A Visit to the Rain Swollen Susquehanna River.

A Visit to the Rain Swollen Susquehanna River.

PPL Wetllands (16 of 33)
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As I  mentioned in a previous post, a nor’easter snow storm followed by a heavy rain storm flooded our streams and rivers here in Northeastern Pennsylvania last month. The day after the  Christmas rain storm I drove to the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County to observe  the rain swollen Susquehanna River.

The swift moving waters of the Susquehanna   filled the banks of the river  when I arrived on a cloudy and cold morning. Thankfully, this was the highpoint of the water level and  there was no serious flooding. Most of the heavy snow that fell in the wetlands during the  nor’easter had melted. Temperature’s had fallen into the upper teens and the ground was frozen when I began my five mile hike. 

Ice had already re-formed on some of the canals.

and ponds in the wetlands. 

So I was surprised, as I continued my walk, to find a pair of great blue herons still  searching  for food in the cold waters of the wetlands. 

 Most usually migrate south by this time of year. 

I didn’t see any wood ducks or kingfishers on my hike  and I am certain they have left the wetlands and migrated further south. I did see a few mallard ducks fly overhead. They will stay in the wetlands until they freeze over but may remain on the river for the rest of the Winter. 

It was a windy, cold and dreary day and only other birds I saw on my hike were a some colorful male cardinals,

a woodpecker and

a number of black-capped chickadees. I often encounter these  friendly birds on my Winter hikes. 

They do not seem bothered my human  contact and flutter in branches near the trail as I walk past. 

I once again followed the trail form the wetlands and into the river lands area of the nature preserve. The lake was ice free but the Canada geese and kingfishers I often see were gone.

There is little color in the woodlands this time of year. The landscapes are mostly brown, yellow and gray. However,  I saw some  common red winterberries

and  green holly leaves  along the trails. They provided  some Christmas colors on this dreary December day. 

There were few humans out and about on this dreary day, and the only  other mammal I saw was this squirrel scurrying across the trail. 

On my return to the wetlands,

I again walked down to the  river and watched the waters flow past. Many years there is already ice on the river in late December. It was fortunate there wasn’t this year since that could have contributed to flooding. 

It was a cold and dreary hike, with little wildlife observations, but, as always, it is good to be out and enjoy the beauty of Nature. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photographs from my hike along the rain swollen Susquehanna River. PPL Wetlands December 26 2020.

The single raindrop never feels responsible for the flood.     Douglas Adams


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