It's Been A Mild January But Still Ice, And Some Snow, At The PPL Wetlands
<![CDATA[I decided to hike on one of my favorite trails this morning, the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township. Most years, in January, I would find thick ice on the ponds and canals and a deep snow cover on the trails but we had unseasonably mild weather here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, so I found no snow and only a thin layer of ice on the ponds and canals. <a href="https://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/PPL-Wetlands-11-1.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-65412" src="https://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/PPL-Wetlands-11-1-300x200.jpg" alt="PPL Wetlands -11" width="300" height="200"></a>
And most surprising was what find in the partially frozen ground, the emerging sheaths of the skunk cabbage. Usually the first plants to emerge, in early March, I have never found them growing in January before. I hope it is a sign of early Spring but it also may be proof our climate is changing.
It was cloudy, and the temperatures were seasonable, in the low 30’s , this morning as I walked along the trails and canals. For the first few miles I did not see or hear a single bird or animal. Not a crow, squirrel, chipmunk or sparrow. Clearly it was January since it is hard to walk a few feet in the Spring, Summer or Fall without seeing or hearing some type of wildlife.
I walked into the river lands section of the nature area and found. like I did in my last visit, a flock of white throated sparrows. These birds stayed close to the ground under the brambles and green brier vines but I was able to photograph this one resting in a tree branch.
On my walk back I also encountered a few flocks of the northern or black eyed juncos scrambling on the ground looking for food, the main activity of all wildlife during the cold Winter months. I was surprised to only see one mammal, a gray squirrel, during my five mile hike.
I decided to walked along the Susquehanna River for a bit and took a few moment to sit and watch the ice slowly flowing downriver. I find watching it very relaxing since I first observed the ice on the Susquehanna River a few miles down river in the Bloomsburg town park when I was a freshman at Bloomsburg College many years ago. Here is a link to a video of the ice flow on the river I uploaded to Youtube.
The light snowfall continued, covering the paths and ice on the canals and creating some nice scenery. I knew it was also making the 25 miles of roads I had to drive to my home icy and dangerous so I decided it was time to leave the newly created winter wonderland, knowing, God willing, I can always return tomorrow. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk today. https://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-hike-January-14-2017-
“Natures beauty soothe my eyes,
Refreshes my soul,
Helps in imagination…”