Almost Winter, But Still No Ice, At The Nescopeck State Park

Almost Winter, But Still No Ice, At The Nescopeck State Park

Nescopeck State park  (8 of 50)
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We finally got some colder weather here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Temperatures dropped into the low 20’s this morning with a steady northwesterly wind.  It was mostly sunny when I decided to  drive  to the Nescopeck State Park this morning to take a near winter solstice hike. Nescopeck State park  (1 of 50)

I walked down to Lake Francis which was entirely ice free. This is very unusual for late December and many years it is already frozen over,  We have not had any measurable snow yet either which is even more unusual. The sun is now almost as low as it gets here in the Northern Hemisphere, shinning dimly  in the southern sky, Nescopeck State park  (9 of 50)

The lake was quiet today. During the Spring, Summer and Fall it is crowded with fishermen,  folks out for a stroll or walking their dogs and families picnicking along the lake. Not today, just the leafless trees framing the cold blue water. Nescopeck State park  (10 of 50)

I headed out the Nescopeck Trail under the bare trees and walked down to the Nescopeck Creek. The creek was flowing rather quickly and again no ice except a thin layer on some of the smaller ponds. I sat along the bank and listened to the rushing water. Nescopeck State park  (24 of 50)

I crossed over the a small tributary  stream on one of the wooden bridges and followed the Creek Side loop back to the Fern Trail. There were no ferns on this trail today but there were some still growing along the low spots along the  creek.  Nescopeck State park  (18 of 50)

It clouded up on the walk back and there were a few snow flurries fluttering in the wind making it finally feel a bit like Winter.  I followed the Fern Trail under the now overcast skies and headed back to Lake Francis. Nescopeck State park  (37 of 50)

I didn’t see any  birds or animal on my walk but did hear a flock of geese on one of the ponds. So quiet this time of year..  But I did  find   some signs of life,   looks like there are some beavers making their homes in the area.  Nescopeck State park  (48 of 50)

I made my way back to the parking lot passing the solitary shores, empty picnic tables and this gathering area, all empty now,  But it won’t be long now, three more months and we will be hearing the first robins and spring peepers announcing the end of the long dark Winter. They will be welcome sounds to me. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike today. State park  (49 of 50)


“December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory…”
John Geddes