The Last Day Of Spring At The PPL Wetlands. It Went Way Too Fast.
It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of Spring. It seems like it was just yesterday when I was looking for the first robin and seeing the first skunk cabbages appear in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Now the young robins, like this one, fly through the woodlands.
Tomorrow is the longest day of the year, the beginning of Summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. And it sure felt like Summer today. It was hazy, hot and humid and I decided to see what was happening along the trails and canals at the PPL Wetlands.
I found the wetlands to be arrayed in the bright green of late Spring. Even the waters of the ponds and canals took on a greenish color from the continued growth of the aquatic plant, duckweed.
Here is a closer look at this plant which so much of the wildlife depends on for food in the warm months, including the ducks, geese and many other waterfowl.
And also the many turtles that can be found in the wetlands.
I also saw this much larger snapping turtle lurking in the warm and duckweed covered waters.
The warm water, thick leaf cover and the heavenly aroma of the honeysuckle made for an almost tropical feeling to my hike.
Once again the songs of birds on the leafy canopy filled the air and once again I had a hard time seeing, identifying and photographing them. I once again tip my hat to my birder friends who have the knowledge, skill and patience to identify and photograph them. I was lucky and did mange to see a few including a pair of red headed woodpeckers feeding in a locust tree.
I also saw a few yellow warblers, red winged catbirds, mallards, flycatchers, sparrows but couldn’t get a clear view to get a photograph. I was able to capture this baltimore oriole, who was also feeding on a locust tree.
I walked along the trails and noticed the blueberries were getting quite large. It was a rainy spring so I am hoping for a good crop this year.
And the raspberries are only a few days from ripening, I hope to get back and pick some before the birds get to them.
In addition to the many frogs, turtles and snakes I see along the trails the ponds and canals also have many fish, food for the blue and green herons that inhabit the wetlands.
The Spring flowers are gone, but they are being replaced with many daisy like flowers, which of course attract moths and butterflies.
And when there are insects there are spiders. This one has entrapped an unfortunate dragonfly in it’s web.
There was no scarcity of dragonflies. The air was filled with these colorful and delicate creatures as they darted about, defending their territory.
Each on is so alike , yet so different, much like the snowflakes in winter. I love the patterns of their wings. Here is a link to some more photographs of the dragonflies, spiders and other insects I saw at the wetlands today. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/ppl-wetlands-dragonflies-insects-june-19-2016
Once again I was so into the abundance all of the life that I lost track of time and realized I had to head home. I wish I had the time to try and discover the many species of birds that were serenading me on my hike. They were just so elusive high above in the tree tops. The squirrels, however, like this fellow I saw on my hike back, were a lot easy to spot and photograph.
It was a great way to spend Father’s Day since it was my dad who was so instrumental in developing my love for and appreciation of nature. Miss you dad. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike today. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/ppl-wetlands-june-19-2016
“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson