Back To The PPL Wetlands. And, Although The Weather Was More Like February, It Is Still Spring If You Look Close.

Back To The PPL Wetlands. And, Although The Weather Was More Like February, It Is Still Spring If You Look Close.

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I awoke this morning and found an inch of snow on the ground and temperatures in the mid 20’s. The wind was howling too and it felt more like mid Winter than early April. But it is Spring and I know it can’t last. I decided to return to the PPL Wetlands to see how the newly arrived birds and emerging vegetation was dealing with the cold. PPL wetlands -5

I was surprised to find there was no snow at all once I left the mountain  where my home is located. It was still below freezing at the wetlands and there were no chorus of spring peepers today. Nor  were there any turtles on the logs or shores of the canals. PPL wetlands -25

I did see quite a few of ducks and geese on the water, paired up now and either looking for, or tending their nest. This strange  pair of dads, of different species, have been  patrolling an isolated area of the wetlands for a few weeks now. PPL wetlands -26

I thought they must have a nest nearby and I found mother goose sitting on her nest keeping her eggs warm on this chilly morning. I know the female mallard duck’s nest had to be nearby but I couldn’t find it. Hopefully I’ll  see some goslings and ducklings in a few weeks. PPL wetlands birds-5

There were a lot of woodpeckers and flickers in the woods today. They were darting from tree to tree throughout the wetlands. The most common was beautiful red bellied woodpecker. PPL wetlands -11

I also saw a few flickers, PPL wetlands birds-9

And both hairy and downy woodpeckers. PPL wetlands birds-21

It was really windy and I think a lot of the smaller birds weren’t braving the winds although I did see a few phoebe, chickadees and sparrows including this one  I haven’t identified. It may be a female red winged blackbird. PPL wetlands birds-16

There were a lot of males  around as well as a few rusty blackbirds. PPL wetlands -29

The cold affected some of the plants in the wetlands. I found the skunk cabbage were wilted when I first arrived but started to recover as the sun warmed it up. PPL wetlands -28

The trout lilies were unaffected, and I found more may flower leaves sprouting up and found a few flowers in bloom. PPL wetlands -18

And there were patches of green on the water, the regrowth of the duckweed, such a vital part of the food chain in these swamps and wetlands. By mid summer the waters will be covered in a carpet of deep green from this plant. PPL wetlands -34

On my way back I spotted these ducks diving in the distance on one of the ponds. I was told they are pie billed grebes, a species I had never seen before. Glad I got to se them . It was cold and blustery but it was still Spring and no better place to spend a Spring morning.  than the PPL Wetlands and Riverlands. Here is a link to some more photographs I took at the wetlands this morning. wetlands birds-18

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He who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments, is the rich and royal man.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson