A Mid-November Hike In The Susquehanna Wetlands.
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.
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,
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.
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 red-bellied woodpecker feeding on the poison ivy berries.
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