Mushrooms, Ducks, A Grebe, A Bald Eagle And Autumn Colors At Community Park
We had five days of cloudy skies last week here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It was cloudy all weekend. And it was cloudy when I began a hike at the Community Park near my home here in Hazle Township Luzerne County on Monday afternoon. I had forgotten what the sun looked like.
It was over a week since my last hike in Community Park and I found a lot more signs of the advancing Autumn on my three mile hike. Many of the trees along Lake Irena were showing some reds and yellow colors and others, like the birch trees already lost most of their leaves.
It has been a warm and wet Summer and Fall and there has been an abundance of mushrooms growing in our woods. I have found hundreds of pounds of edible wild mushrooms this year, giving almost all of them away to family and friends. So I wasn’t looking for mushrooms on my hike, but I found them. First these nice honey mushrooms growing on a tree. ( in coal country we call them stumpers, and the Slavic folks around here call them popinkies).
I left scenic Lake Irena and walked into the surrounding woodlands. Here, I found a lot more beautiful Fall colors displayed by the trees, mainly the sassafras trees. The leaves on all most all of these trees have changed to yellow.
I believe this pearl-crescent butterfly, and
this a clouded sulpher butterfly.
Most of the clouds had dissipated when I hiked back to Lake Irena and the lake reflected the deep blue October skies. It was a pretty scene. Temperatures rose into the mid 70’s. It seemed like Summer isn’t going to end this year.
I left the park and decided to return the next afternoon. I debated whether I should return. It was overcast again and I didn’t think I’d see much wildlife. I was wrong. As soon as I walked to the lake I saw this pie-billed grebe swimming close to shore.
After seeing the grebe and eagle on the lake I took the same route as the day before. And I was again surprised to some interesting mushrooms. These strange fungi are stalked puffball-in-aspic mushrooms. I have never seen them before.
this chipmunk that quickly scurried away as I approached. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the birds and other critters I saw on my three hikes in Community Park. Community Park birds October 12- 14 2021
There were also some critters living near the lake that I didn’t see, but I knew they were around by these trees that the were gnawing. It appears the beaver family moved back to the area. I love this busy critters but I am sure they will have to be remove as they cause considerable damage to the trees.
as I walked under the canopy of trees. It has been a remarkably mild and wet the past two months and I loved it. I am not a fan of the cold weather anymore so I hope the mild weather continues, if it does I will continue my afternoon hikes in Community Park. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike. Community Park October 12 -14 2021.