A Sunny Sunday Morning At The Susquehanna Wetlands

A Sunny Sunday Morning At The Susquehanna Wetlands

Susquehanna Wetlands hike (16 of 45)
Previous Post
Next Post

It was sunny, and cool Sunday morning here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As I often do, I headed to the Susquehanna Wetlands in Luzerne County to enjoy the Summer sunshine and the beauty of the wetlands and river lands along the ancient Susquehanna River. I always walk to the river to check out the water level and look for wildlife. The river was high from recent rains but  I didn’t see any wildlife. 

I then walked into  the wetlands and under  the lush green canopy of leaves  created by the large oak, maple and sycamore trees. 

The morning sun filtered through the leaves creating  magical green world. It was quiet, again, in the wetlands.

The noisy calls of the red-winged blackbirds, the cheerful songs of the red-eyed vireos and Carolina wrens and the chattering of the gray catbirds were silent. It was early and it was to cool for the cicadas to start their serenade.  The only critter stirring was this muskrat feeding on the duck weed in a canal. 

The many flowers of Spring and early Summer were gone. However, there  were still a few  flowers blooming along the trails, the most common being   purple loosestrife. It was growing throughout the wetlands and river lands.  It is invasive and is harmful to our native flowers, some of which I saw on my hike including, 

 a few swamp milkweed still blooming,

as well as a few monkey flowers, and, 

jewel weed or touch me nots. 

And  a sure sign that Summer  nearing it’s end and  Fall approaches was the appearance of the first golden rod flowers. 

Nightshade is another invasive species but this bumble bee didn’t seem to mind. visiting it’s flowers. 

Some other signs of the  end of Summer were the ripe blackberries, 


pokeweed berries and

 black walnuts now appearing along the trail. 

I made my way to the Water Fowl pond, 

and here I saw a few wood ducks swimming on the pond, but not for long, they flew off as soon as they saw me. 

Nearby was this gray catbird, 

and a black-capped chickadee. 

A great blue heron flew overhead. 

I left the Water Fowl pond and walked along the duck weed covered canals and ponds in the wetlands on my way to the river lands. 

Along the way, I heard the beautiful songs of a Carolina wren and soon saw  this wren singing in a tree top. 

I also saw a few sparrows, I believe this is a juvenile song sparrow 

and this green heron in the wetlands. 

Leaving the wetlands  area of the preserve, along a PPL access road, there is a swamp and here I saw a  this beautiful juvenile male  wood duck, 

an American goldfinch, and 

this northern Cardinal. 

I walked into the river lands, 

and along Lake Took-A-While. 

I always hope to see a bald eagle at the lake, I didn’t but I knew they are there. One must have been perched on a branch above these leaves along the trail leaving this evidence of it’s presence below. 

I did see this eastern phoebe,

another great blue heron and 

a warbling vireo in the river lands . 

There were  some more Summer  wildflowers blooming in the more open river lands including  cutleaf coneflowers,

bindweed flowers and 

Philadelphia fleabane, all native wildflowers.  And where there are flowers there are insects,

I saw this common eastern bumblebee visiting some invasive St. John’s wort flowers. 

There  were some dragonflies darting above the waters of Lake Took-A-While and the  nearby canal, including a few blue dashers and

widow skimmers.

However, there were far fewer dragonflies then in past years. I believe it is because they removed a lot of  vegetation growing along the lake and canal.  I love seeing these ancient insects that flew here along the Susquehanna River before the dinosaurs roamed the earth. 

There were still a few of the cicada killer wasps too. I love these large, threatening looking, but docile wasps. They buzz a lot but don’t bite. 

As usual I walked to the end of the trail along the lake and then  hiked back to the wetlands. 

The cicada were now singing as the sun warmed up the cool morning air. 

I only saw a few more birds including this hairy woodpecker, identified by it’s large protruding beak,

and this  juvenile eastern phoebe. It was only recently fledged, but still was waiting for a meal from mom. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog webpage with more photos of the birds  I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds August 6 2023. 

They only other critters I saw as I finished my five hike were these painted turtles enjoying the mid-Summer sunshine. Here is a link  to another gallery with photos from my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands August 6 2023.

Although I didn’t see some of the exotic wildlife I had seen in the wetlands on past hikes, including black beer, bobcats, bald eagles  and river otters it was still another great hike  enjoying the peace and quiet  and observing the more subtle beauty of nature. It is a great place to spend a sunny Summer morning . 

“This morning, the sun endures past dawn. I realize that it is August: the summer’s last stand.”
― Sara Baume



This is my first post