Another Hike In State Game Lands 119: Found Me A Couple Of Bears This Time

Another Hike In State Game Lands 119: Found Me A Couple Of Bears This Time

State game Lands bear (2 of 14)
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It was another clear and cool morning on Sunday here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I enjoyed my early morning walk through my neighborhood in the Green Ridge section of Hazle Township, Luzerne County. After some coffee I was off to hike in the State Game Lands 119 in Dennison Township. Located about 30 miles from my house I have come to love these isolated woodlands. The last two miles of the drive are pretty rough and require a four-wheel drive vehicle. access road to game lands

Once again, after I left my jeep, I was greeted by the songs of the many species of birds that nest in mixed pine and oak forest. One of the first I was able to see was this sparrow. I am not good identifying sparrow but I think it is a common chipping sparrow. sparrow in tree

The brilliant June sunshine filtered through the trees.sun filtering  through leaves

There were large areas of ferns growing along the trail.ferns along trail

Their  fronds  glistened  with dew in the early morning sun,fern frond in sunlight

and cast shadows on the trail.fern shadow on trail

This week I wanted to get to the large swamps near Crystal Lake so I didn’t walk the side trail into the heath barrens. Instead I followed the old Hollenback Road. This trail is wide and  clear of grass, which means no ticks. I encountered a dozen of them on a grassy trail in State Game Lands 141 last week.  tree lined trail

Along the way I heard and saw many of the birds that live in the forest. This black and white warbler was singing loudly from a dead tree branch. black-white warbler singing on treetop

There were few of the elegant looking cedar waxwings fluttering in the trees. cedar waxwing

Of course there were many of the noisy catbirds making their presence known. catbird singing in tree

I am not sure of this fellow I am guessing a female common yellowthroat or yellow throated vireo. .

There  was no mountain laurel growing in these woodlands and the beautiful displays of wild flowers found in the Spring are gone. There some dewberries  flowering along the trail,

as well as some common selfheal .

The waters of the Little Nescopeck Creek  were still flowing rapidly from the heavy rains.

I continued my walk to an area of wetlands when I saw this fellow approaching me on the road. I was excited to have an opportunity to get some photographs. Usually, when a large male bear approaches they avoid humans and walk or run into the forest. This one didn’t. He kept walking toward me on the trail.

When I get too close to a bear I clap loudly and this will cause them to flee. I clapped loudly. You could see the bears ears perk up in this photograph. black bear on trail

He didn’t flee but kept approaching. Now I was getting worried. I have encountered many  male bears and they have always fled. (Momma bears with cubs are an entirely different situation). He was too close now for me to run away. .

So I started yelling as loud as I could while  jumping  up and down with my hands extended to make myself look as large as I could.  He now got frightened  and ran into the woods. I don’t usually get scared when I encounter a bear in the woods, but this guy had me a bit worried. All’s well that ends well and I continued my walk. Here is a link to some more photographs from my encounter with the bear. State Game Lands 119 bear June 23 2019.

I followed the  trail through some shaded woods but they ended and the trail  widened requiring me to walk in the intense June sun. The trail again entered the wetlands and swamps near Crystal Lake. They again were still  flooded from the recent heavy rains. 

I didn’t want to walk through these  swampy conditions  again. And  I was out about 4 1/2 miles so decided to return. Just as I did I  another large bear peered out form the woods along the trail . This one glanced at me and ran into the woods. 

On the way back the birds were less active because of the midday heat. However there were some insects moving about including dragonflies,

and butterflies. butterfly on trail

I did see a few birds including some  common yellowthroats,

and this yellow bird. I am not sure but I think it may be a female scarlet tanagerfemale scarlet tanager?

. I was hoping to encounter the bear again but he wasn’t around.  Once again the  woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania provided me with an enjoyable walk. I hope to have many more this Summer and hope to share my adventures with my friends here on  my blog. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. State Game Lands 119 hike June 23 2019. 

“If you don’t love animals, you’ll never love the wild.” 
― Anthony T.Hincks

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