August Arrives With Some Heat, Clouds And Critters At Community Park.

August Arrives With Some Heat, Clouds And Critters At Community Park.

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August  arrived  with a mid-summer heat wave here in Northeastern  Pennsylvania. Temperatures soared into the 90’s. The humidity levels made it  feel tropical. I love the heat and  I  continued my afternoon hikes at  the  local Community Park near my home in Hazle Township, Luzerne County . And  I continued  my usual routine of walking around scenic lake Irena. It was  even more scenic with the mid Summer  cumulus clouds.

The afternoon heat and humidity produce the cumulus clouds, and,  in some areas of  Northeastern  Pennsylvania severe thunderstorms. Unfortunately, in my area most of them  missed us. We need the rain. It has been a very dry Summer.

On my walk on Tuesday afternoon I saw a lot  dragonflies still darting and hovering along the shores of the lake. 

Many of pickerelweed  flowers that attracted so many bees, insects and butterflies are  starting to fade although some continue to bloom. 

There were other flowers blooming along the lake and in the surrounding woodlands  despite the August heat, including Deptford or grass pinks, 

a few daisies ( if you look closely you can see a crab spider on  the daisy).

narrowleaf hawkweed,

common selfheal, 

bull thistles, 

yellow toadflax

St. John’s wort, 

 and marsh St. John’s wort. 

There were still a few high bush blueberries on the bushes, 

but the yellowing of the bracken ferns was a sign Summer was past it’s peak and Autumn and cooler weather were coming. 

I saw a  critters on my three mile hike on  Tuesday ,the second day of August,  including, a few bull frogs, 

a couple of turtles,

 

and this large freshwater snail. I have never seen one this large and hope it is native and not invasive. 

I didn’t see this critter, although I new what it  was by the scat it left behind, a black bear! I had one in my yard recently and it may be the same one. 

When I returned  to the park on Wednesday  a cold front had passed through. The temperatures were cooler,  in the low 80’s with much less humidity. The skies were clear and deep blue. The lake reflected the deep blue skies. 

I saw a flock of Canada geese on the lake for the first time in a few weeks, 

and also saw this great blue heron, one of the first I have seen since the Spring,

it quickly flew away as  I approached the log it was perched on in the lake. 

I also saw this deer near the lake, 

and a lot more dragonflies.

  I always take a walk into the surrounding woodlands after my walk around the lake. I keep my eyes peeled for mushrooms but I didn’t see many because of the very dry conditions in our area from lack of rain. 

This was one if the few mushrooms I saw on my hikes. 

When I returned to the park on Friday the heat and humidity  had returned. 

Temperatures were near 90 degrees again and huge  dark cumulus clouds formed above the lake. Once again they produced thunderstorms, but not in our area. 

I didn’t see many birds active in the afternoon heat, but there were a lot of  insects, including dragonflies,

spiders, 

a few frogs 

and  I saw these  just hatched caterpillars on some milkweed plants. They are tussock moths and like the more famous monarch butterfly feed exclusively on  milkweed.  Sadly, I saw no monarch butterfly caterpillars.  I would see hundreds of them years ago. They are now endangered. 

I saw one more critter on my hike in the August heat, this squirrel scurrying around the park looking for a handout or for some food left by visitors to the park.  Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with more photos of the critters I saw on my hike at the park. Community Park critters August 1 to 5 2022. 

I didn’t see anything exotic or exciting at Community Park on my hike the first week of August, but they was still plenty of critters and flowers to see at the park.  The beauty of nature is all around us, you don’t have to travel to far away places to see it. Just take a walk in Community Park and keep your eyes peeled. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike the first week of August. Community Park hikes  August  1 to 5 2022. 

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock

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