An Unexpected Encounter With A Bear At The PPL Wetlands.
As any of you who follow my blog posts know, I love the Summer and I love hiking in the PPL Wetlands. The PPL Wetlands are about a 1/2 drive from my house and is home to many species of wildlife, flowers, trees and insects. I decided to hike there again on Saturday, hoping to see something interesting, and once again I wasn’t disappointed.
As soon as I arrived near the parking area I saw this bird perched on an overhead wire, I believe it is a ruby-throated hummingbird. The skies were gray and overcast so I could not get a good photograph but I still wanted to share this somewhat uncommon sighting.
I walked to one of the ponds where I saw the wood ducks last week and they were there again, this time a little further away. One of them was on a log but the other parent was swimming with the young ones in the duck weed covered water. They are a shy and reclusive bird so I was fortunate to see them again.
It was early when I arrived at the wetlands and there were not many dragonflies active yet. I saw a few but there were, once again swarms of mosquitoes waiting for me. And many of them found me.
The Spring abundance of wildflowers is now over, but there are still some new flowers starting to bloom in the wetlands, such as the spotted wintergreen.
And other which will be blooming soon such as this thistle.
And the delicate touch-me-nots were now in full bloom throughout the wetlands. Their juicy flesh helps sooth the sting of bees and bites of the many mosquitoes in the wetlands.
The high bush blueberries are starting to ripen now and I was able to pick a few handfuls.
As I left the wetlands part of the preserve to head to the riverlands and Lake Took-A-While I turned a corner and walked into this big fellow.
I usually clap my hands loudly when I see a bear to scare them away but I was to close to this big male and I didn’t want to scare him into attacking me.
I extended my hands and legs and spoke firmly to him and he did, slowly, decide to back away. I have had many bears visit my backyard over the years but it is always a much more exciting experience to see them in the outdoors. We stared each other down for a few minutes, and he turned around and made his way back down the trail and into the woods.
I continued my walk, a little more cautiously now, toward the riverlands. However, I didn’t see any more bears, the biggest mammal I saw was this not so intimidating squirrel.
There were a number of birds about including the ever present catbirds.
And a number of flycatchers were darting over the warm waters of the wetlands and now have plenty of insects to catch.
I was fortunate to see a great blue heron in flight across the waters of the lake. They are such graceful birds.
And the beautiful songs of the yellow warblers were heard throughout my hike. They now tend to remain in the thick leaf cover of the trees tops but a few got close enough to me to allow me to get a photograph.
There were thunderstorms in the forecast and I was getting hungry after my four mile hike so I headed back to the parking area, this time walking under the large ancient trees that grow along the banks of the Susquehanna river.
As I often do in this part of the trail, I wondered about the many generations of Native Americans who walked this same trail, possibly while some of these same trees were alive.
And this day I wondered how many of them may have had a close encounter with an almost 400 pound black bear and how many were as excited about it as I was. It was another great hike through the always interesting PPL Wetlands. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-July-1-2017-
“Always respect Mother Nature. Especially when she weighs 400 pounds and is guarding her baby.”
― James Rollins
You are a brave man. I would have turned tail and ran.