A Reflective October Hike In The Susquehanna Wetlands
October 2 will always be a sad day for me and my family. It was the day we lost my beloved sister Linda and her husband Charles in a tragic motor vehicle accident. It was four years on Saturday. It is still so hard to believe. I spent the day hiking alone in the beautiful Susquehanna Wetlands near my home in Luzerne County and reflecting on her life, our world travels together, her love of travel and nature and especially her and her husband’s love of her four children. I still question why this happened, and have no answer. I do know my sister would want me to continue to live life and do the things I love to do. And one of them is hiking in the forests and woodlands of our State, Country and planet and sharing the beauty I find. And I seem to always find peace, and a lot of wildlife in the Susquehanna Wetlands.
After watching the river flow for a few minutes I walked into the wetlands section of the Nature preserve. Here I found there were more yellows, browns and reds appearing on the trees, shrubs and plants in the woodlands along the trail.
There were a few other flowers still blooming in the wetlands including the interesting native white turtlehead flower,
and white snakeroot flowers. I am hoping I keep seeing all of these flowers blooming until the end of October. So far, so good, not frost yet, but this could change in short notice, and many a year we had a few inches of snow in October.
However, when I approached one of the many ponds and canals I heard the calls of a large flock of wood ducks as they flew off as I approached. A few landed on a large pond and I was able to get a few photos of the ducks, including the brightly colored male, as they swam on the deep green duck weed covered waters.
I left the wetlands, walked down to the river again. and finally saw a belted kingfisher perched on a branch. These birds are constantly on the move, chattering above the wetlands and river lands and eluding my camera.
I encountered it a few more time on my walk along the lake. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the great blue heron on my blog website. Susquehanna Wetlands Great blue heron October 2 2021.
After my encounter with the great blue heron I walked to the far end of the lake and began my hike back to the wetlands. The skies had cleared and the lake looked beautiful in the early October sunlight.
Unfortunately, they were on the other side of a cannel so I didn’t get any great photos but I still enjoyed watching these pretty birds feed. Here is a link to a gallery with more photographs of the many birds I saw on early October hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds October 2 2021.
Once again I found so much of nature’s beauty here in the wetlands. And peace too. I remember the first hike I took with my camera after the accident, it was here in the wetlands. Here is the link a blog I wrote after that hike. https://wp.me/p5GeDV-pkT I traveled in many countries on four continents with my sister. She enjoyed travel and observing the beauty of nature. I knew then walking in the wetlands on that beautiful day , observing and sharing the beauty of nature, and encouraging people to protect and preserve it is what she would want me to do. She and her husband are missed so much. But their legacy, their four children, and two grandchildren are a tribute to their love. They are making them proud. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike in the wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands October 2 2021.
Aye thou art welcome—heaven’s delicious breath!—
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
~William Cullen Bryant
“My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.”