Always Fun To Explore New Territory, A Hike Over Spring Mountain

Always Fun To Explore New Territory, A Hike Over Spring Mountain

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It was another overcast and rainy morning here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, it has been cloudy and rainy for over a week.  It may clear up tomorrow so I decided I will wait until then to visit my favorite PPL Wetlands to see how Spring is progressing. This morning I decided I’d head back out to the local rails to trails near Stockton. stocton rails to trails -6

This trail is such a great asset to our community and, hopefully, will soon be expanded.  Shortly after I started my walk I saw this bird, I think it is a hermit thrush fluttering in the thick scrub oaks along the trail hermit thrush -1

I continued my walk and immediately noticed a lot more new leaves on some of the trees, mainly the aspen and birch. stocton rails to trails -6

There were also leaves sprouting on many plants including the blueberry and blackberry bushes. stocton rails to trails -2

There wasn’t a lot of wildlife activity, I heard some geese on the reservoir and saw a few robins. sparrows, crows and this bird , which I think is a yellow rumped warbler. stocton rails to trails -13

The overcast and cool weather also kept the human folks away too. The trail was quiet and I only encountered  two men who were geocaching. We had a nice chat as they explained their hobby to me. Anything that gets you outside and appreciate nature is a good thing.  I soon passed the reservoir and, decided  to hike out a pole line that cross the trail a short distance past the two mile marker. stocton rails to trails -15

I knew this pole line will intersect with the railroad tracks near the Penrose Reservoir but I had never hiked it before. I walked south, down a steep hill and came to the Dreck Creek.  stocton rails to trails -21

This creek now flows from the reservoir but existed long before it was built. I often think that it may have been one of the path the Native Americans followed when traveling from the Lehigh to Susquehanna rivers. stocton rails to trails -20

I proceeded up the pole line and heard quite a few rufous towhees scampering in the low lying brush. They like to stay hidden so this was the best photograph I could get. stocton rails to trails -1

I hiked up to the top of one of the highpoint on the Spring Mountain, and enjoyed the view of the hills of Carbon county that unfolded in front of me. stocton rails to trails -27

I sat on a rock and took in the solitude that I enjoy so much out in places like this. The only sounds was the wind and the many birds singing their Spring songs.  In the distance I could see the Broad Mountain. I zoomed in with my camera on the tower lines  that cross it and which i have hiked many times.stocton rails to trails -28

I saw some ponds  in the distance at the bottom of the mountain in the distance and even though I was already out three miles, and having had less than four hours of sleep. I decided to hike down to see what I could see.  stocton rails to trails -30

It was easy going down but I knew it wouldn’t be fun walking back up. I walked into a nice wetland, with ponds and puddles but didn’t hear or see much wildlife. i hoped to see and hear some frogs or turtles jumping into the waters. But nothing. I may have been the cool temperatures. stocton rails to trails -38

I did see some native flowers including violets, buttercups and this pretty pink flower the fringed polygala growing in the wetlands. stocton rails to trails -39

I  was hoping to see a bear but no luck. I did see this deer watching me as I walked back up the hill. stocton rails to trails -44

It was a long, and tiring walk back and i didn’t see much more wildlife on the way. I did see, finally, after a week, some breaks in the cloud and some blue sky. It didn’t last long.  But i did see some more wildflowers including blueberry or ‘huckleberries’ and these wild strawberries. Won’t be long until we’ll be enjoying their fruit. stocton rails to trails -46

On my way back I ran into a few more people who decided to enjoy the trails despite the weather. I am sure. like me they will be glad they did. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike today. rails to trails -14

“I just love all this,’ Walt says. ‘The sights, the smells, making the effort and pushing yourself and getting something that’s really hard to get. I’ll fly on a plane and people will look out the window at thirty thousand feet and say, ‘Isn’t this view good enough for you?’ And I say no, it’s not good enough. I didn’t earn it. In the mountains, I earn it.” ― Mark Obmascik