November Sunshine At The PPL Wetlands.

November Sunshine At The PPL Wetlands.

PPL Wetlands (10 of 46)
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November means shorter  days and colder temperatures  here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. And it has been cold. We  had some near record breaking temperatures this past week. It has been a few weeks since I visited the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township so I decided to  hike there  on Saturday. I wanted to see how the cold affected the wetlands. The forecast called for some slightly warmer temperatures and sunshine. 

The temperature was  in the upper 20’s when I arrived at the wetlands area of the nature preserve. The skies were clear and the  mid- November sun was low on the horizon.

The deep blue skies and the suns lower position made for some beautiful scenes as I walked along the canals and ponds of the wetlands. 

It was much quieter this time of year in the woodlands. . The chorus of song birds, frogs, and insects was silent. The leaves have all fallen leaving the intricate branches of the ancient trees exposed. 

The silence was soon broken when I heard a high pitched cry of a large bird. I looked up to see two bald eagles soaring in the deep blue sky. They landed on a nearby tree.  They flew off as I approached but I thought I got a couple of nice photographs of the magnificent birds.  I was disappointed to discover I had the wrong settings on my camera. So sorry, no photos of the eagles to share. I did soon encounter a large flock of white-throated sparrows fluttering in the trees. 

They are not as impressive as the bald eagles but they are still beautiful birds. 

The cold has killed all of the  wildflowers but the bright red winter berries provided splashes of color along the trail. 

As I neared Lake Took-A-While I saw a couple of young red squirrels in a tree. As I approached to get a photograph a large bird flew out from the tree. I couldn’t see what it was but, instinctively aimed my camera and began taking photos. I soon learned the bird was a hawk and that it too was interested in the red squirrels, for breakfast! It had one in it’s talons. 

I returned to the tree to find another  agitated red squirrel, apparently, from  having a parent, child, sibling or friend snatched by the hawk. 

The  deep blue waters of the lake had almost 200 Canada geese swimming on its waters. Thw geese were resting and will head south as the temperatures continue to drop and the lake freezes over. 

I didn’t see the eagles again but I did see some juncos and 

golden crowned kinglet. 

As I  continued my hike I enjoyed the  waters of the lake reflecting the deep blue skies.

Although I missed the many song birds. frogs, snakes, turtles and insects that live in the wetlands in the warmer months it was still nice to be outdoors on such a splendid day. 

I walked past the lake and followed the river trail where I found this frozen but still edible bears tooth  or lions mane mushroom. 

Delighted with my find I decided to turn back . I had walked about 2 1/2 miles at this point. 

It was an enjoyable hike back. The November sunshine provided some warmth and created some spectacular scenes. 

As I neared my car I encountered a flock of cedar  waxwings feeding along  one of the canals. I love these beautiful birds and watched them in the November sunshine. 

The diversity of wildlife is much less now but one can still see see some birds and mammals on even the coldest days of winter if you get outside and keep your eyes peeled. Here is a link to a gallery with more photos from my hike in the wetlands. PPL Wetlands 11/16/201


…No shade, no shine,

no butterflies, no bees,

No fruits, no flowers,

no leaves, no birds! –

November!  Thomas Hood

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