A Mid-November Hike In The Susquehanna Wetlands.

A Mid-November Hike In The Susquehanna Wetlands.

Susquehanna Wetlands (30 of 46)
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Mid-November arrived with some torrential rains, and then our first snow flurries, here in Northeastern Pennsylvania on Saturday. So I didn’t hike in the Susquehanna Wetlands , but I am a creature of habit, so I drove to the Wetlands early Sunday morning. I know there are many beautiful places to hike in my area but I have become very fond of the wetlands and river lands. And it is a wonderful place to observe nature and photograph wildlife. It was partly cloudy and a seasonably cold 34 degrees when I arrived at the wetlands.  As usual I walked down to the Susquehanna River and found it was still swollen from the recent rains. This week I didn’t slip in the mud like I did last Saturday. 

Walking into the wetlands I found most of the trees had lost there leaves and their bare branches were now exposed. 

The leaves were litters on the ground including my favorite, the large sycamore tree leaves. 

Some like this maple leaf still kept it’s Fall color. 

As did the oak leaves but they were  still clinging to the oak branches. Soon they will liter the ground and became  a  dull brown color as they gradually crumble and decay, providing nutrients for next years new growth. 

The only other color in the wetlands were these bright red common winterberries,

and the still bright green  Christmas ferns. 

It was quiet in the wetlands. No song bird, frogs or insects sounds filled the air. In fact I didn’t hear or see any bird until I spied this great blue heron perched in a treetop.

It was so different walking these trails in mid-November.  There were no expectations to see, frogs, snakes, turtles, song birds, insects or wood ducks. And the Winter resident birds, chipmunks, deer and squirrels were also not seen on this now sunny morning. Quiet it was. 

I walked down to the river again. Here the mid-November sun shone on the oaks, many of which still had leaves. They shone like gold in the morning sun. 

As I continued my hike I came to the area where there is an abundance of poison ivy vines climbing on some trees. This is where I saw a lot of birds on my last hike, Unfortunately, I saw a large red tailed hawk and a cooper’s hawk fly from the trees as I approached. They also learned where the birds feed. However, I still saw a nuthatch,

a few white-throated sparrows, and 

a red-bellied woodpecker feeding on the  poison ivy berries.

Leaving the wetlands I saw a great blue heron perched on a log in a wetland along the access road. 

I watched this bird for almost a half hour hoping it would take flight and allow me to get some nice photos. 

It didn’t, in fact, it was still perched in that exact same spot 45 minutes later on my return hike. They are persistent when they are fishing. 

As I walked into the river lands section of the nature preserve I saw  some wildflowers in bloom. It was nice to see these pretty New England asters surviving this late in the year.

High clouds appeared in the skies  as I approached Lake Took-A-While. 

They made for some beautiful Fall scenery as I walked along the  lake,

I hoped to see the bald eagles that live in the area, or at least some duck or other water birds. There were none and the only birds I saw on the lake were about a dozen Canada geese.

Clouds moved in just as I walked to the far side of the lake and was making my return. 

The clouds  made for some nice scenic photos.

On my walk back I only saw a hairy woodpecker, 

and the great blue heron perched on the same log, except now it was acing the opposite direction. 

As I was nearing the end of my hike in the wetlands, I  was  wondering to myself where did all the muskrat, beavers, minks and otters go? Just as these thoughts entered my head I heard a loud splash. Something jumped into the waters of one of the canals. Was it an otter, a beaver, a muskrat or a mink? I will never know. It disappeared under an area of the canal still covered with duck weed. I should have been paying more attention as I walked. I ended my five mile hike hoping I can take a few more nice Fall walks before the wetlands are covered in snow and ice. Wish as much as I might that it stays mild, I know it won’t. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my mid-November hike in the Susquehanna Wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands November 14 2021. 

“The quiet of October is refreshing. The quiet of November, oppressing.” —Terri Guillemets

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