Sunrise At The Nature Inn And A Morning Exploring Bald Eagle State Park
I awoke in my room at the Nature Inn in the Bald Creek State Park at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. I usually awake early, before my alarm goes off. On Saturday I was tired from my hikes on Friday afternoon and relied on the alarm to wake me up. And I was glad it did. First I heard the wonderful sound of birds singing outside my room . Then I was treated to a beautiful dawn sky when I walked out on the balcony of my room.
A waning crescent moon was visible over Bald Eagle Mountain.
A mist floated over the lake below. Frogs still croaked in the wetlands and joined the singing of the awakening birds. It was a beautiful morning and a great place to watch it begin.
After a quick cup of coffee I was off on my hike to explore the trails surrounding the Nature Inn. As I left my room some of the fog on the lake rose up and obstructed the rising sun, making for an eerie, but pretty, scene.
For awhile the sun reemerged from the fog making for a nice start to my walk. I hoped to find some song birds in the golden morning light. And I did. These two tree swallows who were fluttering about. They must have a nest near the Inn.
They allowed me to get pretty close to photograph them in the morning sun.
Pretty birds they are, although some say they take over bluebird nesting areas.
Unfortunately, they were the last birds I got to clearly photograph on my morning walk for a while. As I walked down the hill to the Butterfly Trail fog and mist form the lake drifted in obscuring the sun and making it difficult to photograph the many birds I could hear singing in the surrounding woodlands.
I could see birds fluttering about in the tree tops but it was difficult to photograph them in the fog. Some I could recognize like this cardinal, others I couldn’t because of the fog.
Eventually I was able to get a few photographs, but only birds that were almost right in front of me, like this flicker,
this pretty female common yellowthroat and
The Butterfly Trail crosses an open woodland which was muddy, and, the high grass, wet, from the heavy rains the night before. My waterproof Gortex shoes were useless in these conditions. But wet feet are fun in the Spring and Summer and Fall.
Near the Frog Pond, now filled with rain water, I could hear the many red-winged blackbirds that I saw the day before. And a lot of frogs too.
I also saw a green heron siting in this tree, but again it was hard to photograph in the mist.
Although I couldn’t get photographs to share with my blog followers, it was still an enjoyable walk on the trail. The bird song was everywhere. I saw robins, sparrows, orioles and many other birds I could identify and others I could not because of the fog. I did see this deer on the trail who wasn’t too pleased to see me.
Nor was this red squirrel that froze in its tracks when it saw me.
I hiked up to the top of the ridge and onto the Skyline Drive Trail.
Here the sun broke through the dense fog creating a magical word of green.
The young beech leaves appeared to shine in the morning sun.
There were a few birds singing from the tree tops as I walked along the trail. Adding to the magic of sight and song was the heavenly aroma of the many honeysuckle bushes blooming along the trail.
I followed the trail to it’s intersection with the Swamp Oak Trail. I like oaks and swamps so I had to investigate. The trail was wet and muddy as it descended the ridge. The woodlands opened up and patches of mandrakes or may apples could be seen growing along the trail.
In the trees I heard and saw ,
a few male common yellow throats, and
this pretty bird, which I believe is a yellow throated vireo.
There were also a few red squirrels scurrying in the trees.
I was looking for the swamp oaks after which I had guessed they named the trail. Well I soon found the namesake of the trail, this large ancient swamp oak tree that spread over the path.
A placard nearby said it was a Champion Tree, the largest of its species in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I thought about the many folks who may have walked under its branches or sat in its shade over the many years since its sprouted from an acorn. Native Americans could have being among them.
After admiring this giant of a tree, I walked back up to the Skyline Drive Trail, then wide open Picnic Trail and back to the Nature Inn. The skies were mostly clear now so I decided to walk back down to the Butterfly Trail.
This time I was able to photograph a few of the many birds fluttering about and singing on the trail, including this indigo bunting,
As I walked back to the Inn I saw this fellow, one of the many catbirds I saw and heard on my hike., Here is a link to some more photographs of the birds I saw on my morning hike. Bald Eagle State park morning hike birds. May 16 2020.
I would have loved to continue my hike in the sunshine but I had already walked 5 1/2 miles and I was hungry. Breakfast would be delivered to my room until 10 a.m and I didn’t want to miss it so I finished my morning hike. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with more photographs from my morning hike near the Nature Inn Bald Eagle State Park morning hike May 16 2020.
I sat an enjoyed a delicious and filling breakfast delivered to my room.. I was tired from my morning hike so I spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon editing photographs, exploring the grounds around the Inn sitting on my balcony and enjoying the view. It was a spectacular one.
“In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. In the woods, is perpetual youth.”