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