Late Summer At The PPL Wetlands
Although there is almost another full month of Summer, it felt a bit like Fall at the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County last Sunday. It was overcast with temperatures in the low 50’s when I arrived at the wetlands early in the morning.
This duckweed continues to provide food for the many critters that live in the wetlands. Muskrats, beavers, birds ducks, turtles and frogs are among the many animals that use it as a main source of food. This year I didn’t see many mallard ducks in the wetlands but there was a number of nesting pairs of wood ducks. On every visit I try to approach, and photograph, these beautiful ducks. Most times. like on Sunday, they fly off before I can get close.
The clouds soon dissipated and the warm late Summer sun warmed up the air. This time of year waters of the ponds and canals are often warmer than air temperatures and the multitude of turtles that can be seen sunning themselves in the sunshine now remain in the warm waters. I did not see one turtle on my hike. The frogs like the warm water too but they have to leave it to catch their food. I saw a few of them partially submerged in the duck weed covered waters.
Many of the migratory birds have already began their long journey south. I haven’t seen a red-winged blackbird in weeks. Many of the song birds are gone to. There were a few that remained including this goldfinch and
As I left the wetlands section of the preserve, and walked into the river lands I came across various types of various. In late Summer many of the trees now produce colorful berries including the bluish/purple berries of the silver dogwoods,
devils darning needles,
There were some milkweed plants growing along the trail but I didn’t find any monarch butterfly caterpillars. I did find one covered in milkweed bugs.
As I said before, many of the song birds have already begun to leave our area. I did see some orioles, warblers and sparrows but was unable to photograph them. I did capture this bird, I am not sure but it may be a female grosbeak.
Once again I followed the Susquehanna Warrior Trail out another mile or so before I began my walk back.
I walked back through the wetlands, enjoying the late Summer sunshine and the singing of the cicadas. Fall is just around the corner so I am going to take advantage of every the remaining days of Summer. Here is a link to a gallery with more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands August 25 2019.
“August was nearly over – the month of apples and falling stars, the last care-free month for the school children. The days were not hot, but sunny and limpidly clear – the first sign of advancing autumn.”