July At The PPl Wetlands: A Muskrat, A Snake And A Lot Of Birds.
It was a hazy and hot day today in Northeastern Pennsylvania. My kind of July weather. I got off to a late start for my Sunday hike. I arrived at one of my favorite hiking trails , the PPl Wetlands and Riverlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County around 9;45 a.m. Temperatures were already in the low 80’s. However, it felt a lot cooler under the shade of the many ancient trees found in the wetlands.
I noticed, as I began my walk, that the fresh light greens of spring are gone. The woodlands are still green, the deep dark green of summer. But, some of the earliest plants to appear in Spring, like the skunk cabbage and some ferns, are already starting to turn brown and wither. Summer moves much to quickly. .
I encountered an elderly couple walking on the trail. I stopped to chat about the wildlife we had seen when I looked down on saw this black snake right beneath our feet. It didn’t like our conversation and scurried off into the underbrush.
I followed the trail which continued through a small patch of thicker woodlands. There are a few ponds here and they are filled with frogs. Most jumped into the water before I could focus on them but I was able to photograph this one.
I walked into the Riverlands and scenic Lake Took-A-While. It was a perfect summer scene. Some folks enjoyed walking the trail, others tried their luck at catching a fish and many enjoyed the picnic facilities for a cookout.
I walked out another mile, past the small pond and grove. As I often do I wondered about the parties and outings that were held here over the years. Judging from an old dock, this grove was here a very long time.
Temperatures now were in the low 90’s. I had walked out about 3 1/2 miles so it was time to turn around and walk back. I had less energy on the return walk. And the wildlife was also less active in the heat of the July afternoon. I still saw a few birds, including this cardinal.
some milkweed plants that have already produced pods.
I also found some blackberries which are almost ripe, a sure sign that Summer is moving on. It is my favorite season. I hope to spend as much time as I can exploring the woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania during this special tine of year, and sharing it with my friends here on my website, Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike, PPL Wetlands July 14 2019.