Wood Ducks And A Snapping Turtle: Another Hike In The PPL Wetlands.

Wood Ducks And A Snapping Turtle: Another Hike In The PPL Wetlands.

PPL Wetlands (15 of 40)
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I had  planned to hike the Appalachian Trail in Berks County Saturday  morning.  I like to explore new hiking trails. However when I awoke I changed my mind and decided to again  hike in the PPL  Wetlands in Salem Township Luzerne County. As much as  I like to explore new places I also like to return to the wetlands since I have become so familiar with its trails and the whereabouts of  its diverse wildlife. I love roaming  these paths and trails I have come to love. I usually always find something of interest. 

It was sunny and cool at my home here in Hazle Township. But  when I arrived at the wetlands  a  thick fog rising off  from the Susquehanna River shrouded the woodlands. The  fog is not good for photography. Especially  if you want to photograph the many   birds I heard singing high in the  treetops.   I am not a professional  photographer and I struggle with  my camera settings in this poor light conditions.  I just had to hope I could get close to some of  the birds on my walk. Unfortunately I didn’t . There were many catbirds and red-winged blackbirds fluttering in the trees . This  male red-winged blackbirds got close enough for a  photo. 

As did this yellow warbler 

and this song sparrow. And that was it for the birds in the wetlands. 

I didn’t see any of the Canada geese, wood ducks or any of the other water fowl I usually see on my walks. It was still nice walking in the lush green woods.

On the ground plants and flowers continued to grow and bloom including these pretty purple flowers of the invasive and poisonous bitter  nightshade. 

Poison ivy was also abundant now, growing next to what I think is a fawn mushroom. 

There were also a few more dragonflies darting about the canals and ponds. 

As I said I didn’t see any more birds and I was a little disappointed as I came to an end of my hike in the  PPL  wetlands. I like to find and share great pics and cool stuff here on my blog and social media. Just as I was thinking this, I looked  on the ground and saw this. 

A female snapping turtle  who had just finished laying her eggs on the banks of a canal. 

She was exhausted from this grueling ordeal and in a trance like state. I observed this trance like state with the sea turtles I saw laying their eggs on the beach in Trinidad.  I will during the next  few weeks with the hope of seeing them hatching. 

The clouds thickened as I entered the river lands and walked along Lake Took-A-While. There were no herons, king fishers osprey or bald eagles on Saturday. 

There were a few families of Canada geese and the rapidly growing goslings swimming on the lake.

I left the river lands and continued on the Great Warrior Trail for about another mile. 

Here I saw a nuthatch and

Baltimore oriole. I was out about 3 1/2 miles and a few drops of rain started to fall. 

I walked back past the lake and into the wetlands not seeing much of any wildlife except this gray squirrel. 

At the wetlands a couple on bicycles rode past me and scared a family of wood ducks that were huddled in the grass along the shore of a canal. 

The ducklings were to  young to fly so mom frantically swam around trying to attract any predators from her brood. 

The ducklings eventually grouped together and mom swam to them and led them away. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the wood ducks and other birds from my hike in the PPL Wetlands. PPL Wetlands hike birds June 6 2020. 

After watching the wood ducks I continued my hike to my car and saw a muskrat. It disappeared in the duckweed covered waters before I could get a photograph. The bald eagles nest nearby is now obstructed by leaves and I didn’t see any bald eagles for a couple of weeks.  It was a dreary day but once again the PPL wetlands and river lands provided me with a relaxing hike the opportunity to get some photographs, even in the poor light.

And, of course, the sun appeared just as I arrived at my car. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike PPL Wetlands June 6 2020.

 

And since all this loveliness can not be Heaven, I know in my heart it is June.     Abba Woolson

 

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