Lakes, Sunshine And Whippoorwills:Some Photos From A Couple Of June Walks Close To My Neighborhood.

Lakes, Sunshine And Whippoorwills:Some Photos From A Couple Of June Walks Close To My Neighborhood.

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June has always been my favorite month.  I love the long days. The trees, lawns and other vegetation are at their peak.  Everything is green.  Flowers, both wild and in gardens bloom everywhere. The many species of wildlife that live in our woodlands are producing offspring. I love June.  I  was able to get out for a couple of hikes after work this past week.  On Thursday I took a late afternoon hike  in or local Community Park. Located only two miles from me in Hazle Township I have been visiting this park since it first opened. My dad would take us here on many a June day when I was a child. . cumulus clouds over lake

It was partly sunny when I arrived. I found a few fishermen on the shores of the Lake Irena  and a lot of folks walking around the lake. I have posted a number of  blogs about this park and you can search for them in my archive if you want to learn more about its history. 

Mountain laurel is  beginning to bloom and I found it growing along the trails and in the woodlands of the park. . This is our state flower and one of my favorite. mountain laurel

Frogs   were sitting in the waters of the lake along the shore but most jumped in the water before I could photograph them .  In my younger days i would be able to catch them  This is the only I was able to capture with my camera. frog in lake

The large trees on the northern side of the lake filtered the late afternoon June sun. tree lined trail

Dragonflies were everywhere as I walked around the lake.  

There were no water fowl on the lake. There are usually ducks and geese swimming on its waters, especially near the wetlands on the far end of the lake. Not a one on this hike. clouds over lake

My walk took me around  the lake and I next  followed the trail that led to the Babe Ruth baseball field. 

Here I continued my hike on old access road has been abandoned and it now is a  walking nice trail.

There were a few wild flowers growing along the trail including I believe  mock strawberries

and white top daisies. 

A few dragonflies were darting about so there must have been some ponds nearby.  

Butterflies and moths  were also starting to make their appearance.  

 

On my return hike I noticed the sheep laurel was also starting to bloom.sheep laurel

As were another of my favorite flowers the daisies. 

There were a few robins chirping in the trees but I was again disappointed when I didn’t see any other birds on my hike.  One thing I learned from many years of hiking in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania is to always expect the unexpected. Some days you see a bear, snake or rare species of birds other days just the natural  beauty of the trees and wildflowers. This was one of those days.   Did I mention I love June? 

On Monday I took a walk  out near Stony Mountain later in the evening, around 8 p.m, which is a 1/2 hour before sunset here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Stony Mountain was the playground of the youngsters and the camping and hunting grounds of the residents of Green Ridge for decades. 

Everyone knew of First, Second and Third Creeks. I spent countless hours exploring this mountain in search of huckleberries, mushrooms and just the peace and quiet its unspoiled woodlands provided. Unfortunately for us nature lovers large parts of the mountains were  destroyed for an Industrial park and housing development. Sad.  You can search earlier blog posts for more on that. sun setting on trail

On this beautiful june evening i was hiking out here is search of one of my favorite, well, probably my favorite, bird song., the haunting call of the whippoorwill. Mountain laurel

The song of this  elusive nocturnal bird always reminds me of summer evenings in my yard with my dad. There were whippoorwill in the woods near my home in Green Ridge in those days. My dad and I would sit and listen to them at sunset. I loved those days. They no longer live in Green Ridge but heard there were some still in the woods on Stony Mountain. The landowner, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission always hiking in the area. I walked out for about a mile hoping to see some other wildlife but was again disappointed. 

It was still a peaceful walk. The mountain laurel was in bloom and I could hear the song birds in the forest. 

The sun was setting when I walked back to my jeep. I waited in the woods after sunset and didn’t hear a whippoorwill. Of course, I was disappointed. Then, I heard one in the distance!  It was delightful  to again here this song. As I  walked toward it but it flew away. I waited for about a half hour after sunset. The woods were pitch black and filled with the sounds of frogs and crickets. I was ready to leave when, right over my head, I heard that distinctive song. I uploaded a video  on my Youtube channel and this is link.https://youtu.be/YIDSl6WLoPA

The bird flew off  into the darkness but started singing again further in the woods. Of course I followed. I spent the next 1/2 hour listening to the haunting songs of about three or four of these wonderful birds. Here is a link to what I heard. https://youtu.be/KF48YXZUVuc   So Beautiful. I wished I could have spent the night listening to their song but it was late and I had work. I returned home delighted to have heard this beautiful sound again. A return trip I am planning soon.  I love June.  Here is a link to some more photographs from my hikes. Community Park And Stony Mountain Hikes June 3,6 2019

 

“Twilight whippoorwill…
Whistle on, sweet deepener
Of dark loneliness” 
― Bashō, Japanese Haiku

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