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I was bummed that I had pretty much missed snow goose season in Delaware this year. Between my broken ankle and the awful winter weather, I just did not make it to my favorite spots to see the geese at Prime Hook and Bombay Hook. However, as both the weather and I improved, I realized that a trip to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Pennsylvania was very much a possibility.
Middle Creek is in Lebanon County, north of Lititz. I researched it via their website, and found that it is only open from March 1 – September 15. In March, thousands of snow geese make it a stopover on their northern migration. During the day, they spend time feeding in the fields in the surrounding countryside, but at sunset, large numbers fly in to settle on the lake, which is actually the Middle Creek Reservoir.
The reservoir is surrounded by a driving loop, which passes by water, hiking trails, cultivated fields, and wooded areas. One of the trails is paved, and the head of the trail has a parking lot full of cars most hours of the day.
I investigated lodging in the area, and once I discovered a bed and breakfast named Swiss Woods, I knew that I must invite my 84-year-old mother to come with me. (Today’s her birthday, and she is proud of her age, so I am not giving away any secrets here.) She is also tremendously proud of her Swiss heritage, having arrived in the U.S. when she was 18, and she still keeps up with the language. Let me say that the Swiss Woods did not disappoint. The attention to detail, the setting, the food, the ambiance, the comfort — all of it made for a most pleasant weekend.
We saw the birds upon arrival at Middle Creek, which is when I captured the bathing swan. Later that evening I returned for sunset and took my scooter along the paved path to get to the overlook where the birds were settling in for the evening. There were thousands in the fields who lifted off all at once, flew around, and then landed later in the water. Many couples and families were there to witness the daily arrival of the birds at sunset.
All in all, the weekend was wonderful — I got to spend time with my mother, see the birds, eat some fabulous meals, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. After a winter like we have had, we all deserve a little getaway.
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“Life Through My Lens” is a travel/photography blog written by Cam Miller, copyright 2014
Email: cam.miller@comcast. net