A Snowless New Year's Day Hike In The PPL Wetlands

A Snowless New Year's Day Hike In The PPL Wetlands

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            <![CDATA[First of all Happy New Year! Wishing all my blog followers the very best during our next orbit around our &nbsp;star. &nbsp;I hope to share some more of our planets beauty as we share this short time we have here. I &nbsp;decided to start out the New Year with a hike at one of my favorite places here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/PPL-Wetlands-3.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-65042" src="https://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/PPL-Wetlands-3-300x200.jpg" alt="ppl-wetlands-3" width="300" height="200"></a>

I was thinking I would get some wintry pictures since we have a two inch snow cover here near my home. When I arrived in the Nescopeck Valley and along the Susquehanna River,  where the wetlands are located, I found that the ground was bare.  It seems the few hundred feet in lower elevation made a big difference in the snow fall we received this past week. ppl-wetlands-17

The skies were mostly sunny and the temperature was near 40 degrees, quite mild for this time of year. Still you could tell it was winter, not only by the bare leafless trees but also the silence and absence of the many noises heard in the warmer seasons. ppl-wetlands-45

I walked almost a mile without hearing the song or tweet of a single bird. It wasn’t until I saw this unusual sight, a robin. scrambling about in the thick undergrowth. Most of these birds migrate south in the Fall but some stay near the unfrozen wetlands in warmer years.This, so far has been one of them.  This was the best photograph I could get after trying for almost ten minutes.to get a better one as it flew in the thick underbrush. ppl-wetlands-21

After seeing this robin I also walked into a flock of nuthatches. I found this to be very unusual since I usually see them alone at my feeders and during my many walks in the woods.  They were all fluttering from tree to tree, walking or hopping upside down in search of insects and seeds. ppl-wetlands-25

I continued my hike along the ponds and canals. Most were frozen but some were still ice free in spots. Still I saw none of the warmer month resident. ppl-wetlands-11

Gone are the frogs, turtles, snakes and even the geese and ducks. The only thing remaining were the dead plants and shrubs from last summers growing season. But  they too, had a beauty in the cold of Winter. ppl-wetlands-37

I also found  a tree with these seed pods or flowers handing from it’s bare branches. I am not sure what they are. Anyone know?ppl-wetlands-30


As I walked  on a I again came across  many abandoned bird nests, some so close to the paths I walked, and overlooked in the thick leave cover of Spring and Summer. . I am not familiar with the different types of bird nest but know this had to be a small bird such as a wren or chickadee. ppl-wetlands-15

As U walked back to my car i came across a few more critters, a blue jay, a crow and this red squirrel. ppl-wetlands-39

Although the wetlands are now much more quiet, with most of it’s summer residents hibernating, or having flown south  to  warmer climates,  it was still a nice place to start the year. Hopefully it will be the first of many more hikes there this year. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike  this morning. https://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/PPL-Wetlands-January-1-2017-ppl-wetlands-44

“Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.”
Janice Andersonppl-wetlands-2