Early Summer In The PPL Wetlands. Birds, Wildflowers And Lots Of Mosquitoes

Early Summer In The PPL Wetlands. Birds, Wildflowers And Lots Of Mosquitoes

PPL Wetlands hike (14 of 55)
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Saturday brought us more Summer weather here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  I awoke to hazy sunshine, humid air and mild temperatures in the mid 60’s. I love Summer weather. After my morning walk through my neighborhood  I decided to hike in the PPl Wetlands and Riverlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County. tree lined trail

I have come to love this natural preserve and the wide diversity of flora and fauna I find here. For those with more interest in this wonderful place, there are many posts in my blog archive.  A hike in the wetlands   never disappoints. ferns and tree lined trail

The ponds and canals in the wetland are now covered in a deep green coat of duckweed. Unfortunately, these ponds and canals also breed hordes  of mosquitoes. This year, because of the abundant rain,  there were more than usual. But this is nature and I have learned to accept their constant swarming as I walk. duckweed covered pond

The natural beauty I find in these wetlands make it worth while.  Shortly I started my walk I saw this beautiful yellow warbler . I love seeing their flashes of yellow in the deep green vegetation of the wetlands. yellow warbler in tree

Atop a tree I saw this green heron  surveying  wetlands for a morning meal. green heron in tree top

As I watched this green heron I heard some branches breaking a short distance away. As I approached I heard a crashing of tree branches. I wasn’t able to see it but I am sure it was a bear rapidly descending a tree.  I wasn’t able to get the bear photograph I wanted and had to settle for a boring catbird.catbird in tree

The catbirds and red-winged blackbirds are very common residents in the wetlands and their noisy songs fill the air. red-winged blackbird in tree

Along the trail I found some wild raspberries that had ripened and made for a tasty morning treat. ripe raspberries

There were not as many wildflowers  in the wetlands now as there is  in the Spring. However there were a few now in bloom, such as the daisy fleabane,daisy fleabane flower

St. John’s wort,yellow St. John's wort

and milkweed. milkweed flower

Many of the ponds along the trails dried up now so I did not see, or hear the many frogs  jumping into the safety of the water. And there are not many turtles on the logs, rocks or banks of the canals or ponds. I saw a few like this one covered in duckweed. duckweed covered turtle

The turtles are still there but now float on top of the warm waters enjoying the warmth of the sun. turtle in pond

I left the wetlands and hiked to Lake Took-A While in  the riverlands area of the park. There were no ducks, cormorants, herons or other water birds on the lake. However, there were hundreds of dragonflies darting along its shore. I was able to photograph a few resting on a twig, dragonfly on twig

or  flower. dragonfly on flower

The developing nuts I saw on a hickory tree reminded me that Summer was moving on. It goes so quickly every year. developing hickory nuts

I once again walked through the riverlands and followed the Warrior Trail for about  1 1/2 miles. In these woodlands I saw a few american redstarts, american redstart in tree

cedar waxwings,cedar waxwing

a flycatcher, flycatcher in tree

and a small flock of these  birds, which I think are house wrens. 

The  forecast called for some thunderstorms and I had a graduation  party to attend so I decided to turn back. On the way I saw some more of the same  birds I saw on my hike and a few ones, like this oriole, that I didn’t. 

The warm temperatures, intense summer sunshine and flies and mosquitoes  made the 7 1/2 mile hike a little more difficult than I hoped but I still loved every minute of it. I enjoyed exploring nature and sharing my photographs here in my blog and on social media. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. PPl Wetlands hike June 29 2019. 

“As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unselfconsciously to the soughing of the trees.”  -Valerie Andrews