Rain, Bald Eagles And A Great Blue Heron At The PPL Wetlands
The forecast called for rain showers ending early on Sunday morning here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. However, at 9 a.m. it was still raining pretty steady at my house. I knew it would be too wet to roam the deep woods searching for wild mushrooms so I decided to head down one of my favorite well maintained hiking trails at the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township.
Summer is ending here in Pennsylvania but the woods are still green and the rain added to that greenness on Sunday morning. The leaves glistened from the rain and it looked more like the lush green of May than early September.
As I was leaving my car, I heard a rustling in the tree branches overhead and watched two bald eagles quickly flying away. To quick for me to grab my camera. I walked down to the banks of the Susquehanna River to try and see them but they were gone.
I did see large flocks of these birds skimming above the waters of the river and I have since learned, from my birder friends, that were probably tree swallows. There were hundreds of them in the flock as they made there way down river.
I walked back to the trails of the wetlands and these wood ducks enjoying the wet weather.
The rain continued to fall and actually became more intense so I headed under the cover of the bigger trees along the river. As I came to an opening along the river I looked out and saw, on a branch just below my eye level, another bald eagle perched staring at the river. He or she hadn’t heard me approaching and, as I reached for my camera, it turned around. For a brief second we stared at each other but it flew off before I could have taken a spectacular photograph. This is the best I could do as it quickly soared away. I didn’t have a photograph but the experience, to come eye to eye with a bald eagle in the wild was amazing.
I continued my walk in the rain, seeing a few more ducks, catbirds and chipmunks. I am guessing these remains of a black walnut were a chipmunk’s or squirrel’s breakfast.
I also saw the remains of some of the flowers of Spring and Summer such as this jack-in -the pulpit fruit,
and the fruit of the pokeweed plants.
I walked over to the river lands and Lake Took-a-While and encountered this great blue heron, once again before he/she noticed me.
I again creeped up on it and this time I had my camera ready. As I approached, it perked up, and became more tense as I neared. This time I was able to take the photograph above before it flew off behind some shrubs. Here is a link to some more photographs of the heron and some other birds I saw on my walk. Bird photographs.
It was now near noon and the rain was not letting up. I was soaked, so I decided to head back, walking past some of the last wild of the season, including these touch-me-nots or jewelweed flowers,
and these common flowers which I can’t identify.
Although the woods were still, for the most part, lush and green, there were some leaves changing color.
As were many of the species of ferns along the paths.
I am enjoying every walk I take this time of year since I know it won’t be long until all of the flora and fauna of the wetlands disappear with the coming colder weather. I hope to get a few more hikes in, and watch the changing colors and migration of the birds, before it does. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike in the wetlands. PPL wetlands photographs.
“I love the smell of rain and growing things.”
― Serina Hernandez