Summer Beauty Of Nature At Community Park In Hazle Township.

Summer Beauty Of Nature At Community Park In Hazle Township.

August 1 2023 (4 of 21)
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 I love to walk. I hike five mile a day during the week and seven miles or more on weekends.  And I love Summer. It is my favorite time of year.    These past few weeks I was  able to get in a few afternoon hikes at the Community Park located near my home in Hazle Township Luzerne County. 

Most of my hikes were on clear,

or mostly  sunny days. I love seeing  the Summer cumulus clouds floating over Lake Irena. 

However, I was in the park on a few cloudy days too. 

I would fist walk around scenic Lake Irena, at  least once, and, depending what wildlife,  if any,  I see, maybe twice. 

I then walk on a trail that takes me through the surrounding woodlands and past the local Babe Ruth baseball field. There are plans to extend this trail to the local High School. 

It’s mid Summer and   Lake Irena was  now covered with  water lilies,

and the pretty pickerelweed flowers growing along it’s shore. .

I enjoy hiking along the lake and observing the many insects that visit these flowers.  Widow skimmer ,

spangled skimmer, 

and slaty skimmer dragonflies were darting over the waters, occasionally resting on the leaves of the pickerelweed flowers. 

White meadowsweet flowers also bloomed along the lake. They were visited by many species of wasps and bees. 

And many butterflies visited the flowers  blooming along Lake Irena. They included northern crescent,

pearl crescent, 

summer azure, 

decorated owl,

and red-spotted admiral butterflies. 

I didn’t see many birds on my hikes in the park.  The Canada geese and mallard ducks were gone. I did see one lone double-crested cormorant on the lake, 

and I saw this chipping sparrow,

who captured a large caterpillar and was having  a hard time trying to eat it. 

In the woodlands near the lake I saw a few white tail deer on my hike. 

There were also some Summer wildflowers blooming here including daisy fleabane flowers, a native wildflower,  

selfheal flowers, 

knapweed flowers ,

and the appropriately named August hawkbit,  all of these are invasive species.

The milkweed flowers have now produced seed pods. 

We had a lot of rain this past month and that resulted in a lot  of mushrooms growing in the woodlands in the park, including bolete, 

amanita and 

russula mushrooms. 

I also saw some  pretty, but poisonous, jack o’ lantern mushrooms growing on the tree stumps in the surrounding woods.

While walking along the lake I learned that I am not the only one who loves wild edible mushrooms. I saw this gray squirrel,

enjoying some mushrooms growing along the trail

On another hike I saw gray squirrel was eating some sort of berry. 

There are still beavers at the lake, I didn’t  see them on this hike, but I know they are still  living in this lodge.   There were some newly gnawed trees near the lodge.  Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the wildlife I saw on my hikes. Community Park critters July 15 – August 4 2023. 

In addition to the natural beauty of the park, there is also a playground, a number of memorials dedicated to Veterans, Law Enforcement  and First Responders, and  pavilions and picnic benches where folks can enjoy a cookout at the park. 

A few folks were enjoying an afternoon fire on one of my hikes. 

I enjoyed every  one of my hikes in the park. There is always  some wildlife or wildflowers to photograph. And I love seeing, photographing and sharing the beauty I find on my hikes.  Here is a link to  a gallery with some more photos from my hikes in Community Park. Community Park July- August 4 2023. 

“I like to take walks in the park by myself, where no one can bother me and I can think.” – Magic Johnson

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