A Wintry Walk In The Nescopeck State Park

A Wintry Walk In The Nescopeck State Park

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The snowstorm that was predicted for my area on Saturday never materialized. Only  two inches of snow fell.  I decided to return to the Nescopeck State Park in Luzerne County for a hike in the snow  early Sunday morning.Lake Francis Nescopeck State Park

The forecast for Sunday was sunshine, but it was overcast when I awoke. It was my hope that the morning clouds would dissipate sometime during my hike. Instead a  steady snow started to fall when I arrived at the park and began my hike.snow fall Nescopeck State Park

The snow continued as I walked around Lake Francis.snowfall Nescopeck State Park

As on my last visit two weeks, only about half the lake was covered in ice.

As I mentioned in my blog post then, this is very unusual for mid January. No ice skating or ice fishing this so far this year. 

However, the blustery northwesterly winds that I was experiencing, and dropping temperatures, told me this may change soon.  Arctic air has plunged into the Commonwealth and  it won’t be long until the entire lake is frozen over.

The intensity of the snow lessened and only a few wind-blown flurries continued as I left the lake and followed the trail to the Nescopeck Creek. 

There was silence on the trail, I heard no birds at all. However, once I was under the large hemlock trees near the creek a large bird, I am not sure if it were a hawk or an owl, swooped over my head. I tried to follow it bu it had flown off before I could identify it or get a photograph. 

I hiked along the Nescopeck Creek  a short distance and decided to return to the lake.

My back is still not 100 per cent from a recent bad strain/sprain and I didn’t think overdoing it on the snow-covered trails, steep bans and bridges was a good idea.

On my return hike I encountered a small flock of golden-crowned kinglets. These small birds are common residents in the winter here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. They are hard to see fluttering high in the tree tops, especially on an overcast and snowy day. However, I stood awhile as the chattered high overhead and a few left the tree tops and flew in some smaller trees near me. 

Even at ground level they never remain in one place  for long. However with some patience I was finally able to get some photographs of these elusive birds.

The snow had stopped but it was still cold and blustery when I got back to Lake Francis. 

I walked back to the parking lot,

and on the way, near the park office I saw some cardinals,

black-capped chickadees and

a robin!

I am hopping the robin sighting is the sign of an early Spring. However the forecast is calling  for  some single digit temperatures the next few days here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Not my kind of weather, but it’s almost Groundhog’s Day. And he can predict an early Spring! This is a link to some more photographs from my wintry hike in the Nescopeck State park. Hike Sunday October 19 2020. 

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.     Victor Hugo

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