Dragonflies, Spiders And Splendid June Weather At Community Park.
A cold front passed through our area here in Hazle Township, Luzerne County last week on Tuesday evening. It brought some much needed rain, and a couple of days of splendid June weather. I awoke to clear blue skies and temperatures in the mid 40’s Wednesday morning. It was cool but refreshing. It was perfect walking weather and I decided to enjoy the sunshine and take a couple of afternoon hikes in the Community Park not far from my home.
On Wednesday afternoon, the strong June sun heated the cool air and cumulus clouds formed in the blue skies. The were reflected in the waters of Lake Irena located in the middle of the park.
I walked along the shores of the lake and found a couple of critters who were also enjoying the splendid June weather. This young painted turtle was sunning itself on a rock. I believe it had just hatched earlier this year and didn’t know enough to slink into the water when a big critter approaches.
I was able to capture it to get a closer look. I put it back in the waters of the lake with a word of advice to be more attentive. The next big critter may eat it.
I also saw this frog floating on the shallow waters near the shore. I think it is a young bullfrog also not shy of larger creatures.
I am sure that it was trying to capture a dragonfly or other insect for a quick meal. And there were dozens of dragonflies hovering, darting and flying along the shores of the lake. Occasionally they would rest on a log, rock branch or even on the grounds near the lake. There were many different species, and thanks to help from the Facebook insect identification page I can identify a couple of them, this is a common white tail skimmer,
and this a chalk-fronted corporal,
and this a slaty skimmer. I found a few more species, which no one has yet identified. Here is a link to a gallery with some more of the dragonflies I saw on my hikes. Community Park dragonflies June, 23, 24, 25 2021
As I continued my walk around the lake I I found some of the last mountain laurel flowers. They are so pretty but only bloom for such a short time.
There were a few other wildflowers in bloom near the lake including daisies and
The pickerel weed continued to grow all along the shores of the lake, Soon it’s blue flowers will be in bloom attracting bees and butterflies.
And one of the prettiest flowers of the Summer, the water lilies were starting to bloom.
On my walks I also encountered a couple of spiders. This one is an interesting six-spotted fishing spider. It was on a lily pad on the lake,
and this goldenrod crab spider captured a much larger bee. I often find these spiders on the daisies growing on one of the nearby trails. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the spiders. Community Park spider June 23, 24, 25 2021.
A few butterflies were also fluttering near the lake and in the surrounding woodlands. I am not good with butterflies and believe this is a monarch or a viceroy.
and this a red spotted purple. Please correct me if I am wrong .
There was not a lot of bird activity in the park last week. No Canada geese or ducks on the waters of the lake and eagles or ospreys soaring overhead. The only birds I saw on my hikes were chipping sparrows,
and this flock of cedar waxwings.
I saw two other things of interest on my hikes, the low bush blueberries, or “huckleberries” were ripening. I spent many days in my youth picking this delicious berries,.
And I also found some mushrooms popping up,
I’m not sure of the species, but this is a good sign for a mushroom hunter like me. I pick dozens of edible mushrooms and the season will be starting soon.
I also saw another bull frog along the lake.
And a large crawfish in the shallow waters near the outlet for the lake.
I love exploring Nature, so much to see, especially on sunny June days. I love Summer. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hikes. Community Park June 23, 24, 25 2021.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir