No Mushrooms But A Pleasant September Morning Hike Around Leaser Lake in Lehigh County.
It was a beautiful September morning last Saturday in Hazle Township, Luzerne County. And September is the peak of wild mushroom season here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As many of you who follow my blog know, I love foraging for wild edible mushrooms. I have been doing so since I was a young child. Many of my mushroom hunts can be found by researching the archives of my blog website. This was not a good mushroom season. We had little rain and there were few mushrooms growing this Summer. We got some rain last week but I didn’t find any of the edible mushrooms I gather on a hike near my home Friday.
This past year many of the areas where I had found my favorite “red top’ (aspen scaber stalk) were lost to industrial development. My family dries these mushrooms and we use them in a traditional Polish mushroom soup on Christmas Eve Holy Supper. My wonderful nieces now make the soup and continue this beautiful tradition. Those are “red top” mushrooms shown above. This being said I decided to explore some new areas and thought the woodlands around Leaser Lake in Lehigh County might be a good place to look for some mushrooms..
So I took the 40 minute drive to the lake and arrived around 8 a.m. Saturday morning at the North boat ramp.. It was a chilly 55 degrees when I arrived. The skies were clear but there was a mist on the lake. There were already quite a few fishermen on the lake.
The woods were still lush and green but they were quiet, On my last hikes these woods were filled with the songs of warblers, vireos and other song birds. There were no birds singing Saturday . And there were no mushrooms either. I was disappointed I thought there may be some chicken of the woods or hen of the woods (we call them ramsheads). There were not many wildflowers blooming either, just the pretty white wood asters.
The trail continued along the lake. There were many birch trees along the trail. Red top mushrooms grown near birch trees and this is where I hoped to find them. Unfortunately the ground near the birch trees all around the lake was overgrown with goldenrod, milkweed and other plants and wildflowers. I did not find a single edible mushrooms on my hike,
amid the many cattails growing along the lake. I walked around the wetlands and came to the Southern Main parking area. There were a lot of folks fishing. picnicking or just enjoying the beauty of the lake. The purple martin nest here were empty and their occupants were migrating to the tropics for the Winter.
this beautiful red shouldered hawk landed on a dead tree branch above my head.
It was nearing noon when the trail entered a woodland on the northern side of the lake. In the Spring the trail here was almost under water. It was still wet in spots but much drier now because of the lack of rain this Summer. The trail also gets very rocky here before it leaves the woodland and again follows the northern shore of the lake.
and this eastern phoebe catching insects on the shores of the lake. Here is a link to a gallery on my website with some more photos of the critters I saw on my pleasant September morning hike around the lake. Leaser Lake Critters September 10 2022.
I didn’t find any mushrooms but it was another nice hike in the woodlands of Pennsylvania, and I enjoyed seeing some wildlife, wildflowers and beautiful scenery. And once again I enjoyed sharing it here on my blog. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike around the scenic lake. Leaser Lake September 10 2022.
Happily we bask in this warm September sun, which illuminates all creatures.” – Henry David Thoreau