Late November At Community Park In Luzerne County

Late November At Community Park In Luzerne County

Community Park (7 of 39)
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I  returned to another one  of my “go to”  hikes on Friday, the Community Park located only a mile or so from my home in Hazle Township Luzerne County.  It was “Black Friday” so I wanted to get my hiking in early so I could head to the Malls and do my Christmas shopping, Just kidding, just kidding, I hate Malls and shopping and wouldn’t go anywhere near one on crazy “Black Friday”. I did want to get my hiking done but only because I was invited to my nephew’s  house to watch some  Friday  football.

It was partly cloudy and seasonably cold when I arrived around 8:30 a.m.   Temperatures were in the mid 30’s. There was no one in the pavilion  area or in the playground on this  cold November morning,  I walked down to Lake Irena and was surprised to see a few folks still  fishing this late in the year.

  I  followed the trail around the park. It was quiet. No birds were singing and there were no sounds of the frogs and insects I enjoy in the warmer months.

There were no wildflowers blooming but some tea berries and

winterberries provided some color along the trail.

I also found some mushrooms still growing on the cold ground, these earth star fungi.

The trees along the trail were now leafless and the lake and surrounding woodlands look so different with the naked trees. It is a sad feeling for me. I miss the warmth of Spring and Summer and the abundance of life, but animal and plant that one sees on every hike.

I came to the north end of the lake, where a small stream enters the lake. Last time the trail was flooded here because of a dam built by some busy beavers. It wasn’t flooded on Friday. I  soon found the reason, the dam they built was still there but it was breached on one side, to stop the flooding. I am sure the beavers will repair it again.

I continued waking around the lake and saw about a dozen Canada geese and this great blue heron  near the shore.

The great blue heron flew away as I approached

but the Canada geese  didn’t mind my presence. 

Usually I will hike into the surrounding woodlands when I visit Community Park. On Friday  just hiked around Lake Irena three times which is about a three mile hike.  Some high clouds occasionally  obscured the sun making for a somber but  scenic walk around the lake.

And as  the sun warmed  up the chilly morning air the  Winter residents became active. I saw a few white breasted nuthatches,

a tufted titmouse,

a few colorful but noisy blue jays,

and a small flock of golden crowned kinglets.

These birds are always moving and I was lucky to get a few photos of these pretty birds and their patch of yellow feathers on their heads.

I also saw the great blue heron a few times as I walked around the lake, always   flying  away  as  I approached.

It was cold   and dreary without the leaves and flowers but it was still a nice hike. I enjoyed the smell of the pitch pines on the north side of the lake. 

On my final lap around the lake  I saw  a pair of black,

They could be the same pair I saw a few  weeks ago. I think these were the first ones I had seen on Lake Irena. 

It wasn’t  my favorite walking weather, I love the heat and humidity of Summer, or even a cool day in Spring when everything is so alive. But it was  still better than shopping at the Mall. And I was able to see, and share some of the wildlife and beauty of Community Park. It is a treasure in our Community. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my three mile hike. Community Park November 24 2023. 

“This is the month of nuts and nutty thoughts — that November whose name sounds so bleak and cheerless — perhaps its harvest of thought is worth more than all the other crops of the year.”
— Henry David Thoreau

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