Green Ridge: A Bear In The Backyard And A Hike On The Railroad Tracks

Green Ridge: A Bear In The Backyard And A Hike On The Railroad Tracks

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Summer weather has arrived in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We’ve had three days of sunshine and warm temperatures here at my home in the Green Ridge section of Hazleton Township in Luzerne County.  I love it here in the Summer. I am fortunate to have some woods for a backyard. I have a wide variety of wildlife show throughout the year. I was pleased to finally see this fellow show up on Tuesday morning. black bear in backyard

I usually get a few  bears visit every Spring and Summer. Most years a momma bear shows up with a cub or two. Not this year. I only had one male visit until this fellow showed up and attempted to get at my bird feeders.  He couldn’t reach them so he settled for some of the corn I put out for the deer, squirrels and turkeys. black bear in backyard

I enjoyed watching him eat for about ten minutes. He finally had his fill and wandered back into the woods. I hope he returns soon, and brings some of his bear in backyard

Today, I decided to leave work early and hike out to the railroad tracks near my house. When I was growing up here in Green Ridge there were large areas of  anthracite coal strip mines and  coal silt deposits between my house and the railroad tracks. These areas were reclaimed a few years ago  and now are a mixture of new growth forest and wetlands. clouds over wetlands

I hiked under the intense  mid afternoon June sun and encountered  dozens of red-winged blackbirds in the newly created wetlands. red-winged blackbird in flight over tree

These noisy birds are very territorial and the males were flying above my head in an attempt to drive me from their nesting areas. red-winged blackbird in flight

I also  saw this bird for the first time out here. I believe it is an eastern kingbird. I perched high in a tree before flying off.  eastern kingbird

There were a number of wildflowers in bloom now including one of my favorite, the daisy.daisy

I will never get tired of this flowers that brighten up even the rainiest day in the summer. 

They are even more beautiful in the bright afternoon sun

There were also many of these smaller daisies along the trail.

Deervetch and

selfheal were also growing along the trails in the reclamation area. 

I walked through the wetlands to the railroad tracks. These tracks have been active for almost 150 years. Almost everyone growing up in Green Ridge would be familiar with them. I spent many summer day with my friends following them around the Ridge and back up to the West Hazleton High School. Good times they were,

 The surrounding strip mines are gone. I walked to a couple of new ponds that were created when the area was re-claimed.

The last few years I have would find dozens  of dragonflies hovering around the ponds. Not this year. I only saw a few of them. I am not sure why. 

The fields around the ponds were covered with more fields including the pretty yellow lance leaves ,

black-eyed coneflowers and

sulfur cinquefoil. 

I only walked a couple of miles, and the woods and strip mines I knew were gone, but I still  recalled many good days walking these same tracks that I first explored as a boy. It was my world and I loved it, and still do. Here is a link to some more photographs from of the bear and my hike on the railroad tracks. Railroad hike and bear June 25 2019

“With no effort on my part it became summer.” 
― Marty Rubin

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