Slowy, But Surely, Spring Is Settling In At The PPL Wetlands.

Slowy, But Surely, Spring Is Settling In At The PPL Wetlands.

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It’s been two weeks, a cold two weeks here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, since I last visited the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township.  PPL Wetlands -8

The cold weather has kept a lot of the trees from budding and it still looks a lot like Winter but there were plenty of long awaited  signs that Spring is here. The red maples have put forth some young buds and they are adding some much welcome color to the wetlands. PPL Wetlands -2

And there are more flowers starting to bloom along the paths including spring beauties, ground ivy periwinkle ,  and the trout lilies, shown here. PPL Wetlands -17

The mandrakes are popping up now and the skunk cabbage have real sprouted since I was last here. PPL Wetlands -3

It was still a little cool when I first arrived, and the log and banks didn’t have any turtles , but as the sun warmed it up, it seemed every rock, log and bank were crowded with turtles of all sizes basking in the sun. PPL Wetlands critters -15

As I walked the paths along the canals I had my first close encounter with a coot. An american coot that is. I never saw one of these wading birds before and this fellow seemed totally unafraid of me, going about his or her business of chowing on some water plants like I wasn’t there. I was able  get a lot of photographs of the birds activity and here is a link to a lot more of the photographs of this beautiful, and friendly bird. coot -28

There were a lot more birds in the wetlands today including this colorful palm warbler.PPL Wetlands critters -20

I have been trying to get a photograph of a pair of pileated woodpeckers for a couple of weeks now. These beautiful birds have  been one of my favorites since I saw my first one in Rock Creek Park in Silver Spring Maryland when I lived there when I was in law school. This was the best I could do. PPL Wetlands critters -5

This shot of a large hawk, a red tailed I think,  was also  the best I could do as it circled high above me. PPL Wetlands critters -16

There were plenty of geese on the waters today and this nest was protected by mommy or daddy goose. PPL Wetlands critters -14

I found one that wasn’t. I am pretty sure this is a goose egg and the nest must have been raided by a raccoon, fisher or mink. PPL Wetlands -5

There were also a lot of chipmunks and squirrels about today as well as a crowd of fishermen along the lake in the Riverlands. I walked over there and noticed this bluebird on the rear window of a blue pick up truck . Blue bird -13

The bluebird seemed to be  attacking or interacting with it’s reflection in the glass window, just like some turkey gobblers have been knocking on my glass door at my house. I watched it fly up next to the window for about fifteen minutes until it was scared off by some passing fisherman., Here is a link to some more photographs of this aggressive, but not too bright, bluebird. bird -14

On my way back I noticed this large snapping turtle in a pond and than noticed a second large one nearby. Also saw many frogs jump into the ponds and saw my first bumblebees and butterflies of the year. So much going on in the wetlands right now, even though the cold has slowed down the growth of the plants and trees. The forecast for the next week is much milder weather so should be a lot more green next time I visit.  I love it down here, especially in the Spring, no matter what type of weather we are having.\PPL Wetlands critters -12


“These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.” PPL Wetlands critters -10

―Anton Chekhov,