Mosquitoes And Goldfinches: A Mid August Walk In The PPL Wetlands

Mosquitoes And Goldfinches: A Mid August Walk In The PPL Wetlands

PPL Wetlands goldfinches (14 of 15)
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Although I haven’t been posting blogs to my website,  I still have spent a lot of time hiking in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania these past few weeks.  I find comfort walking, especially in the woods. I spent  a many hours reflecting on my mom’s death.  And the still senseless loss of my sister and her husband last fall. And, of course, my best friend, hero and mentor, my dad, five years ago.  Life is so different now. But it goes on for those of us who survive. Live we must.  And August is the start of mushroom season. 

It  had been dry and I wasn’t finding a lot of my edible mushrooms earlier in the month. We then did get some torrential rains a few weeks ago. I wanted to see how the heavy rains affected the Susquehanna River  So I once again visited one of my favorite hiking trails at the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County. 

The river was flooded from the rains as were the trails. 

I walked along the trails in the  wetlands and soon discovered that  the mosquitoes quickly multiplied in the flooded ponds. I walked through swarms of this nasty critters and suffered many bites. I never experienced so many mosquitoes before. 

I took my macro and zooms lens along to capture nature from two   different  perspectives. I found many of the plants I photographed in Spring now put forth fruits and berries, including the unusual fruit of the jack-in the- pulpit. 

The milkweed flowers  are gone and replaced with pods. 

There were still a few unripe blackberries. The ripe ones were gone, eaten by the birds or some fellow hikers. 

The late summer flowers were now in bloom including the jewel weed or touch-me-not. 

There were still a few turtles on the logs and banks of the ponds but many now remain in the safety of the warm water.

As I often do I observed something I hadn’t seen before. Goldfinches  feeding on the tiny duckweed plants that now cover the ponds and canals in the wetlands. 

I watcheda pair of these beautiful birds enjoy dining on this tiny plant. This is a male, 

and this a female. I didn’t realize how much the wildlife feeds on this plant. I photographed a muskrat feeding on duckweed a few weeks ago. 

I continued my hike into the riverlands area of the preserve. 

And walked along the shores of Lake Took-A- While.

Here I saw an osprey flying  overhead. I also saw two bald eagles take off in the distances but wasn’t able to photograph them.

I didn’t see many songbirds but did see a few flycatchers,

a swarm of cicada killer wasps,

and a couple squirrels. Here is a link to some more photographs of the wildlife I saw on my hike. PPL Wetlands wildlife August 12 2018

I walked to the far end of the lake and  began my return hike under the beautiful August skies. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands August 12 2018. 

There is no such thing as death. In nature nothing dies. From each sad remnant of decay, some forms of life arise so shall his life be taken away before he knoweth that he hath it. Charles Mackay