Game Lands 119: Thanks To A Heavy Downpour, I Have Found Some New, And Beautiful Hiking Trails.
It was another cold and rainy morning here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I haven’t missed a day of hiking on a weekend for years, but I was considering it today. I thought the rain would prevent me from taking my camera and I was a bit tired as I I have been pushing it since I returned from my trip to Poland. But the rain let up and I decided to hike in the Mary and Harry Goeringer Preserve again. As I arrived it started pouring. . Instead of getting soaked I decided to drive the dirt roads leading to the preserve. I drove a few miles and found the entrance to State Game Lands 119. And what a good find it was.
The entrance is located in Dennison Township, Luzerne County, a few miles north of White Haven. The rain stopped and I left my jeep and immediately felt at home. The road and woods reminded me of the woods located near my home and which I used to hike before they were developed into an industrial park and residential community.
The woods were mixed pine and hardwood forest with abundant ferns and low bush blueberries. The blueberries here were weeks behind the ones at the lower elevations of the PPL Wetlands where I hiked yesterday. They are just beginning to flower up here in the higher elevations.
I followed the well maintained trail through the game lands hearing many species of birds singing in the surrounding trees and brush, including robins, cardinals, eastern towhees, sparrows, other song birds including this rose breasted grosbeak.
It rained off and on throughout my six to seven mile hike. I noticed that when it rained the birds would stop singing and find shelter, and when it stopped they would be fluttering about in the trees and brush. I saw this beautiful bird for the first time, a black-and white warbler. ( click on the red highlight to see more photos of this bird) And saw quite a few after my first sighting.
And theses beautiful birds also were seen when it stopped raining, this is, I believe a male common yellowthroat
and this the female common yellowthroat .
Like in the wetlands at the lower elevations, there appears to be a big crop of blueberries up here this year too. The trail soon was crossed by a trail which I believe was a gas line. There were two beautiful apple trees in full bloom where the two trails met.
I followed the trail down and it passed through a wetland very similar to the ones located near my house and which I hiked for many years. How they were able to develop these pristine areas still puzzles me. But I am glad I found these wetlands which are in the protected game lands. I have a feeling I will be hiking up here for many years.
The small stream flowed into a larger one and I followed the fast flowing stream until it ran into this pond, where it met the Black Diamond section of the D & L trail, about a half mile north of Moosehead Lake which I visited the first time a few weeks ago..
I also ran into these critters who seemed just as curious about me as I was of them. They appear to be in the midst of shedding their dark winter coats. I watched them watched me for a while until they decided to move on. Here is a link to some more photographs of some of the birds and deer I saw on my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/State-Game-lands-119-deer-and-birds-May-7-2017
I also saw some more wildlife, this time of the human kind, a gentleman riding his mountain bike and two woman enjoying the beauty of the game lands. I am so glad that it rained this morning since it let me find this wonderful place, with so many more trails to explore, and explore them I will, hopefully under some sunshine next weekend. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike today. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/State-Game-Lands-119-Luzerne-County-May-7-2017-
“With beauty before me, may I walk
With beauty behind me, may I walk
With beauty above me, may I walk
With beauty below me, may I walk
With beauty all around me, may I walk
Wandering on the trail of beauty, may I walk”
– Navajo: Walking Meditation