There Is No Place Like Northeastern Pennsylvania In May : A Spring Walk In The PPL Wetlands

There Is No Place Like Northeastern Pennsylvania In May : A Spring Walk In The PPL Wetlands

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Rain and clouds were in the forecast again last Saturday.  However, when I awoke the skies were clearing. It looked like it was going to be a  nice day. .  It is beautiful everywhere in the month of  May in  the woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  So I had many options where t i could hike. I decided to head down to the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township. . It is located  about 20 from my home. I have come to love this nature preserve along the  Susquehanna River. tree lined trail

In the past, I would hike the forested hills near my home. Most of them have been developed and are now covered with homes and industrial buildings. So I looked for new hiking areas and the PPL Wetlands have become one of my favorites.  I arrived early and walked  under a canopy of lush new green leaves.  The ground was also green with the new growth of   grass, shrubs and wildflowers. The mandrake or map apple were now in full bloom. Their delicate flowers are found  nodding under the lush new leaves.mandrake or mayapple flower

High and low bush blueberries are in bloom now. And the blackberries will soon follow. 

The fragrant aroma of the many wild honeysuckles growing on the trails was everywhere. It’s scent is heavenly. 

The songs of the newly arrived song birds could be heard too, contributing to an almost magical scene reminding me of the garden of Eden. The yellow warblers provided a  brilliant yellow  contrast to the light greens color of the new vegetation.yellow warbler

As did the Baltimore orioles, both with their singing and brilliant reddish-orange colors.baltimore oriole in tree

A few wood ducks flew off the canals but this pair of solitary  sandpipers remained and put on a show on a log.pairs of solitary sandpipers on log

Turtles  could be seen on the rocks. logs and shores of the canals..turtles on log

Frogs plopped into canals as I walked past .  This fellow seemed to be just as interested in me as I was in him. frog on log

I walked from the wetlands to the riverlands section of the nature preserve.  The shores of Lake Took -A-While were crowded with fishermen  and fisherwoman. 

I walked past the lake and hiked a mile on the Susquehanna  Warrior Trail. The trail passes a pond and picnic ground along the river. I often wonder about the may picnics that most have been held here over the years. ponds along trail

I saw a few new families of Canada geese on the pond. I was surprised to see goslings already. canada geese and goslings

I also saw a few more Baltimore orioles and yellow warblers on my hike. yellow warbler in tree

In addition to the birds, frogs and turtles I  saw a few squirrels and a lot of beavers in some of the canals. baver in pond

The May sun was warming it up and I had walked out about 3 1/2 miles when I  decided to end my hike. I saw a number of birds on the way back including this flycatcher.flycatcher in tree

I also found a pair of cowbirds tumbling in the dirt. i am not sure if the were fighting, playing or getting romantic. Here is a link to some more photographs of the birds I saw on my hike. PPL Wetlands birds May 11 2019. cowbirds

I took a slow walk back to the wetlands enjoying the splendid new growth of Spring including the delicate pink flowers of  honeysuckle azaleas. 

I was glad the weather forecast was wrong. It turned out to be a perfect day to enjoy the beauty of Spring  in the woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania. These beautiful days  are my favorite of the year. I am always grateful for every  minute  I can spend outside this time of year. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands may 11 2019. 

May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive. Fennel Hudson


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