Winter Settles In At The Susquehanna Wetlands.
Winter in Northeastern Pennsylvania can be cold and harsh. And, even though we are having another winter with above average temperatures, it is still gets col here. I saw plenty of evidence of this when I returned to hike in the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township in Luzerne County on Friday afternoon.
It was mostly cloudy, windy and a seasonably cold 33 degrees when I arrived at the wetlands . It warmed up a bit this past week after the frigid temperatures of last weekend. However, there was still some snow and ice on the trails in the wetlands.
As I walked along the river I heard the sound of ducks flying off the river below me. I was frustrated as I watched the large flock of common mergansers flying away right below me. Tree branches prevented me from focusing my camera on the birds and so this was the only photo I was able to take of these male as it flew away. .
There would be no ducks, geese or blue herons on its now frozen surface. The opportunity to see and share wildlife decreases considerably when the waters in the wetlands and river lands freeze over in winter.
However I was surprised, and delighted, to see this tiny hyperactive bird in the same tree and nearby shrubs as last week. I watched it flutter from branch to branch and was able to capture a few images of this cute,
Here I saw one more critter braving the cold, a muskrat feeding on the duck weed still growing in one of the only open water areas in the wetlands. The forecast was for more frigid weather over the weekend and I am pretty sure there will be no open waters on my next visit to the wetlands. My opportunity to observe wildlife will diminish as the frigid weather continues but it won’t stop me from hiking in this nature preserve I have come to know so well and have grown to love. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photographs from my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands January 14 2022.
Winter’s trees are gray soldiers that long to travel home; marching back to springtime, the kindest field to roam. Angie Weiland -Crosby