A sultry PPL Wetlands Hike

A sultry PPL Wetlands Hike

PPL Wetlands  wildlife -11
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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.PPL Wetlands -1

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. PPL Wetlands -12

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. PPL Wetlands -9

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. PPL Wetlands wildlife -14

I enjoyed seeing the many species of ferns growing along the paths and took some close ups of this beautiful and exotic plants with my macro lens. PPL Wetlands -14

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. PPL Wetlands -28

And the dragonflies are now making their appearance. I love watching these ancient creatures, one of the first insects to appear on earth, dart above the waters in search of food.PPL Wetlands wildlife -1

The  jack in  the pulpit plants, with their strange but pretty flowers,  were just about finished blooming. PPL Wetlands -2

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. PPL Wetlands wildlife -7

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. PPL Wetlands wildlife -26

It took awhile, but I finally managed to find  this yellow warbler singing high atop a treetop. Their song filled the woods. PPL Wetlands wildlife -17

As I was walking I happened to look overhead and saw the somewhat awkward flight off this blue heron. PPL Wetlands wildlife -23

And this flock of geese had me wondering why such a large flock  was  flying in a migration formation this time of year. PPL Wetlands wildlife -3

I also keep my eyes near the ground and found this tiny baby snail clinging to a plant along the water. PPL Wetlands -24

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-29-2016PPL Wetlands -31

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-PPL Wetlands sparrow -2

“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 SmithPPL Wetlands -40