No Snow, But Not Much Spring Either At The Lehigh Canal In Weissport.

No Snow, But Not Much Spring Either At The Lehigh Canal In Weissport.

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Many of the trails near my home in Hazle Township, located in the higher elevations of Northeastern Pennsylvania, still had a lot of snow cover last  Sunday.  So,  I decided to head south and the  lower elevations of the Lehigh Canal in Weissport, Carbon County. Weissport Lehigh canal -4

There is a lot of history in this area, from it’s beginnings as a fort founded by Benjamin Franklin to it’s importance as a hub on the famous Lehigh Canal.  I have done a few  posts on it’s history and they can be found in the archives section of my blog. Weissport Lehigh canal -2

I was glad to find the path along the old canal was snow free and I found only a few isolated patches of snow on my hike. Weissport Lehigh canal -8

As I thought I would , I found plenty of mallard ducks looking for nesting sites along the canal.  I also saw a pair of wood ducks, but, as is usually the case, they flew off before I could photograph them. Weissport Lehigh canal birds-2

I walked the path west and north as it winds between the Lehigh River and the remains of the old canal.Weissport Lehigh canal -9

 The Lehigh River was rushing with the waters from the rapidly melting snow and I saw  a lot of white water on my walk. There were also many geese, and like the ducks, pairing off to find the perfect place to locate their nest. Here is a link to a video of some geese on the river I uploaded to YouTube. https://youtu.be/qw5gqe4k8EkWeissport Lehigh canal birds-10

Although is wasn’t too cold, temperatures were near 40 degrees, the trees along the path were still bare and the gray  overcast skies made my walk fell more like Winter than late March. Weissport Lehigh canal -34

However, unlike my hike in the PPL Wetlands near Berwick, there were some signs of Spring including a few green buds on this tree. Weissport Lehigh canal -5

And a lot of plants on the ground  were starting to set forth their first green leaves, in anticipation of  the warmer weather, which I hope is on  it’s way. It was nice to see even this little bit of green. Weissport Lehigh canal -37

There were also many birds in addition to the water fowl, including the usual Winter residents, the black-capped chickadees, who fluttered in the trees on both sides of the path.Weissport Lehigh canal birds-4

I also saw a flock of blue birds, including this one Weissport Lehigh canal birds-3

a few cardinals Weissport Lehigh canal birds-19

mourning doves, Weissport Lehigh canal birds-8

and blue jays,  Weissport Lehigh canal birds-23

and sparrows. Weissport Lehigh canal birds-1

woodpeckers,Weissport Lehigh canal birds-13

They left plenty of evidence of their search for a meal under the bark of many trees along the trail. Weissport Lehigh canal -28

And there were the very welcome new arrivals, including, of course quite a few robins who were scampering along the mussy ground in search of a meal as well as  plenty of red winged black birds in  the brush along the trails and their noisy chattering calls. Weissport Lehigh canal birds-21

Although I didn’t see any, I also knew there were beavers active in the area as evidenced by many  small trees such as these along the trail. Weissport Lehigh canal -19

I hiked out to the observation area, about 2 1/2 miles out the trail, and decided to return when the wind changed,  knowing the forecast was for rain later in the day. Weissport Lehigh canal -33

On my return hike I noticed this young holly bush  along the path, somewhat rare in this area. I was surprised I hadn’t noticed it on my many walks along the canal. Weissport Lehigh canal -22

I walked past the “bridge to nowhere” a nice resting area sponsored and maintained by a local church. Weissport Lehigh canal -23

As I neared the parking area, I noticed this  beautiful bird perched atop a utility pole near my car. Weissport Lehigh canal birds-27

I haven’t seen an osprey here before but it would make sense  since there are plenty of fish in the waters of the canal.Weissport Lehigh canal birds-30

 Unfortunately, it wasn’t happy with me watching it and it took off for a more private dining area. Here is a link to some more photographs of the osprey and other birds I saw on my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/Lehigh-Canal-Weissport-birds-March-26-2017-Weissport Lehigh canal birds-28

i was glad I decided to hike the old Lehigh canal trail and was treated with a lot of bird activity. I am hoping, next weekend, that the snow cover atop the mountain will be gone and I can once again, walk the trails closer to home. The woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania should  be coming to life and I hope to be out there, with my eyes peeled, enjoying the many wonders it will offer. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/Lehigh-Canal-Weissport-March-26-2017-Weissport Lehigh canal -36

 

Summer, fall, winter, spring,
The seasons rotate as each
brings
its special beauty to this earth of ours.
Winters’ snow and Summers’ flowers
Frozen rivers will flow come spring,
There is a renewal of everything.  
–   Edna Frohock

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