No Bears Or Snakes, But Some Birds, Bugs And Wildflowers At State Game Lands 119
I have not seen a bear on any of my hikes this year. And for the first time in many years none have visited my back yard here in Hazle Township in Luzerne County. I only saw two all year, near Barnesville, in April. So, on Sunday I decided to hike in State Game Lands 119 in Dennison Township. I have had many a close encounter with a bear on these trails. And I am also trying to find some rattlesnakes to photograph and I was hoping to see one up here.
On Sunday I planned to take my usual seven mile hike in the game lands starting at the parking area on Hollenback Road. The road to the game lands is not paved and would probably recommend a 4-wheel drive vehicle to get here. It was sunny, warm and humid when I began my hike. I started at 7:30 a.m. because I knew it was going to get hot. I head into the game lands on the main access road. All of the trees had their leaves now.
It was nice walking under the canopy of leaves but it was also now difficult to photograph the many birds singing in the thick leaf cover. I was able to capture this male eastern towhee singing in a tree. These birds are usually seen, or heard, rustling through the leaf liter on the forest floor.
Once again, after about a mile, I left the main access road and took the old railroad right of way trail that led to the D & L trail. It is a narrow trail, and I have encountered many bears, and ticks, here.
The former railroad right of trail is about 1 1/2 miles in length and becomes more wet and swampy as it nears the D & L trail. I then hiked south on the D & L trail to Moosehead Lake about 3/4 of a mile. Here about a dozen bikers, and one hiker passed me as I walked in the hot June sun.
I didn’t see any of them but still spent some time exploring the shoreline of the ponds. I did see a lot of different species of dragonflies darting about or resting on a leaf or twig, including this common whitetail dragonfly and,
It was a beautiful place to spend a June morning .After leaving the wetlands I continued on the D & L trail for about 1 1/2 miles. I saw a few more hikers, bikers and runners enjoying the trail on my hike.
The milkweed are starting to bud and this monarch butterfly was already attracted to the young buds. The monarch relies on the nectar of milkweed flowers for food. This one may have migrated a little too far north too soon.
When I arrived at an old railroad right of way I changed course. I left the D & L trail and followed the old railroad bed back up to the park access road. I passed a small lake where I stopped to enjoy the songs of the birds and croaking of the bullfrogs.
A turkey vulture flew overhead. Here is a link to a gallery with photographs of some of the critters I saw on my hike. State Game Lands 119 critters June 6 2021.
I was getting hot, thirsty and tired as I approached the access road. It was another 3/4 mile to my Jeep at the parking lot I the only things I was now interested in photographing were bears and snakes. I didn’t see either on my hike, but I still enjoyed the birds, insects and wildflowers that I did see and which I am able to now share. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike in the state game lands 119. State Game Lands Dennison Township June 6 2021.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~Albert Einstein