Wildlife And Wildflowers: Late Summer Hikes In Community Park

Wildlife And Wildflowers: Late Summer Hikes In Community Park

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It’s hard to believe Summer is almost over. The month of August went so fast. It was a busy month for me but I still managed to get in a few afternoon hikes in the Community Park near my home in Hazle Township, Luzerne County. I just hadn’t had time to share some of the beauty of the wildlife and wildflowers I   saw on my hike  in a blog post until now.

On my hikes in the park,  I always first walk around scenic Lake Irena. The weather on almost  all of my hikes in August was mostly sunny or with puffy cumulus clouds in the skies. It was a very dry month and it wasn’t until  last week  that we got some significant rains in our area. 

 The beautiful pickerelweed that grows along the shore of the lake was  still blooming in the beginning of August but but by the end of the month there were only a few late blooming flowers on some of the  the plants. 

On onee afternoon hike I encountered  a great egret. Three years ago a great egret followed me on my walks around the lake. There are a few blog post on this wonderful experience in my  blog archives. 

This one didn’t follow me, instead, it  stood in a shallow part of the lake,

and snatched dragonflies from the air. 

There was another large beautiful water bird on the lake the same day. 

a great blue heron.

This was the first one I had seen in months. Both of these birds returned for a couple days at the beginning of the month.  I didn’t see them again and I am sure they are now on their journey south for the Winter months. 

Here is a link to a gallery  on my blog website with more photos of these beautiful  birds. Community Park  heron and egrets August 2022. 

Although there  were a few days with a brief thunderstorm in August, we  still didn’t get enough rain to end the drought.  Only few mushrooms popped up, including this cleft-footed amanita, 

and  this russula.   I love gathering and eating edible wild mushrooms.  And  I am not the only  one who enjoys eating them.

This gray squirrel was also nibbling away on one, I believe it was a  type of   russula mushroom. After walking around beautiful  Lake Irena I then  hike on the trail that lead into the surrounding woodlands.

Here  I saw a few white tail deer

and chipmunks on my hikes.

There were  some late summer wildflowers blooming along the lake and in the woodlands including white meadowsweet, 

sneezeweed ,

Canada goldenrod, 

a few water lilies and

marsh St John’s wort. 

If there are flower still blooming there will be insects and  I saw a lot on my hikes including spicebush swallowtail butterflies , 

great spangled fritillary butterflies, 

Halloween pennant, 

widow skimmer, 

and spangled  skimmer dragonflies.

There were not many caterpillars on the milkweed plants. I only found a few monarch butterfly caterpillars These beautiful butterflies are now endangered. 

There were also a few tussock moth caterpillars.I also saw a few nursery web spiders. 

There were still  a few turtles 

and a few frogs,

that were wallowing on the shores of the lake. Here is a link to some more of the deer, insects and other  wildlife I saw on my hikes in August. Community Park wildlife  August 2022

I really enjoy my hikes in Community  Park. There is usually some sort of wildlife or wildflower to be seen. And I enjoy sharing the beauty of nature here on my blog. Unfortunately, Summer is ending  and there will be many months until I see this many critters and wildflowers. I am not a big fan of Winter anymore. But, as always Spring will follow. Here is a link to some more photos from my hikes in Community Park. Community Park August 2022.

“You can visit the same trail twice but you’ll never take the same hike.” – We Dream of Travel