Fog, Flora And Fauna At The Susquehanna Wetlands.

Fog, Flora And Fauna At The Susquehanna Wetlands.

Susquehanna Wetlands (18 of 49)
Previous Post
Next Post

A thick fog settled in on  the mountain where I live in Hazle Township,  Luzerne County on Saturday morning. I wasn’t sure at first, but I decided to drive to the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township with my camera despite the fog. I wasn’t  expecting to photograph much wildlife because of the fog but I wanted to see how the plant life was  responding to the warm weather we had the past week.fog on pond

The fog wasn’t as  bad as it was near my home when I arrived.  As soon as I entered the wetlands I noticed a considerable amount of  new plant  growth.  The wetlands were coming back to life.  The flowers,  red maple trees,   honeysuckle and (shown below)  spicebush shrubs were  beginning to bud and bloom ,

bringing hints of red, green and yellow to the drab winter landscape. 

On the ground there were now bright patches of green as the skunk cabbage continued to sprout and expand. 

Bitter dock and 

clover patches could also be seen growing along the trail in the wetlands. 

Walking along the canals in the wetlands I once again scared  quite a few wood ducks as approached. They flew  off on the slightest disturbance. A large great blue heron also flew away as I approached. There was a  some nesting  pairs of Canada geese  in the wetlands, remaining quiet now when I pass.  The unmated pairs are on the river or lake and honk loudly when approached. 

 I saw some of the usual birds that live in the wetlands, a few woodpeckers ( downy I think),

red-winged blackbirds and

black-capped chickadees, as I walked through the wetlands. .

Although there is some hints of color on the trees and shrubs in the wetlands, for the most part they still are mainly their drab Winter brown.

However, on the ground  along the trails some flowers  are finally starting to appear.  I came upon some pretty and delicate  Virginia spring beauty flowers.

A few common blue violets were now in bloom,

as were purple-dead nettles and 

the delicate flowers of the ground ivy

Even the lowly dandelion flowers were a welcome sight after the drab and  colorless months of Winter. 

Continuing my walk near the beaver lodges and muskrat dens, I finally spotted  a muskrat feeding on something in the waters of one of the ponds. 

There were also a few turtles sitting on a log, which surprised me on this foggy and cool morning. 

I was also surprised to see the downy woodpecker perched on a cattail reed and looking  for insects.

In the nearby woods I was happy to see this hermit  thrush return to the wetlands. Some of these birds remain in our area in the Winter but I didn’t see any this past Winter, and I hope it is staying here and not just passing through on its’s way further north. 

After seeing the hermit  thrush  I usually do I walked in the river lands area of the nature preserve. 

There were  plenty of fishermen  along the shores of lake Took-A-While.  

The presence of the  fishermen didn’t keep the double-breasted cormorants from swimming on the lake. Occasionally they would take off in a group and fly to another part of the lake in search of fish. 

As I walked along the trail between the lake the old  canal,

I was surprised again, this time to find these mushrooms growing along the trail. I believe they are mica cap mushrooms. I am looking forward to another season of searching for wild edible mushrooms. 

In a nearby tree this squirrel was looking down at me as I walked past.

I walked  past the lake and on to the Riverside trail. You can again see the hint of green in the trees along the trail. 

And, on the ground, I was delighted to find the trout lilies were blooming. 

A native plant these flowers are named after their leaves which resemble  brook trout. They are one of the first native flowers to bloom in our woodlands. 

After enjoying the trout lilies I began my two mile hike back to my car in the woods. The fog had lifted and some breaks appeared in the clouds. 

In the wetlands more turtles made their appearance, as did a number of frogs. Most of the frogs jumped into the vernal pools of water along the trail. This one, I believe it’s a small bullfrog, sat still long enough for me to get a photo. 

The sun began to shine through the clouds as I hiked in the wetlands. 

And it brought out this huge snapping turtle, for a few minutes anyway. It quickly submerged under the muddy waters as I walked by,

As I approached the parking lot I saw this great blue heron perched in a tree. 

It appeared it was just finishing swallowing a fish or frog and seemed to be clearing it’s throat as I watched. 

Once again I stopped to visit the bald eagles nest.  This time both parents were home. 

I watched for a while and was treated to the magnificent and piercing  cries of the eagle sitting in the nest.  It is always a wonderful experience to see  our Nation’s symbol in the wild and free. This is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the eagles, great blue herons and other birds I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds April 10 2021. 

Once again I enjoyed the natural beauty of the wetlands and I enjoy even more sharing it with the folks who follow my blog. It is Tuesday morning as I finish this one and I am already looking forward to another hike this weekend. But  now it time to head to the office. Here is a link to another gallery with more photos  from my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands April 10 2021. 

The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see. Albert Einstein






































This is my first post