Another Hike To The Spectacular View At Tank Hollow, And I Saw Some Wildlife On This Hike Too!

Another Hike To The Spectacular View At Tank Hollow, And I Saw Some Wildlife On This Hike Too!

Tank Hollow (20 of 48)
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I decided to return to Tank Hollow on  Sunday morning. It was another cool morning here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  The skies were clear and I thought it would be a good day to enjoy the spectacular view from the Tank Hollow Overlook. The overlook is located in State Game Lands 141 in Carbon County. In addition to the view I hope to see some wildlife activity in the game lands, especially since I had seen so little on my Saturday hike in Locust Lake State Park.

The gate at the entrance of the game lands was closed (it is open during hunting season) so I had to walk  1 mile  on an access road to the Tank Hollow Overlook Trailhead.  I didn’t mind, in fact,  this walk was one of the reasons I choice this hike. I had seen a lot of bird activity in the woodlands along the road on my previous hikes. 

The Pennsylvania Game Commission had done some prescribed burning along the left side of the access road,

  to create and improve wildlife habitat,  and it worked. 

I had seen  hundreds of song birds in the trees along the road  on my hikes  earlier this Spring and Summer.  There were not hundreds, but I did  again see a lot of birds in this area on Sunday. Shortly after I started my hike I saw  this tufted titmouse foraging for insects on a scrub oak tree growing along the trail. 

There were dozens of eastern towhees scurrying on the under the scrubs oaks  and other trees along the trail and in the  clearings created by the controlled burnings. 

The burned area is on the left  side of the road. Tall oak, maple, and pine trees still grow there, and these same trees tower above scrub oaks and other dense vegetation  on the right side of the road. 

In this thick vegetation  I saw  this female common yellowthroat, 

and female chestnut sided warbler. 

It is late Summer now, and there is not as ,many wildflowers in bloom as in the Spring and early Summer. The milkweed flowers are finished blooming  and now the plants are covered with seed pods. 

Pearly everlasting flowers, 

and purple knapweeds will attract bees wasps and butterflies but there were only a few bees around in the chilly morning air.

This bird was perched on a branch high n the tree tops, I know it is a fly catcher, a great crested flycatcher, I believe, but I am not positive.  

A  house wren was singing in the prescribed burn area. 

There were many more birds singing along the trail but I was walking quickly now and not waiting to try and photograph them. A man on a bicycle told me he saw a bear on the access road near the Tank Hollow trail. Their was a couple with a dog behind me and I wanted to get to the trail and, hopefully see the bear before they passed me, and scared it. 

So I quickly walked as the road took me down a ridge and after about a  mile  I came to the  Tank Hollow Overlook trail.  I was disappointed.  There was no bear.  

At the start,  the trail was wet  and muddy from the recent rains. 

I was drier as it continued under the mixed hardwood and  conifer woodland. There were  many pitch pines along the trail,

one of my favorite trees.  There are a lot  these trees on the  ridge near my home were I grew up and now live and seeing them always bring back many wonderful memories. 

The trail continued through the rhododendron and mountain laurel thickets that created the beautiful scenes on my Spring hikes here. It then descended some rocks,

and  the  Tank Hollow Overlook

and the spectacular view of the Lehigh River

and Broad Mountain. 

I spent about 15 minutes taking in the  view. I was alone so I  enjoyed the peace and quiet while I reflected on the beauty of the mountains in the distance.  I thought about  the many folks that sat on these rocks before me. I imagined a young Native American exploring the rocks a thousand years ago, the first Moravian explorers who visited in the early 18th century, the first settlers and loggers, the workers on the Lehigh canal and railroad, and maybe even the famous birder John James Audubon who visited the area in 1829. I am sure they were all in awe as I was. 

I left when a young couple appeared, leaving then to enjoy and share the beauty of the overlook .I walked through the sunlit woods back to the access road.  The many warblers I had seen  in these woods were gone, I think they have already on their way south. As noted in previous blogs some will journey to the  jungles of South America, 

I followed the access road for about a mile. It was a nice hike, under the canopy of trees, 

with cinnamon ferns,

eastern hay scented ferns and

bracken ferns growing along the trail. Many of the bracken ferns had already turned brown, a sign of the approaching Fall and cooler weather, 

And there were a lot of mushrooms growing along the trail, unfortunately not a lot of edible ones. I saw this yellowfoot bolete,

a yellow patches amanita, 

a  milk cap 

and a lot of russula mushrooms 

I also saw some Indian or ghost pipes. This flowering plant looks like a fungus, but is actually a relative  to blueberries. It is white since it does not  produce chlorophyll.

This is an older plant that has finished flowering.

I walked down to the last  parking area  when the gate is open and continued on for a 1/4 where I came to  to a  fork in the road. This is   where I saw a doe and her fawn in  the Spring. I ended my hike here and began my walk back. 

On the way I did see a few birds including a red bellied, 

and a downy woodpecker, 

a white breasted nuthatch, 

an ovenbird, 

a black and white warbler

and a red eyed vireo.

There were a lot of birds active now but it was now early afternoon and I didn’t have time to wait and try t photograph the birds.

I did stop to photograph this banded tussock moth caterpillar dangling from a silk thread it spun.

It was a nice, but strenuous hike back up the ridge. It  was a beautiful late Summer day and  was surprised there was no one hiking on the trail. 

Once I  reached the top of the ridge I walked along the prescribed burn area and saw a lot of the birds I had seen and photographed earlier. I only  saw one I hadn’t seen, an American goldfinch.  Here is a link to a photo gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Tank Hollow Carbon County birds August 20 2023. 

I also saw a lot of bees, wasps and butterflies visiting the flowers along the trail including a great spangled fritillary on a bull thistle,

and this red spotted admiral. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my  5 1/2 mile hike. Tank Hollow Carbon County August 20 2023. 

It was another great did to hike  in and enjoy the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania. And I was pleased to have been able to capture some images of the  wildlife I saw so I ca share it here in my blog and on social media. I love the outdoors, especially in Summer. 

There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.   Washington Irving

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