Birds And Bears In The Gamelands Of Dennison Township
Cloudy skies greeted me when I woke up Sunday morning at my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania . I took my usual morning walk in my neighborhood. in Hazle Township. I enjoyed he mild summer-like temperatures, the Spring flowers and the singing of the birds. After my walk, and a cup of coffee I decided to drive to the State Gamelands in Dennison Township.
Gamelands 119 are located in Dennison Township. The road to the parking lot is not paved and a four-wheel drive vehicle is a must to get there. I like the rough ride through the dense second-growth forest. The gamelands are about 1600 feet above sea level. This is almost 1100 feet higher in elevation than the PPL Wetlands. The effect of the higher elevation can be seen in the vegetation. The trees and flowers are about two weeks behind in growth than the vegetation at the lower and warmer wetlands.
I thought that i might see migratory birds on these ridges of foothills of the Pocono mountains. And I did.. Shortly after the start of my walk I saw this oven birds scampering in the scrub oaks along the trail.
The trail passed through a second-growth mixed forest of oak, maple and pine trees. It was the home of many birds and i could hear their songs in the forest. Unfortunately, they thick forest made them difficult to photograph. I was able to get this photo of this American redstart.
The main trail into the gamelands soon intersected with an old railroad right of way. The sun broke through the clouds and it remained sunny for the rest of my hike. I followed the trail through a wetland where ferns, scrub oaks trees and high-bush blueberries were abundant.
It was shortly after I saw this bird that I had my first encounter with bear. And it was a close one. As I was slowly walking along the trail, a large male black bear walked out right in front of me! He was about five feet away.
Time froze for a few seconds as we glanced at each other. He reacted before me, thankfully, grunting and running into the woods. This was the closest i came to a wild bear in the woods. I knew how close to danger i was. I will admit i was a bit shaken.
I was out about 3 1/2 miles now and decided to head back. On my way few more bird, including this cedar waxwing. As the sun warmed it up, temperatures rose into the 80’s, the bird activity slowed down. Here is a link to more photographs of the birds I saw on my hike. State Gamelands 119 birds may 20 2019.
It was a nice walk back. I came to the area where I had my close encounter with the large black bear. I proceeded cautiously. No big male bear but I saw a cub in the woods on the left side of the trail. I stopped. I heard a rustling on the right side of the trail. It had to be mom. I backed up, stopped and started clapping loudly. I waited 10 minutes and started to walk on the narrow trail. About 100 yards up the trail I heard a rustling and saw this bear, I believe it was mommy bear, running up the trail. Another close encounter with a bear. It was my lucky day. i love to see this magnificent animals in their natural environment. I hope to see them again when I hike this area.
It was another great day in May in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I was glad i was able to get out and enjoy it, and to share it with all my blog followers. Thanks for coming along. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. State Gamelands 119 May 20 2019.