The PPL Wetlands In It’s Summer Splendor.
It has only been about five years or so since I first discovered the PPL Wetlands but I have come to love these canals and ponds along the Susquehanna River and enjoy visiting them in all seasons. It seems it was just yesterday that I was listening to the chorus of the awakening spring peppers and watching the first skunk cabbages unfold their leaves.
But it’s August now and the canals and ponds are a deep green from the growth of the duckweed. The Summer sun has warmed the waters and now only a few turtles will crawl on logs or rocks. most will remain in the now warm waters, and only their. heads can be seen hidden in the duck weed.
It was hot and humid today and the air was moist and had an earthy, musty smell to it. It felt almost tropical. And the sound of the cicada filled the forest surrounding the wetlands. Again making one think they were in a tropical jungle and not the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
And, as always, I encountered a wide variety of wildlife. I was startled by a number of ducks that I scared into flight. The ducklings have grown so quickly that they are the same size as their parents now and indistinguishable as they flew off of the waters.
I also spooked these two deer.
And although I heard many songbirds in the trees, and saw a few catbirds scurrying in the brush I was only able to photograph this family of flickers high in a tree.
And the Summer flowers are now in bloom in the wetlands. Like the wildlife there is always a wide variety of species in bloom. One of my Summer favorites is the cardinal flower.
And if flowers are blooming they attract bees and insects, which attracts spiders. And I saw many spider webs and quite a few spiders on my walk today.
But although the wetlands seem awash in life there are signs everywhere it is coming to and end. The skunk cabbages, so plush and green in the spring are decaying on the ground. And most of the species of ferns are also at the end of their lives. Many of the bracken fern have already died and only dried leaves remain. it will be hot for a few more days, but the sun is setting earlier and rising later now. it won’t be long until the cooler Canadian air makes it’s way into our area bringing the Summer splendor of the wetlands to an end. So make sure you get out and visit them while they still are teaming with life in the heat of Summer.
Here is a link to some more photographs I took in the wetlands this morning. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/ppl-wetlands-august-16-2015-2/
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. This natural beauty-hunger is made manifest in the little window-sill gardens of the poor, though perhaps only a geranium slip in a broken cup, as well as in the carefully tended rose and lily gardens of the rich, the thousands of spacious city parks and botanical gardens, and in our magnificent National parks — the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia, etc. — Nature’s sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world. ~John Muir, The Yosemite