I continued my daily routine of taking an afternoon walk in the Community Park near my home in Hazle Township, Luzerne County this past week. Last Friday was my last Spring walk in the park. It was hard to believe the Summer Solstice arrived on Tuesday. Winters here in Northeastern Pennsylvania seem to last forever, and Spring, Summer and early Autumn fly by. It was a cool, windy and mostly cloudy when I began my hike Friday afternoon.
As usual I first walk around scenic Lake Irena, hoping to see some wildlife near the lake. I often see eagles, ospreys and some water fowl on my walks. I didn’t on this walk.
I did notice some much smaller critters that were flying, fluttering and darting near the shores of the lake. They have been here before the birds, and even the dinosaurs. One of my favorite insects, the dragonflies.
There were hundreds of them. I try to learn the different species each year, but they are even harder then trying to identify the birds that visit out area. They are delicate and beautiful creatures.
As I walked around the lake I saw some partridge berry flowers blooming along the trail. I usually find them in deeper woods.
After walking around the lake I usually take the path to the ballfield and the old access road in the surrounding woodlands. Here I saw some more flowers blooming including many daisies. The daisies attracted a lot of insects including small wasps.
And, as usually if there are small insects, there are spiders waiting to trap them. I don’t know this species but I usually see white crab spiders on the daisy flowers.
There were also some pretty grass pinks blooming along the trail now.
The only bird that I saw on my hike on Friday was this eastern phoebe that was singing in the picnic area.
I returned to the park on Monday. It was a cool day with temperatures in the low 70’s., however the skies were clear and the it was a beautiful sunny day. Lake Irena reflected the clear blue skies.
I again walked around the lake. There was still some mountain laurel blooming along the lake.
I saw a few critters, including this gray squirrel and
this bull frog.
Flowers still bloomed along the lake including the blue-eyed grass.
I walked around the lake and again hiked into the surrounding woodlands.
I saw a few ovenbirds, they are a species of warbler,
I also first heard, and then saw a very similar, but larger bird. a hermit thrush. I love hearing their melodic songs echoing in the woods.
Is was a quiet day in the park on Monday and I didn’t see much more wildlife but, as always it was a nice day to hike in the park. I returned on Wednesday and found some mountain laurel blooming along the lake.
I saw a few birds along the lake, another eastern phoebe,
some chipping sparrows, including this one which I think was a fledgling.
There was a flock of beautiful cedar waxwings high in the treetops.
It was the day after the Summer Solstice and, as usual the first blueberries or “huckleberries” were ripening. In my younger days I would be out picking them for my mom and aunts. There is nothing like fresh huckleberry pie.
I was also happy to see some mushrooms growing along the trails.
I am not familiar with these species but the edibles species which I know and gather should be appearing soon, especially after our recent rains.
The first water lilies were blooming on the lake,
and the pickerelweed was almost in bloom which means the pickerelweed frogs are starting to show up along the lake.
Once again I hiked into the surrounding woodlands and saw the fly poison flower stalks in the deeper woods. This plant was used by the early settlors to poison flies.
There was also some Philadelphia fleabane flowers blooming ,
and the Indian hemp flowers too, these flower usually attract fritillary butterflies.
I am not sure of the exact species but they are beautiful butterflies.
It is nice hiking at Community Park all year but it is a wonderful place to hike, enjoy nature and see some wildlife in the Spring, Summer and Autumn months. God willing it will be a part of my daily routine for many years. I I hope to continue to share that beauty on social media and with you, the followers of my blog. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my Spring and Summer hikes in the park. Community park hikes June 17 to June 22 2022.
Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.