Spring Is Putting On A Show, And No Better Place To See It Than At The PPL Wetlands.

Spring Is Putting On A Show, And No Better Place To See It Than At The PPL Wetlands.

Yellow warbler -6
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It was a cool cloudy day yesterday in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but that won’t stop the Spring from unfolding, almost right  before our eyes. I love this time of year. Every new day brings  the excitement of seeing something new, whether it be plant or animal. All you have to do is open your eyes. And yesterday I decided to see what new wonders awaited me at one of my favorite hiking areas, the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township. PPL Wetlands -9

I wasn’t alone, as I often am,  when I arrived yesterday.. It was nice to see a few other folks from a  photography club enjoying the show Spring is putting on. I was  surprised at how much greener the woods were since my visit a week ago. PPL Wetlands -34

My eyes were drawn immediately to the lush new fern growth sprouting up in the woods and adding so much to the new green appearance seen throughout the wetlands. PPL Wetlands -41

Although a lot of the trees, especially the oaks still only have the tiniest of buds, many others including the maples are covered in red and green buds and leaves. PPL Wetlands -33

The mandrakes or may apples also put forth a spurt of growth since my last visit, taking up entire patches of the woodland floor. PPL Wetlands -14

And there were flowers too. The woodland violets were everywhere both of the blue and now yellow varieties. PPL Wetlands -11

And that heavenly aroma of the honeysuckle filled the air. And all of this before I was 20 feet from my car!PPL Wetlands -23

I walked through the lush new plant growth and, of course, also found an abundance of wildlife,  enjoying this new  green wonderland. There were many of the familiar residents such as the titmice fluttering about. I am not sure if this is  a young chick being fed, or whether mommy or daddy  are deciding who is going to  deliver a meal for the family back at the nest.PPL Wetlands  birds titmice -2

And there were many red winged blackbirds scampering about, being their usual noisy selves. This is a female. PPL Wetlands  birds red winged blackbirds -1

It was cloudy and cool so there weren’t a lot of turtles or frogs about but I did  see a few, including this frog who let me get close enough for a photograph.PPL Wetlands -32

I also saw many different sparrows, which I have a hard time identifying. I believe this is a song sparrow but I am not certain .Please feel to correct me if i am wrong with any of my identifications.  Here is a link to some more photographs which may  help with the identification. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/birds-of-pennsylvania/nggallery/birds-of-pennsylvania/song-sparrowPPL Wetlands  birds song sparrow --1

I was fortunate to see two of my favorite birds. I saw a few of this beautiful, and colorful yellow warblers singing overhead and in the brush.  They are such pretty birds. Here is a link to some more photographs I took of these birds yesterday. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/ppl-wetlands-yellow-warbler-april-30-2016Yellow warbler -11

I also ran into a cedar waxwing feeding on some leftover fruit on a briar vine. They too are colorful and exotic birds and I love to find them. PPL Wetlands  birds cedar waxwing -1

Flying overhead were a number of turkey vultures. I also saw a few hawks but couldn’t get any photographs.PPL Wetlands -4

A mommy goose i found on a nest a few weeks ago was still there, patiently waiting for her eggs to hatch. I also ran into a few more pairs and was able to get to see one up close and personal. PPL Wetlands -44

I continued my walk, past the lush growth of the skunk cabbage which seems to grow everywhere in the swampy soils of the wetlands. PPL Wetlands -24

I also found one of my dad’s favorites flowers ready to bloom the early or pink azalea. He called them honeysuckles and he would drive us through the strip mine roads every Spring to gather these and the duck flowers or lady slippers. Such wonderful memories.PPL Wetlands -21

But it wasn’t all good. Nature also produces things which are not so beautiful to us such as these tent caterpillars, which will cause much destruction to the host trees .PPL Wetlands -3

Or this troublesome plant, very common in the wetlands. It looks pretty but don’t touch or pick it, it is the new leaves of the poison ivy vine.PPL Wetlands -16

And I was pleasantly surprised to find  some mushrooms growing. These are inky caps. PPL Wetlands -40

As I headed back to my car I found this red squirrel who looks like he bit off more than he could chew. He sure had his hands full of this black walnut. PPL Wetlands -28

There was so much  cool stuff I saw yesterday, but it would take a novel to write it all down, and it still could not describe the beauty of it all. It was raining hard today so I wasn’t able to take my camera out on my hike, but I am looking forward to next weekend to see what is new at the PPL Wetlands, I know there will be something. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike yesterday. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/ppl-wetlands-april-30-2016PPL Wetlands -27

 

April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go. ~Christopher MorleyPPL Wetlands -42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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