More Spring Beauty: Duck Flowers And Red Winged Black Birds. A Walk On The Railroad Tracks
We finally had some warm and sunny days here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Temperatures neared 80 degrees under clear blue skies on Thursday. I decided to take a late afternoon hike out to the railroad tracks near my house.
As a child, I would have to walk through strip mines and coal culm banks to get there. The strip mines were reclaimed a few years ago and now there are open fields and some wetlands along the way.
I was hoping to see some song birds on my walk, or maybe some ducks or geese near the wetlands. I was disappointed. I saw no birds until I encountered a pair of nesting red winged blackbirds near the wetlands. However, they provided me with some nice photographs.
These birds migrate in large flocks in the Spring. This pair decided to nest here in the wetlands. The males are very aggressive defending their territory.
This fellow flew over my head a number of times trying to chase me from what I am sure a nearby nest.
The female also was agitated by my appearance but was much more calm,
staying, I think, closer to the nest. Here is a link to some more photographs of the red winged black birds. Blackbirds May 24 2018.
I also saw what I believe is a king bird perched atop a tree near the wetlands.
Unlike the red winged black birds this fellow didn’t stay around and quickly flew away.
I continued my walk through the reclamation area,
scattering some robins as I walked.
I came to the railroad tracks where I spent countless hours walking and exploring with friends as a child, and later taking reflective walks as an adult. I love these railroad tracks. So many memories.
I had a mission today. And it was accomplished. I wanted to see if the lady slipper orchids or “duck flowers” as my dad called them were blooming. And they were.
I have been visiting an area where a large number grow and bloom in late May. My dad would take my siblings and I out the roads in the strip mines near his mom’s home in Crystal Ridge looking for these beautiful flowers and the ‘honeysuckles’ which also bloom in late May.
I used to gather a few for dad but I have learned they have become endangered so I don’t disturb them anymore. They are beautiful flowers. Here is a video I uploaded to my YouTube channel of more of these delicate Spring flowers.
It was evening now, and it was a pleasant one. The sun was still strong in the clear blue skies. The waxing gibbous moon, barely visible, was already high in the eastern.
I could have walked until sunset but I was getting tired and hungry so I decided to return home. I encountered a few more robins, red winged blackbirds and this hawk perched in a tree.
I know we should love and appreciate all seasons, but I will always be a warm weather person. I love to find, photograph and share the beauty of nature. And there is a lot of it in Spring, especially when you keep your eyes peeled. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Afternoon hike May 24 2018.
The orchid grows where others cannot enduring the hardships of hunger and thirst, and is loosely tied to the things that support it. And, even with all the difficulty of its life, the orchid graces the world with beautiful colour and rare fragrance. This is like the life of the true gentleman, who sets himself to learn self-discipline, and whose character shines no matter where he is or what he experiences. Confucius