Finally, Snow Arrives At The PPL Wetlands.
Snow and January are words usually associated with each other here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Not so this year. The first seventeen days of January were unseasonably mild. There were a few cold days but, for the most part , the weather was mild and there was no snow cover at all on our ground this morning . The mild weather changed with the passing of a cold front late Thursday afternoon. Temperatures dropped in the teens. Snow was in the forecast for today.
I decided to drive to my favorite hiking trail in the PPL Wetlands near Berwick. It was cloudy and the temperature was 23 when I got there. . Upon arriving, I walked to the Susquehanna River and found it was ice-free. This is not common. There are usually at least some large chunks of ice floating in the river this time of year.
The existence of the ice told me I wouldn’t see and ducks or other water fowl in the wetlands. The waters were probably ice-free until the arctic air arrived on Thursday. The ice is still much thinner than in most years.
The silence of the wetlands was eerie. Even in the Winter one could usually here the cawing of a crow, the shrill cry of a hawk, the rapping of a woodpecker and the chattering of the sparrows, juncos and black-capped chickadees. Not today. Not a bird sound as I began my walk.
It was my feeling that they knew there was some bad weather on the way and they had already found shelter. Not a good sign for me. It is a 30 miles ride to my home and I didn’t want to get caught in the approaching snowstorm.
As I approached the river lands and lake I saw messages on Facebook and received a text from the prettiest girl in the universe that it was starting to snow to the south and west of the wetlands. I was undecided as to whether to continue. I hoped to possibly see the bald eagles at the lake. As I was deciding the snow started to fall in the wetlands.
However, as I walked I encountered two large flocks of dark-eyed junco and white-throated sparrows. They appeared to be flying ahead of the falling snow. So I stopped to try to get some photographs but it was difficult in the falling snow.
I also heard another bird singing in the distance. I never heard this call before but I could not focus my camera in the distance in the falling snow. I was only able to photograph the nearer white-throated sparrows.
The ponds were already white with snow by the time I approached my car. Traffic moved slow on my drive back to my home in Hazle Township. I had to climb two mountains and it wasn’t fun. However I made it home safely where I finished my hike near my home. I am hoping to get back down to the wetlands tomorrow and inspect the newly fallen snow and the winter scenery it would create. This is a link to a gallery with more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands January 18 2020.