It's The Middle Of January, But It Doesn't Look It At The PPL Wetlands

It's The Middle Of January, But It Doesn't Look It At The PPL Wetlands

PPL Wetlands  (4 of 48)
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            <![CDATA[We had our first measurable snow and some frigid temperatures here in Northeastern Pennsylvania this past week but it warmed back up today. Temperatures rose above freezing most of the snow melted. I decided to hike in the PPL Wetlands and Riverlands. The melting snow, and warmer temperatures, created some foggy conditions and the Susquehanna River was shrouded in fog when I first arrived.<a href="" rel="attachment wp-att-33200"><img class="size-medium wp-image-33200 alignright" src="" alt="PPL Wetlands (2 of 48)" width="300" height="200" /></a>

I walked along the banks of the river, which some years is frozen over by now, but this year it was mostly open with just small pieces of ices flowing downstream. There were a lot of mallard ducks on the river and a few common mergansers on the river.PPL Wetlands (10 of 48)

I walked to the canals and they,  too,  were not completely frozen as they are in most January’s.PPL Wetlands (20 of 48)

There were no turtles, frogs or snakes in or around the waterways but there was some evidence that some critters still are  active. I’m not sure what animal made this tracks.PPL Wetlands (44 of 48)

The trees are now leafless but still, there intricate limbs and branches are beautiful even in this naked state.PPL Wetlands (12 of 48)

There were also still some green plants growing in this coldest month, including some ferns and this vine.PPL Wetlands (28 of 48)

Leftover berries were still providing food to the birds including the staghorn sumac flowers which attracted quite of few cardinals. I also saw a hawk, a lot of black capped chickadees, and blue jays but wasn’t able to get any photographs.PPL Wetlands cardinal (1 of 1)

I walked to the Riverlands and past the two large cooling towers of the Susquehanna Power Plant. both were spewing huge columns of steams high into the atmosphere.PPL Wetlands (36 of 48)

It was a much different hike than most January’s when there is usually a deep snow cover by now, with the waters being frozen solid and temperatures well below freezing. But not this year.  It was a dreary and somber walk but I didn’t mind it and I did not miss out usual winter weather. I am looking forward to walking these wetlands and listening to the chorus of the spring peepers, always a welcome sound in Spring. here is a link to some more photographs I took on my hike today. Wetlands (46 of 48)

Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. ShePPL Wetlands (47 of 48) withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. ~Hugh Macmillan,