Dragonflies, Birds And More Wildflowers: Another Hike In The PPL Wetlands

Dragonflies, Birds And More Wildflowers: Another Hike In The PPL Wetlands

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It was nice to visit Washington D.C. for the 4th of July. But  I was glad to be back in Northeastern Pennsylvania.   It was hazy, hot and humid, my favorite weather and once again I decided to visit the PPL Wetlands and Riverlands in Salem Township this morning.  You will always find some of  Nature’s  beauty here if you keep your eyes peeled.

clouds over duckweed covered lake This morning dragonflies were everywhere in the  canals, ponds and lakes of the wetlands. blue dragonfly on reed

And they were busy working on mating and producing more of their ancient race of insects. orange brown dragonflies mating

These insects that roamed the swamps and wetlands of this planet before the dinosaurs have always fascinated me. I remember reading about them in the How and Why books on insects when I was in the first grade. green dragonfly on leaf

I wish I could identify the many species that dart and hover  about our woodlands.  The   bright colors and delicate wings are just one more of nature’s many masterpieces. dragonfly on flower

What I didn’t see were, bees, wasps and butterflies. Usually  the milkweed flowers are covered with many species of butterflies. Not this I didn’t dee one on my 7 mile hike today. This is not a good sign. Nor is the absence of the many species of wasps and bees. Insecticides, I suspect are the cause.milkweed flower  

The duckweed continues to expand on almost all of the ponds and canals of the wetlands, turning them deep green .duckweed covered pond +

The waters are now warm and the turtles, frogs and water snakes do not have to leave to bask  in the sun to raise their cold-blooded body temperatures. However a  few turtles still like to soak up the sun on a log. turtle on log in duckweed covered pond

As I walked through the wetlands I heard the usual songs and calls of the red-winged blackbirds, warblers, sparrows and catbirds, shown here. catbird in tree

I also saw this wren hopping in the underbrush. wren in tree

And  some robins, robin in tree branch

sparrowssparrow in tree

flycatchers and this flycatcher on branch

flicker.  flicker in tree

I walked through the wetlands and over to Lake Took-A-While and the riverlands section of the park. tree along lake

I was just wondering what happened to the kingfishers. I saw a pair in the Spring and haven’t seen them since. Sure enough I heard that unmistakable chatter and saw this one sitting in a tree across the lake. And I saw its mate perched in a tree right next to me. It would have been a perfect photo-op but it flew off as soon as I saw it. kingfisher in tree

This green heron also flew across the lake as I approached.  As I said there is always something to see here in the PPl Wetlands. species of

I continued my hike on the Susquehanna Warrior trail for about a mile. shed and pond along trail

I usually see some warblers, woodpeckers,  indigo buntings out here but not today. It was near noon and the birds weren’t to active in  heat and humidity. On my long walk back  I observed the wildflowers now in bloom along the trail including this beautiful yellow loosestrife,

this monkey flower,


striped wintergreen, 

and St’ John’s wort. 

The indian pipes were now growing along the trails. This plant, which does not produce chlorophyll, has always caught my attention. Once again the PPl Wetlands provided me with a wide variety of plants, birds and insects to attract my attention on my 7 mile hike. I didn’t find anything exciting like a bear, snake or eagle but the beauty of the dragonflies and wildflowers  are just as  amazing. I am glad to share it here on my blog. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands July 6 2019

“I love to see the sunshine on the wings of the Dragonflies… there is magic in it.” 
― Ama H.Vanniarachchy