March Sunshine, Warmer Temperatures And Some Wood Frogs At Community Park.

March Sunshine, Warmer Temperatures And Some Wood Frogs At Community Park.

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It’s hard to believe it has been over three months since my last hike in the Community Park near my home in Hazle Township,  Luzerne County.  I  last hiked here on  November 28.    There are only a few days  until Spring arrives, so it looks like I survived another Winter here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It was a mild one but still way too cold, snowy and dark for me. I am not a fan of Winters anymore. During the Winter months I take my afternoon hikes near my home in the Green Ridge neighborhood of Hazle Township.  However this past week  we had plenty of March  sunshine and warmer temperatures  in the 50’s and 60’s., so I  returned to  community park for a few afternoon walks.

On my first visit, last Friday afternoon, the park was crowded. There were a lot of people walking around Lake Irena enjoying the late Winter sunshine.  And there were many fishermen along it’s shore.

Although it was sunny and warm,  the  bare trees along the lake,

and the brown and  withered remains of last years flowers,  grasses and,

cattails reminded  me it was still Winter.

I continued on the my walk on the trail  along the lake, and although there were no wildflowers blooming yet,

I  saw some teaberries along the trail.

 these lichens,

and stalked puffball mushrooms. I believe they were growing here last Spring too.

There are also patches of  climbing or Hartford ferns growing along Lake Irena. These ferns are endangered.

And there here were some signs of spring, there were about a dozen  Canada geese on the lake, many of them in pairs,

,getting ready to breed and nest, after they were feeding on some aquatic plants and roots.

There was also a few mallard ducks on the lake,

hanging with the Canada geese.

After walking along the lake I followed the trail that led to the Babe Ruth Baseball field .

Here, I heard and saw some wood frogs,  in the vernal  ponds along the trail.

I returned to the ponds every  days I  patiently waited for them to come to the surface.. They seem to be enjoying the March sunshine,

and were looking for some company  after their long Winter hibernation.

On my last walk I saw the first results of their Spring meetings, masses of eggs in the ponds.

In the woodlands I saw some remaining Indian hemps seeds along the trails.

There wasn’t much other wildlife or bird activity on my hike, I saw a few black-capped chickadees high in the tree tops,

and tis white breasted nuthatch,

feeding on lichen growing on the trunk of a tree.

I also saw  a few black  ducks swimming on the lake,

and many turtles emerging from the cold waters of Lake Irena to enjoy the sunshine, Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds I saw on my walks around Lake Irena. Community Park birds March 7 to 15 2024.

There wasn’t a lot of wildlife on my walks these past week,

but I still enjoyed the peaceful scenic lake and the surrounding woodlands.

However, it won’t be long until more migrating water fowl and song birds make their appearance at the park.

And, when the Fish Commission stock the lake with trout the bald eagles may return. I hope to be spending many Spring and Summer afternoons at this small, but wonderful park, enjoying the beauty of Nature. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my  walks around Lake Irena. Community Park  March 7 to 15 2024.

“Nature surrounds us, from parks and backyards to streets and alleyways. Next time you go out for a walk, tread gently and remember that we are both inhabitants and stewards of nature in our neighborhoods.” – David Suzuki

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