Thankfully, I Still Found Some Fall Colors On The Trees In Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Thankfully, I Still Found Some Fall Colors On The Trees In Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Community Park (11 of 30)
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I wasn’t sure whether I’d still see some of our beautiful Fall foliage here in Northeastern Pennsylvania this year. On Saturday  I returned from a  trip to the Dominican Republic. I was gone for almost two weeks and when I left the trees where just starting to reach their peak colors.  I remember many a year all of the leaves had all fallen and we had snow by Halloween. 

So I was happy seeing the beautiful colors were still  on the trees in the Poconos on my drive home from the Newark New Jersey Airport. My beloved  Northeastern Pennsylvania didn’t disappoint me!!  Shortly after  I arrived at my home in Hazle Township Luzerne County I was off to my local Community Park to get in my daily  five mile hike. 

It was cloudy and cool, the temperature was around 50 degrees, much different than the weather on my trip where afternoon highs were near 90 degrees  and never dropped below 70 degrees at night. But there was still some color on the trees around Lake Irena and I was happy.

As usual I first hiked around the lake. I always hope to see some birds or other wildlife here. There wasn’t much activity on Saturday afternoon,  no ducks geese or eagles. And the song birds left Northeastern Pennsylvania weeks ago. I may have seen some of them in the Dominican Republic. On my hike I  only a few song sparrows near the lake. 

There were some signs that there were other critters still living in the park. The were a lot of trees gnawed and felled by the beavers that returned to the lake. 

And it looked like there was a Halloween party while I was away, 

I saw a few jack-o-lanterns  on my five mile hike.

And I was also surprised to  see some wild mushrooms still growing. There were quite a few red russula mushroom under the trees in the park near the lake. .Walking into the surrounding woodlands I also saw some of these brick top mushrooms, 

old puffball mushrooms, 

and this pretty fly agaric mushroom. I was very surprised because this is very late in the season for mushrooms

The only wildflower I saw on my hike was this old spotted knapweed flower. There were no insects seen on my entire hike. 

I walked back to the lake and finished my hike. . I didn’t see much wildlife on my  hike but it was nice to see the leaves attired in their Fall colors. 

I love Fall in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s what comes next that I don’t like. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Community Park October 30 2021. 

The next I was again anxious to hike in the woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania while there was still some color on the trees. And what better place then the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township. There was rain in the forecast on Saturday night. However, when I awoke on Sunday the weather channel said there was a zero percent chance of rain. You would think they are  good odds so I drove to the wetlands with no rain gear. Of course, when I arrived, it was raining. And, evidently it has been raining a lot while I was gone. I could tell this after seeing the Susquehanna River almost overflowing its banks. 

I was debating what to do. The rain was steady as I neared the wetlands.  I was thinking of driving back home, changing into my rain gear and hiking on my local Rails to Trails. The rain eased up a bit when I arrived, and thankfully, I had some plastic thrash bags in my Jeep left over from mushroom season. I decided to use this to cover my iPhone and camera and hike in the wetlands. 

It wasn’t a bad decision. The rain continued, and ranged from a drizzle to a pretty steady downpour. I got soaked, but I kept my camera and iPhone dry, and even was able to get some photos on my five mile walk. 

Walking into the wetlands the first thing I noticed was the wood ducks had finally left. I missed their whistle like calls and fluttering wings as they fled me and my camera as I approached.  Despite hundreds of attempts I don’t think I got one good close up this year. I will miss them. 

The flocks of red-winged blackbirds,  white throated sparrows, and cedar waxwings were gone. There were large flocks of American robins in the wetlands. I saw them everywhere on my hike. Unfortunately, the rain  and clouds prevented me from getting any good photos and this was the best I could do.

I also saw a pair of kingfishers, heard geese on the river and saw a few northern cardinals. Besides a few squirrels and chipmunks that was all of the wildlife I would see on my hike. 

I still enjoyed walking in the wetlands with the  colorful trees making  for  wonderful Fall scenery. 

The ground was littered with leaves of many sizes, shapes and colors. 

I found an old chicken of the woods mushroom, which must have grown since my last visit. I will remember it’s location for next year. 

Some bright red winterberries remained  but many of the berries had been consumed by the migrating birds. 

And there was still some green in the wetlands, these Christmas ferns provided it. 

I walked in the river lands section of the park  and walked along Lake Took-A-While. There were no water fowl on the lake or eagles or ospreys in the skies. It wouldn’t matter if there were, as far as getting some photos, the rain increased and I had to cover my camera and iPhone again.

I walked back to the wetlands and finished my five mile hike, in the rain. I was soaked but it was worth getting at least a glimpse of the show Mother Nature puts on every year here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike in the wetlands Susquehanna Wetlands October 31 2021. 

“There is a subtle magic in the falling of old leaves.”
― Avijeet Das


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