It’s hard to believe Summer begins this week. It is my first weekend back since my trip to Norway in search of the midnight sun.. I didn’t find it. I decided to hike in the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township Luzerne County, one of my favorite hiking grounds. It’s has been almost a month since I last visited. That is too long. I arrived to find the entire wetlands clothed in the deep green colors of June.
This is the peak growing season here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The trees, plants, and even animals, have put forth a spurt of new growth. It was sunny and warm today and I enjoyed walking under the shade of the ancient trees that grow in the wetlands.
I walked along one of the canals and found this muskrat sitting on a log. I think he was asleep. As I approached he was startled and jumped into the duckweed covered waters.
The skunk cabbages, one of the first signs of Spring, and so lush and green on my last visit, were already showing signs of deterioration.
While the skunk cabbages were fading the milkweed was in full growth stage and began producing their flowers.
The honeysuckle was still in bloom, filling the wetlands with their heavenly fragrance. There is nothing like the smell of honeysuckle on a warm June night. I need to plant some near my house.
There were only few turtles sunning themselves on the banks of the water or on logs. They now are comfortable beneath the warm waters. I did see a few sitting on a log , who still liked the hot June sun.
There were also a lot more dragonflies fluttering above the ponds and canals of the wetlands. I love watching these insects dart through the air.
And I love inspecting their delicate wings when the land on a twig or rock for a rest.
I walked along the duck weed covered ponds toward the river lands section of the preserve.
As I approached Lake Took-A-While I saw this great blue heron enjoying a fish it just caught.
It did not take long to devour it.
I now walked along the lake, passing quite a few fishermen on it’s shores.
I also found a gathering of geese. Three families of geese to be exact. These proud parents had the youngest family.
The oldest family belonged to this couple.
And this family appeared to have had their eggs hatch between the other two families.
I watched the Canada geese and goslings frolic in the duck weed covered waters of the lake.
It was getting hot and I decided to end my hike and return to my car. On my return walk I saw a few more birds including this catbird,
a Baltimore oriole
and this red tailed hawk soaring overhead. Here is a link to some more photographs of the birds I saw on my hike. PPL Wetlands birds June 17 2018.
I also saw a few butterflies including this one.
I walked back along the Susquehanna River and the ancient trees growing along its banks.
It was a nice place to spend my last weekend in Spring. And I look forward to many more walks in the Summer. Here is a link to more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands June 17 2018.
“In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.”
– Aldo Leopold