The Sounds Of The Insects Are Replacing The Bird Songs At The Susquehanna Wetlands
In the Spring, the Susquehanna Wetlands are filled with the sounds of the frogs and song birds. In August, it is insects turn to make some noise, and they were on Saturday. I returned to the wetlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County and was greeted by the loud chorus of the singing cicadas.
It was still early when I arrived, around 8: a.m., but the sounds of the cicadas were already deafening. It was a mild night, temperatures remained in the 70’s, so this could explain their early activity. There was another species of insects that were very active early in the morning , the mosquitoes. They were everywhere It was the first time I was swarmed by them this year.
I also saw a lot of dragonflies for the first time as I approached the canals and ponds in the wetlands. I haven’t seen many in the wetlands or river lands this year. I saw dozens of this dragonfly on my hike. I believe it is a male widow skimmer.
This, I believe is an eastern pondhawk.
This, a Halloween pennant,
And this, a slaty skimmer. Again, I am not an expert and please feel free to correct me if I am wrong . These many colored dragonflies were darting and hoovering everywhere on Saturday.
this peck skipper butterfly. (I am pretty sure about these identification since my friends on a Facebook butterfly group helped identify them for me) .
The females, having mated, were now building their tunnels where they will take a cicada they have stung and stunned. They will lay their eggs on the still living cicada and the larvae will hatch an feed on the cicada. Gruesome but such is nature. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the insects I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands insects August 7 2021.
While there were insects everywhere in the wetlands now, there were almost no frogs, salamanders, snakes or turtles.Only a few painted turtles emerged from the warm waters of the wetlands.
I think many of the birds of spring have already started to leave. I did not see or hear one single red-winged blackbird on my five mile hike. I never realized they leave our area so early in the Summer. I didn’t hear many warblers or vireos on my hike either. However, the catbirds were still around and making their presence know with their loud calls and chatter.
a song sparrow that had captured a large caterpillar. I was serenaded by the soothing singing of the cicadas as I completed my five mile hike. I didn’t see anything exciting on my hike, like a bear, snake or bald eagle, but I still found so much of the subtle beauty of Nature that is everywhere in the wetlands. I love it here, especially in the Summer. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands August 7 2021.
If we were to wipe out insects alone on this planet, the rest of life and humanity with it would mostly disappear from the land. Within a few months. E. O. Wilson