Mid Summer At The PPL Wetlands.
It’s hard to believe Summer is at its midpoint. Seems like only yesterday the skunk cabbage were just pushing through the snow at the PPL Wetlands. It has been a few weeks since I have been down to the wetlands and I decided to head there yesterday morning.
It rained in the morning and was still a warm and overcast day when I arrived. I parked at the Riverlands part of the preserve, near Lake Took -A-While. The lake is lined with fisherman in April, and usually there are always a number of fisherman along it’s shores even in Summer . Not yesterday. I asked the lone fisherman how he was doing and he said not a bite, not in a couple of hours. He also said he was fishing in the lower, cooler waters and still no luck.
I think the oppressive summer heat we have been having has affected much of the wildlife. There was not much wildlife to be found. The birds, so active in the Spring, were now mostly quiet. I saw only a few sparrows and robins. Even the insects were quiet and inactive. Although there were a lot of these unusual wasps that live in the ground. They are here every year and although they have nest all along the path seem to let us humans alone.
The plant life has also changed and gone are the many Spring and early Summer flowers. It is, I think the most flowerless time of the summer, although there were still a few in bloom, as well as the first flowering of the ragweed.
Many of the plant, including the ferns, mandrakes and skunk cabbages, which heralded the onset of the growing season, are now brown and shrivelled up now. They are replaced by the longer growing, seed producing plants growing along the lake and paths.
The logs and banks of the canals were once covered with turtles , but the waters are now very warm and they don’t need to bask in the sun, which had now returned after the clouds cleared up, to maintain their body temperature. Still I did find an occasional turtle, covered in duckweed, who preferred to sit on a log.
I was hoping to find some mushrooms. Although it has been hot, we have had some thunderstorms and thought the rain from the storms may have produced some mushrooms. I was disappointed to find only a few scattered species during my walk.
I did find this unusual fungus or mold growing on the ground. There are so many species of fungus and they are instrumental in contributing to the decaying and breaking down of all the organic matter produced by the trees and plants in the forest.
I returned by walking along the river where I scared a large buck, or should we say we startled each other, as I came around a turn in the path. He was too quick for my camera but a beautiful animal he was. The shade of the trees along the river made for a nice spot for a rest and a bit of reflection.
It was not sunny and hot and so I made my way back to the car. I was a little disappointed, I was hoping to share some more interesting photographs of some wildlife, but it was still a nice way to spend a Saturday morning. I am hoping to be more lucky on my hike today. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike yesterday https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/PPL-Wetlands-August-6-2016-
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time. ~John Lubbock