First Day Of Summer At The PPL Wetlands
It seems like yesterday when the first skunk cabbage shoots pushed through the snow and the first robins arrived at the PPL Wetlands. Spring went so fast. The first day of Summer arrived this weekend. I returned to the wetlands and river lands in Salem Township, Luzerne County on Sunday, the first full day of Summer, and found the trees and plants in woodlands have reached the peak of their annual growth.
Everything was green, including the once clear ponds and canals of the wetlands. The waters are now covered in a carpet of green duck weed. These smallest flowering plants provide food for much of the wildlife that reside in the wetlands. I have seen wood ducks, Canada geese, goldfinches and muskrats feed on this tiny plant.
As I walked through the lush green woodlands I again smelled the heavenly scent of the honeysuckle flowers which have bloomed for the second time this season. There is no better experience than to walk in the woods with their exotic aroma in the air.
Along the trail I was excited to find these bright red berries. At first I thought they may be wild strawberries. Anticipating their sweetness I was disappointed to find they were not wild strawberries but mock strawberries. Although they are edible they are dry and tasteless. They do look pretty scattered along the trails.
I had hoped to see at least one of the two wood duck families that live in the wetlands. When I approached the area where they nest I heard them scurrying away into the weeds along the canal. However I saw this family of muskrats enjoying the duck weed.
My hike once again took me out of the wetlands area of the nature and into the river lands and Lake Took-A-While. Cumulus clouds were now forming as the intense June sun on the first day of summer warmed the temperatures into the mid 80’s.
The dozens of turtles that basked in the Spring sun were gone now. The waters of the wetlands have warmed up and they don’t need the rays of sun to raise their cold blood and body temperature. Still there were a few resting on a log or rock.
Spring and Summer are my favorite seasons. So much like in my home here in Northeastern Pennsylvania and especially in the PPL Wetlands. It’s like the Everglades of Luzerne County. But these seasons pass much to quickly anymore. So I will try and take in as much ot the beauty that surrounds us this time of year as I can. Here is a link to a gallery with more photographs from my hike on the first day of summer. PPL Wetlands hike June 21 2020.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer” . ~F. Scott Fitzgerald