Spring Arrives Slowly At Lake Irena And Community Park.
It was a sunny day in May, many, many years ago, when I first visited Lake Irena and the surrounding woods of Community Park in Hazle Township, Luzerne County. I know I wasn’t in grade school yet when my dad first took me and my siblings there. I believe it was in 1963 or 1964, a few years after the park was dedicated. I still remember the old hand water pump and throwing rocks in the water. It seems like it was only yesterday.
Well I returned on another sunny day in early May this year. And returned a few times after that to walk around Lake Irena and enjoy nature in the woodlands surrounding the lake. I always hope to see a bald eagle or an osprey on my visits. I didn’t see either of these birds on my recent walks but I did see a lot of other wildlife. Soaring in the skies above the lake on my first afternoon walk in May were a pair of ring-billed gulls.
In the shallow waters on the north side of the lake I saw this solitary sandpiper scurrying about and looking for insects, frogs or small fish.
And I also saw this female lesser scaup swimming on the lake. It was the first time I had seen one of these diving birds on Lake Irena. I guessed the male would be somewhere nearby but I didn’t see it on my walk. They breed in northern Canada and would be just passing through our area.
I usually walk along the lake and then follow a trail into the surrounding woodlands. Here, on my first hike in early May only a few of the trees had leaves. Most including these large oaks near the Babe Ruth baseball field were still leafless. The lake and park are situated on a mountain ridge and the elevation keeps us about two weeks behind the lower valleys in the growing season.
The trees in the surrounding trail were becoming greener with each passing day.
A black and white warbler was scampering up a tree trunk nearby. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the birds I saw on my visits to Community Park and Lake Irena. Community Park May 1 to 14 2021.
The strong May sunshine reflecting off the waters of the lake and the cumulus clouds floating in the sky are reason enough to visit this small but lovely park. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike, Community Park walks May 1 to May 14 2021.
May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive. Fennel Hudson