Last Thursday I had the opportunity to accompany a friend, famous wildlife photographer, Donna , and visit and hike in the beautiful Lacawac Sanctuary in Wayne County. It was my first visit here and I arrived around 1 p.m.and met Donna after a 1 1/2 hour drive from my home in Hazle Township, Luzerne County.
It was overcast when we left the visitor center,
and hiked on the Ledges Trail into the oak, hemlock and pine woods. Lush green ferns grew along the trail.
There were many species of mushrooms growing along the trail too. They loved the recent rains and were popping up everywhere. I believe this is a bitter bolete,
and this either a blusher or panther amanita.
We hiked through the old second growth where some trees were covered in ancient vines,
and made our way to Heron Lake, which is more like a large pond.
This small lake had a platform where a family of ospreys were nesting.
The fledglings were almost a big as the parents,
who took off, probably to find food food for the growing family.
We continued our walk along the lake and found some water lily flowers in bloom,
and some shy frogs watching us from a safe distance.
We took the trail to the lodge and estate building many of which where built in 1903. The property itself traces it’s ownership to the heirs of William Penn who acquired a large tract of land here near Lake Lacawac in 1754. This is the main lodge built by William Connell in 1903.
There were many other building from this historic lodge including the carriage house,
the coachman’s house and
the ice house. The buildings were closed but I believe are open to the public on special occasion.
Of particular interest to me were the Deagan Chimes. 483 sets of chimes were built by the Deagan Chime Factory and only six are now owned privately. I have now saw four sets of this famous chimes, the others I have seen were in Longwood Gardens here in Pennsylvania, the Wrigley Estate on Catalina Island California and, one of my favorite places I ever visited the isolated but romantic and beautiful Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley California. I loved this place. So it was nice to see the chimes here in the Northeastern Pennsylvania. There is more history in the links I provided above.
This critter was near the chimes and was watching us as we took photos of it and the chimes.
After exploring the lodge area we walked down to scenic and famous Lake Lacawac.
This 52 acre lake is the “southernmost unpolluted glacial lake in North America” Pretty cool. The lake is also know as a romantic and scenic place for a wedding.
Along the lake we saw some dragonflies including this Halloween pennant dragonfly and this
a calico pennant dragonfly.
Growing near the lake were these black species of edible high bush blueberries
and chokeberries, a valuable food source for the Native Americans who first lived in this area. Birch bark native canoes where found in the lake.
Cloudy skies persisted as we left the lake and
hiked back to Heron Pond, where we found a great blue heron.
We watched it for awhile, hoping it would catch a fish but it didn’t and flew off as a group of the many young folks who were also visiting the sanctuary approached.
And we Donna spotted this rare wood frog hiding in a tree. lol
We proceeded to make our way back to the visitor center and found many more mushrooms growing under the thick canopy of trees including this old man of the woods bolete,
and these amanita mushrooms.
We also saw some of the white Indian pipes or ghost plants. This plants look like fungi but are actually flowering plants that do not produce chlorophyll.
We saw a few more birds, a scarlet tanager and this red-eyed vireo. I was only able to get this poor photo of the vireo. Donna got beautiful photos of both. Here is a link to some more photos of the birds and other critters we saw on our hike at Lacawac Sanctuary. Lacawac Sanctuary Wayne County July 22 2021.
It was a short walk to the visitor center after we saw the vireo and tanager and we soon ended our 3 1/2 mile hike It was a wonderful afternoon hike and I hope to do it again soon. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my first visit to Lacawac Sanctuary. Lacawac Sanctuary Wayne County July 22 2021.
The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”
-Lady Bird Johnson