A sultry PPL Wetlands Hike
It was another hazy, hot and humid day last Sunday here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I love to hike in this kind of weather and decided to see if I could find anything interesting at the PPL Wetlands.
Of course, just hiking along the ponds and canals, under the now leafy canopy of ancient trees and along the flowing waters of the Susquehanna River, is always reason enough for me to visit the wetlands. It is a very special place.
On Sunday the first thing I noticed was the absence of the many turtles usually sitting on the logs, rocks and banks of the ponds and canals. The waters are now warm enough so that these cold blooded animals feel comfortable enough to remain in the waters even on a sunny day. The logs in this ponds are usually covered with turtles, but not a one on Sunday.
I did find one turtle stumbling along the path, a baby snapping turtle. I never found one this small and soon learned that even at this young age they are very aggressive. This fellow took a number of snaps at me as I carried him to safety in the water.
I also noticed a lot more insects in the air, including flies, mosquitoes, and gnats. And where there are insects there are spiders. It is too early for the larger orb weaver spiders but I saw quite a few of this spiders along the paths.
As I was walking towards the riverlands I was delighted to find a female wood duck herding her large brood of ducklings through one of the canals. I watched them swim through the duckweed covered waters and into the high reeds. I loved seeing the little ones huddled so close to each other as they swam toward safety.
And of course the trees were still filled with the song of the birds. I now realized how much harder it is to find them in the new dense leaf cover of the trees. I could hear their singing but I had a hard time locating, and an even harder time photographing them. I did manage to see a few, such as a pair of baltimore orioles feeding on the flowers of a locust tree.
And I spotted this pair of delicate damselflies doing what a lot of the wildlife does this time of year. Here is a link to some more photographs of the many critters I was able to capture in the wetlands. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/ppl-wetlands-wildlife-may-29-2016
It was hot and humid and the heat took a lot out, and I was getting hungry, so I headed back to my car. But I was glad to explore the PPL wetlands when it is so alive. Sorry to my Winter loving friends but i love this time of year far more than the cold wintery months. Here is a link to some more photographs I took at the Wetlands on Sunday. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/ppl-wetlands-may-29-
“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.”
― Betty Smith