of the lake,

a large number of yellow-rumped  warbler in the trees,

and this Carolina wren   perched on a tree branch along the trail. It didn’t seem to mind me as I approached for a photo and continued it’s melodic song. 

The trail proceeded into some woodlands and took me up a hill

where I saw this osprey soaring  overhead, looking for fish in the lake below.  

There were a few common grackles in the trees too, their iridescent feathers reflecting the morning sun,

and  dozens of tree swallows flying over the waters of the lake looking for insects. There were many swallow nest boxes along the lake,

and it seemed every one of them was occupied with a pair of these pretty birds.

The trail took me  to a walkway over the dam and spillway that created the lake in the 1970’s. Here I found the alien looking purple martin nests I saw on my first hike here.  This  next photo was from my last hike at Leaser Lake. I didn’t take one last Sunday.

There were hundreds of the purple martins  flying in and out the unusual  nest this time. 

These large swallows migrate from South America and fly over the Gulf of Mexico to breed in out area. 

After watching the purple martins I continued my hike around the scenic lake. There were now a lot of folks hiking, running, fishing and picnicking along the lake. Many small boats and kayaks also were on the lake.

An arm of the  lake branched out and formed a wetland. 

Here  I saw a lot of birds including a few yellow warblers,

many  were singing in some apple trees, along the trail. I did look for morels but didn’t find any. I am starting to think they are a folks tale and don’t exist. 

 There were a few mourning doves, 

gray catbirds 

and a lot of red-winged blackbirds, in the trees along, and in the reeds in, the wetlands. This is a female. The photo above was a male. 

The trail  followed the arm of the lake that formed the wetlands , and

then back led me back to  the main body of the lake where I saw a few more fishermen,

The trail took me back to the lake and here  I saw a pretty brown thrasher ,

and this green heron perched in a tree. 

There were a few spotted sandpipers wading along the shore of the lake. 

The trail left the scenic lake,

and took  me down a step embankment and into a wooded second growth pine/hardwood forest . 

This was a totally different environment than the fields along the lake. I couldn’t photograph them but I saw , and heard many birds, including red-bellied, downy and hairy woodpeckers, Carolina wrens, yellow-rumped warbles, and a Louisiana waterthrush .

And here in these  woodlands I saw many  wildflowers including wild oats, 

azure bluets, 

fringed polygala, 

Labrador violets, 

many common blue violets,

pretty rue-anemone growing near the streams I crossed and

many dwarf ginseng flowers. 

I also found a few partridge berries as I walked the under the tall trees on this woodland trail. 

The trail took me back to a highway near the North boat ramp along the lake. Here I saw more fishermen, a couple of very pleasant birders, and a lot of people hiking the trail around the lake. 

There were some goldfinches in the trees near the parking area 

and a few  chipmunks scurrying on the ground. 

The trail then entered a muddy, rocky wetlands

where I saw many skunk cabbages and

may apples or mandrakes. 

There was a Louisiana waterthrush singing high in a treetop above the trail. 

The trail now climbed up another steep hill and  now was above the lake and near the adjoining farm fields, Here I saw many of the birds that I photographed on the first part of my hike. 

And a few butterflies,

and moths. 

I walked down to the lake a couple of time hoping to see some wood ducks or other water fowl but all I saw was this family of Canada geese. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Leaser Lake Hike birds  May 1 2022. 

The trail continued trough some fields. providing spectacular views of the lake and surrounding countryside. I hope to explore more of this scenic part of our Commonwealth.

Some high clouds had developed as I finished my five mile hike but it was still a  perfect day to begin the month of May here at Leaser Lake. I enjoyed the mountain scenery, the birds and  the wildflowers and I am glad I can share them here on my blog.   Here is a link to a galley with more photos from my hike on Leaser Lake. Leaser Lake May 1 2022. 

Sweet May hath come to love us, / Flowers, trees, their blossoms don; / And through the blue heavens above us / The very clomove on. Heinrich Heine

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