Discovering More Of Nature’s Beauty At Community Park In Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The heat wave continued here in Northeastern Pennsylvania last week. Temperatures soared into the low 90’s. It didn’t stop me from my taking daily walks. I returned to the Community Park near my home in Hazle Township for a couple of afternoon walks in the heat and humidity. The waters of Lake Irena reflected the deep blue sky and the cumulus clouds that formed in the hot and humid air.
As I began my walk around the lake two things stood out. The absence of people. I saw only five people on my three mile walk on Tuesday, and only one person on Wednesday. There are usually dozens of folks enjoying the park but oppressive temperatures and humidity kept them home. The second thing I noticed was the pickerelweed was now blooming in the waters along the shores of the lake.
I usually take two laps around the lake before hiking on the trails in the surrounding woodlands. On my walks I saw a lot more of the many species of dragonflies that dart and hover above the pickerelweed. Once again I will state I am not an expert on identification of the ancient insects and rely on my Facebook friends for identification. Today, because of time constraints, I’m going to try to identify the ones I know Please correct me if I am wrong. This I believe is a common white tailed skimmer,
While walking around the lake I came upon this discarded exoskeleton of a dragonfly nymph or larvae. Dragonflies spend the first few years of their life in this stage and live underwater. When mature, they climb out of the water, discard their exoskeleton and become dragonflies.
There were a lot of low bush blueberries. or “huckleberries” as we called them along the shores of the lake. As a child I remember some “old timers” saying there were a lot of huckleberries in Community Park. The wild blueberries or ‘huckleberries ” growing in Northeastern Pennsylvania were sold to the large cities on the east coast and supplemented the meager incomes of the coal mining families.
Returning to the lake I found two unusual plants. These are They look like they may be some sort of fungus but they are actually flowers and don’t produce chlorophyll. They are reported to have many medicinal effects.
Also growing along the lake is a patch of Hartford or American climbing fern. This interesting fern is endangered in Pennsylvania
I also found this rock lined circular depression in the lake. I have learned it is built by a male smallmouth bass as a nest for the female fish to lay her eggs.
I love the Summer months here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. There are so many places to visit and so many wonders to uncover, even in the parks in our own backyard. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike. Community Park June 29, 30 2021.
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. —Robert Louis Stevenson