Clouds, Heavy Rains And An Otter At The Susquehanna Wetlands
It was muggy and overcast last Saturday here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It rained during the night and more heavy rains were in the forecast for the day. I decided to take a chance and head to the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County anyway. I don’t like to miss an opportunity to try and see, and photograph, the many critters that live there.
When I arrived it was still overcast. But, I was actually surprised when a few peeks of sun broke through the clouds. After leaving my Jeep, I walked down to the river. I wanted to see how the much the recent rains affected it the water level . It was was considerably higher than my last visit.
For years I would find mushrooms in the woods that that have been chewed on by some critter. I always suspected a squirrel or a chipmunk. On Saturday I saw this fellow nibbling on some species of russula mushroom.
And soon after seeing these two critters I saw a furry head in the water and assumed it was a muskrat. It was partially hidden behind some branches. I soon noticed it wasn’t a muskrat and it wasn’t alone. It was an otter and I believe there were some young ones with it. Unfortunately, they dived under the cover of the duck weed and this was the best image I could get. I have seen otters in the river before but not many in the canals in the wetlands. I hope to see one again this Summer and get a better photo.
The clouds moved in again and darkened the wetlands, making it difficult to see and photograph the birds singing high in the tree tops. I was, however, able to get this photo of a green heron perched in a tree.
and the exotic and pretty Indian pipes or ghost plant. As stated in earlier blogs, this is not a fungus but a flowering plant that is white because it does not produce chlorophyll.
Crawling in the woods looking for mushrooms, even the the wetlands were I seldom find them, one always encounters some hazards. There were many poison ivy vines growing near where I found these mushrooms.
On my past few visits to the wetlands I noticed are almost no mosquitoes or other insects in the wetlands this year. I think they may have sprayed the wetlands with an insecticide to kill them. Sadly, it seems there are also not a lot of bees, wasps dragonflies and other insects. I saw no cicada killing wasps. I hope I am wrong. I did see this one dragonfly on my walk in the wetlands.
When I left the wetlands and was walking along Lake Took-A-While the skies opened up and the rains feel. I was soaked. Thankfully, it was a warm rain. I was able to cover my camera and iPhone with plastic bags I brought along. It only rained for about 10 minutes while I continued my hike.
It was the nicest weather for walking, and I was disappointed not getting better photos to share, but it was still a nice way to spend a cloudy and rainy Saturday morning in the Summer. Hopefully, there will be sunshine next weekend. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands July 10 2o21.
Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life. John Updike