A Very Early Spring At The PPL Wetlands.
The record temperature today here in my hometown of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, is 16 degrees below zero. That is pretty darn cold. Although it is not that cold every year, most years we still have some snow cover, cold temperatures and ice on the ponds and lakes in our area in late February. Not this year. In fact, the temperatures were in the low 60’s when I hiked in the PPL Wetlands near Berwick today.
I walked along the river a bit and returned where I found, very early this year, the first sure sign of spring, the skunk cabbage. There were some growing during the warm spell we had in early January but I didn’t see them again until today.
As I returned to my car, the sun had warmed the air and the temperatures were in the low 60’s As I walked I heard something in the brush near my feet and, looking down was surprised to find this critter on the ground.
I never saw a snake here in Northeastern Pennsylvania this early before, in fact I don’t remember seeing one until May. This fellow was sluggish, but did manage to crawl away before I could get some good photographs.
And I was in for another surprise. I found this turtle sunning himself on a log. Again, the earliest I have seen one before was mid to late April. Turtles and snakes in February, If you told me this a week ago, and if I hadn’t seen them with my own eyes I would never have believed it. Here is a link to some more photographs of the snake and other critters I saw today.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-wildlife-February-19-2017-
There is no guarantee this warm weather will last, we have had frigid temperatures and blizzards here in March and heavy snow and freezes in April. but every day like today in February is a blessing and it is looking like we will be blessed fro another week. No complaints from this guy. Here is a link to some more photographs from my visit to the wetlands this morning. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-February-19-2017-