Blue Skies, Sunshine But Frigid November Temperatures At The Weissport Canal.

Blue Skies, Sunshine But Frigid November Temperatures At The Weissport Canal.

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The November freeze that caused temperatures to plummet on Thanksgiving Day here in Northeastern Pennsylvania continued Friday. It was a record breaking 7 degrees here at my house when I woke up. After my morning  local walk, and a cup of coffee,   I decided to drive to Weissport and hike  along the Lehigh River on the old Weissport Canal. deep blue water of Lehigh River

I have hiked  here many times and you can read more about some history of the canal  by searching my blog archives. Weissport is at a much lower elevation, and  about 25 miles south of my home.  It was a warmer  17 degrees, but still well below normal.  And, much to my delight,  there was almost no snow cover. We still had a half of foot of snow in my backyard. Weissport canal

Soon after I began my hike a pileated woodpecker flew overhead and landed on a tree along the trail. I love this beautiful birds.  I tried to approach the woodpecker to get a better photograph but it flew away. pileated woodpecker on tree trunk

Nearby was another woodpecker, this time a red-bellied woodpecker was searching for a meal in the cold. It, too, soon flew off. 

I didn’t get much further on the trail when I thought I saw something moving in the water. Upon closer observation I saw something swimming which crawled up under a log. I am not sure from this photograph whether this is a beaver or a muskrat.muskrat or beaver on canal

I walked under the ancient trees growing along the 180 year old canal,pine ans leafless trees on trail

and encountered this pair of mallard ducks swimming in the cold waters of the canal. pair of mallard ducks

The waters of the canal only had a thin coating of ice,  but there were many icicles already  forming on the rocks along the canals. I don’t remember seeing  icicles +in November before. icicles on rocks above trail

I continued my walk in the bright sunshine  along the old canal trail with the waters of the canal to my right and the Lehigh River to the left. 

Most of the trees were now leafless, with some of their leaves floating on the thin ice of the canal.leaves on canal

It was warming up with a slight southerly breeze,  but it was still unseasonably cold for November. However the beauty of the deep blue skies, the sunshine and the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania inspired me and I felt like I could walk until sunset. 

I walked on past the Bridge To Nowhere, the Observation Deck and out to the railroad bridge under which the trail passes as it continues on to Jim Thorpe. I was out about three miles so I decided to turn back here. railroad bridge with tanker cars on trail

On my return walk I encountered the first humans I saw on the trail , four bicyclists , who stopped and talked for a bit. bicyclists on trail

As I continued my walk I saw another pair of mallard ducks keeping company with a beautiful female wood duck. female wood duck on canal

I saw quite  a few more birds on my walk back including  cardinals, 

and black-capped chickadees. 

As the temperatures rose I also saw a steady stream of people taking advantage of the November sunshine, despite the cold temperatures.  I enjoyed seeing a few parents walking with their children in the cold. I think the love of nature and the outdoors is one of the greatest gifts one can give a child. I know my dad gave it to me. 

I was soon at the parking lot, tired, cold and hungry, but having been blessed with another beautiful adventure in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Lehigh Canal hike November 23 2018.

“Withstanding the cold develops vigor for the relaxing days of spring and summer. Besides, in this matter as in many others, it is evident that nature abhors a quitter.” 
― Arthur C. Crandall,

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