Goslings, Chipmunks And A Few More Signs Of Spring At Community Park
Now that Spring is here I have started my afternoon walks at our local Community Park in Hazle Township, Luzerne County. As I have often noted in previous blogs, I first visited Community Park and Lake Irena in the Spring as a young child with my dad and siblings. I have many found memories of this small but beautiful park. It was partly cloudy and cool when I hiked there on Thursday Afternoon. As usual I found a few folks walking on the trail around the park and a few more fishermen along the lake.
I hoped to see the bald eagles and ospreys who also like to fish in the lake. There were none around on Thursday but I did see some signs of Spring along the trail. The high bush blueberry flowers,
and service berry flowers were now in bloom.
As were dozens of common blue violets all along the trails.
I walked along the shore of the lake and found some painted turtles sitting on logs near the shore of the lake. The trail enters a mixed pine/oak woodlands on the north side of the lake,
Here I noticed the pond where a the feeder stream enters the lake was higher than usual.
I soon found out why. The beavers are back and they built a dam on the stream near the bridge at the back end of the lake. The beavers were removed a few time but they really like it here and keep returning.
Near the bridge I was surprised toe see a family of Canada geese. Community Park is located on a mountain ridge at a much higher elevation then the Susquehanna Wetlands where I often hike. I have seen the first goslings there but I didn’t think there would be any up here on the mountain ridge this early in the Spring. .
I was wrong. I watched the cute fluffy goslings swimming with their parents in the waters,
then enjoyed watching them waddle out of the water to feed on some fresh grass while their parents kept a close eye on them.
They are fluffy and cute now but will grow up very quickly and be ready to fly south with their parents in the Fall.
After watching the geese I left the lake an walked on the trail in the nearby woodlands.
Most of the trees are still leafless at this high elevation,
but there were signs that they will soon be lush and green, the paper birch,
and aspen trees already have sprouted their first leaves.
pussy willow trees will soon follow.
There were a few flowers blooming along the trail too, including wild strawberries,
a lot of the lowly dandelions.
Where there are flowers there are insects and I saw a few flies, bees and this duskywing butterfly, the first I have seen this year,
and while photographing the duskywing, I noticed this tiny insect crawling on the ground, I believe it is a red velvet mite. I have never seen one before. Seeing this tiny, insignificant but beautiful insect remined, a mere mite, reminded why I love Spring and the warmer months so much. there is always something new to see, if you walk outdoors and keep your eyes peeled.
I left the woodlands and walked back to the lake,
here I saw some critters that were cutter than the mites. a couple of chipmunks,
now awake after their Winter sleep,
and the goslings. They were with their parent along the trail. Mommy and daddy hissed a lot when I approached to take these photos,
but if they really felt threatened they would have fled to the safety of the waters of Lake Irena. I think these geese have come to realize humans are not going to harm them. However, they still won’t let you too close to their offspring. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with more photos of the cute Canada goslings . Community Park birds April 27 2023.
I finished my hike along the lake noticing a few more signs of Spring, the skunk cabbages finally appeared on our mountain ridge ,and
the cinnamon or fiddlehead ferns were pushing through the soil.
As usual my walk around Community Park didn’t disappoint. Nature always provides some new wonder to observe and share here on my blog. I am hoping there will be many more cool things to share this Spring, Summer and Fall. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike. Community Park April 27 2023.
“Spring is when life’s alive in everything.” —Christina Rossetti,