After Some Rain, Muskrats, Mosquitoes And More Macro At The PPL Wetlands

After Some Rain, Muskrats, Mosquitoes And More Macro At The PPL Wetlands

muskrat on duckweed covered pond
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We got some much needed rain here in Northeastern Pennsylvania on Sunday morning. A line of heavy thunderstorms came through early and continued for a few hours. As the rain was ending I headed to the PPL Wetlands. It was still raining lightly when I arrived at the wetlands and began my hike.wooded trail in rain

The woods were still saturated from the heavy downpours. It felt like I was walking in a tropical rain forest, with  swarms of mosquitoes included.  They soon found me and  found me very appetizing. rain covered leaf

I walked along the canals, fighting off the swarms of mosquitoes, and getting many bites.  As I walked I heard the songs of many birds in the trees tops. I also saw a few,  including this great blue heron. great blue heron on log

I approached one of the larger ponds and found a muskrat sitting on a log. It wasn’t the only muskrat I would see on my hike. I saw two more, all of them  sitting on logs in  the green, duckweed covered waters. muskrat eating duckweed

As I watched the last muskrat, I realized it was scooping up, and eating the duckweed. I never saw this before. You learn something new on almost every walk  in the wetlands. muskrat eating duckweed

I also saw another elusive resident of the wetlands,  a mother wood duck and a couple of her ducklings. wood ducks swimming on pond

The rain had stopped as I walked toward the river lands section of the nature preserve. I once again brought along my macro lens and photographed some of the many plants growing along the trails. close up of thorn

Some of the plants. like the skunk cabbage, no longer had their Spring luster and were already deteriorating.old skunk cabbage leaf

As other plants were just starting to bloom. flower near pond

As I was getting close to photograph the leaves I saw this spider on spinning it web in the light rain that was still falling. spider on web

I continued my walk to Lake Took-A-While, and as I approached, the rain stopped and the skies began to clear. Lake Took-A-While

The strong July sun went to work and soon warmed the air. It became hot and the mosquitoes began to dissipate, replaced by hundreds of dragonflies and damselflies darting along the lake and canals. dragonfly on leaf

I love these ancient and exotic insects, which were darted through the skies  before the dinosaurs roamed our planet. 

As I walked along the lake I found this young birds hopping on the ground. It must have just flown from the nest. I watched from a distance and mom was not around. I approached the poor thing and it immediately opened its mouth looking for food. baby bird on ground

I have not been able to identify it and, if you can, please let me know. I left the young bird along the path, hoping it’s mother will bird with open beak

I also saw this wading bird, I think it’s a solitary sandpiper,  along the shores of the lake. I followed it and it flew along the shores of the lake.sandpiper on lake shore

And this one, I believe a female flicker was seen in a tree near the lake. flicker on tree branch

I also encountered the three families of Canada geese living on the lake. Here is a photograph of one of the families. I have photographs of all there of the families in my birds album. Here is the link. PPL Wetlands birds July 15 2018.Canada geese swimming

The sun was strong and temperatures rose into the mid 80’s.  So,  after about a 2 /12 mile hike I decided to head back. The duckweed ponds looked so different in the brilliant afternoon sunshine.duckweed covered pond

Along the way I took some more photographs with my macro lens, including this beetle beetle on leaf

and these strange  caterpillars.caterpillars on leaf

Once again, I enjoyed  the beauty of Nature at the PPL Wetlands. There is always something to see here if you keep your eyes peeled. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands July 15 2018.dragonfly on leaf

In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson