An End Of July Hike At The Susquehanna Wetlands
It’s hard to believe it’s the end of July already. Spring and Summer pass so quickly. As I often do, I spent the last day of July exploring the Susquehanna Wetlands. And once again, I found some of the critters that live here and uncovered some of the beauty of nature that is everywhere in this nature preserve situated along the Susquehanna River in Salem Township Luzerne County.
It was a cool morning, temperatures dropped into the low 50’s and there was a mist on the river when I arrived.
Walking into the wetlands I again, for a few brief moments, saw some wood ducks swimming on the duck weed covered water. But they saw me too and quickly swam away.
There were a few eastern phoebes in the wetlands on Saturday. This was unusual, I usual see them in the river lands area of the nature preserve.
I also scared a great blue heron that was fishing on a pond and it flew and perched on top of a tall tree.
The beautiful cardinal flowers were still blooming along the trails.
And the blackberries continued to ripen,
and next to the delicious blackberries were the pretty, but poisonous flowers of the night shade plant.
Continuing on the wooded trail,
I saw a lot of birds in the wetlands on Saturday, including this blue-gray gnatcatcher,
Once again I saw quite a few of these noisy herons. They always announce their coming and going with a lot of squawking.
And I also saw a few of these pretty birds, the yellow warbler, in the wetlands.
I saw this deer watching me approach. Of course, it ran off when I got too close.
I left the wetlands, walked down to the river, and then walked over into the river lands section of the nature preserve. As usual I walked on the trail between Lake Took-A-While and the old Susquehanna canal.
There were some mid-Summer wild flowers growing along the trail including bull thistles,
and yellow toadflax, which we called butter and eggs as children.
Near the edge of the trail I once again encountered swarms of the menacing looking, but quite harmless cicada killer wasps.
I walked to the far end of the trail at the other end of the lake and began my hike back to the wetlands. It was a perfect day for the end of July. Cumulus clouds floated in the blue skies, with plenty of sunshine and pleasant temperatures in the 70’s.
On my return walk I heard the sound of young birds chirping and I found the nest of a red-bellied woodpecker in a tree along the trail.
I waited for about 15 minutes when on of the parent birds arrived with a beak full if food for the crying young ones. I will have to return here again, since I didn’t have a lot of time to stay and observe the nest on Saturday.
As I left the wetlands I came across a pair of goldfinches feeding on the seeds of a bull thistle.
This brighter yellow one is the male.
And once in the wetlands I saw this song sparrow,
and this great blue heron perched on a log in a canal.
It took off as soon as it saw me. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the birds I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds. July 31 2021.
As I was finishing up my hike I noticed some the large size of the black walnut nuts and realized, again, that the end of Summer approaches. And I promised myself to enjoy as much of it exploring our great outdoors as possible. Here is a link to some more photographs from my end of July hike. Susquehanna Wetlands July 31 2021.
“That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
And the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow