Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ontelaunee Lake (The Big Melt Begins)

I visited Ontelaunee Lake in March 2007 and witnessed the snow geese visiting while on their winter migration so I was curious to see if they returned. Reading Eagle wrote a piece on the lake in 2007, mainly from an angler's perspective.

The 1082 acre reservoir is fed by the Maiden Creek and with the sunny 50 degree day the ice melt was major. The snow on the roads and trails was still thick in the shade, but where the sun hit it was down to the grass.

Even after researching the lake, I couldn't find a trail map or even a reference to the best trails. Following my GPS I went to the West Shore Drive and Shoemakersville Road parking hoping that the hunch works out.

We followed the road until the first right turn. A smaller road led us through the wooded section to the lake. The woods thins out with numerous old standing and downed dead trees. Standing ones were weathered and bark-free while felled ones were covered with grass and various mosses. Woodpeckers frequent the area and coincidentally, I saw a large pair fly away.

Max really just tolerates cold, slushy paths and his response would be to run away from them if he could. So he set a fast pace until we came to the thinning forest where almost all the snow was melted. The pace slowed down considerably and he hunts for a scent, and I can find and compose subjects.

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