Ferns, An Egret And A Few Other Critters At The PPL Wetlands

Ferns, An Egret And A Few Other Critters At The PPL Wetlands

PPL Wetlands hike (1 of 53)
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Sunday was a repeat of Saturday here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Clear, clam skies, sunshine and a cool  53 degrees at sunrise. The temperatures rose into the upper 60’s  when I  arrived at the PPl Wetlands in Salem Township around 8;30 a.m. Still cool but perfect for hiking. deer in woods

As I drove into the wetlands section of the park I saw this doe along the road. She  seemed not to be to concerned with my presence. tree lined trail

When I walked into the wetlands I  took notice to the many  ferns  growing along the trails. I see them on every hike but this time I tried to identify them with my Picture This plant identification App on my iPhone.  I knew a few ferns from my Cub Scout days but was surprised with the diversity that existed in this small section of the wetlands. I hope these are right. These  are   lady ferns. lady ferns

These are eastern hayscented ferns. They are ones that I was familiar with from the pleasing smell  it produces  as it changes color in the fall. hayscented ferns

These are  sympathy ferns. 

The app identified these as sword ferns.

And finally these are interrupted ferns.  Once again I realized how much there is to learn in the natural world. 

I continued my hike in the morning sunshine and was greeted by the songs of some of the birds living in the wetlands, including this yellow warbler,

There was a small group of red-eyed warblers including this one watching from a branch in a tree that overhung the trail. 

For some reason I did not  see or hear any red-winged blackbirds on my hike. There were hundreds of them only a few weeks ago. There still were quite a few catbirds chattering in the trees in the wetlands. 

I was surprised to see the silhouette of a large white bird perched in the tree. At first I thought it was a great blue heron but on closer inspection I discovered it was a great egret. I had never seen one in the wetlands before. Last week I saw my first one at the Community Park near my home in Hazle Township. 

There were also a large number of wood ducks on the ponds and canals. I saw at least for separate families during my walk. As always, most of them flew off before I could get a photograph but I was able to capture this pair swimming on a pond. 

The ponds in the wetlands  are now covered in a deep green blanket of duckweed. The duckweed, I have learned, provides food for a many of the wild critters that live here, including ducks, geese, muskrats and these goldfinches. 

I walked from the wetlands to Lake Took-A-While. Here I again found dragonflies darting about above the waters of the lake, and occasionally taking a rest on a leaf or branch.

There were also butterflies,butterfly on purple loosestrife

feeding on the nectar of the beautiful, bright purple loosestrife flowers. 

Once again I followed the Great Warrior Trail for about a mile from the lake. The trail followed an  old railroad  right of way  with many tall, old trees along path.  The bright August sunshine filtered down through the leaves. 

On the ground I heard a buzzing noise and saw a cicada killer wasp attacking a pair of mating cicadas. As I neared to get a photograph the wasp flew away. However I believe it had stung one of the cicadas. 

One flow off when I disturbed the pair. This one, however, remained, and appeared stunned. As is always the case my 7 mile hike in the wetlands had, again, provided me with the opportunity to observe the beauty of nature. I am gald to be able to share it with my blog followers and friends on social media. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands August 11 2019

Only spread a fern-frond over a man’s head and worldly cares are cast out, and freedom and beauty and peace come in.  John Muir

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