Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 135

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Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 135

Karen and I celebrate our 58 Wedding Anniversary today and looking back, it has been an incredibly good time together. Kids are all settled and some of the grandchildren all settled and a new great grand baby is on the way in July. When you marry the girl next door, you know what is going to happen, and it did. Karen was just telling the story at the Christmas dinner table of how I proposed to her when I was nine and she was seven and she held me to it. I would go down to her house and ask her mom, Virginia, “can Mickey come out and play.” Her nickname was Mike from her dad, who really wanted a boy and got Karen, but I called her Mickey, maybe that’s why our son got the name Michael and his grandfather’s first name as his middle name, Harold. Funny how those things work out, as I got my grandfather’s last name and my mother’s maiden name, Noyes, as my middle name.

Everyone needs to get those things down, so they are remembered. I can’t express how much people need to keep a diary. I’ve written in mine since I went to work for the state in 1964 and when I can look back on the things I did over the years, they all bring back memories and things that I’ve forgotten. I don’t know if my children will ever read them, but they are there in black and white. They may not bring back the memories that I would recall reading them, but it's all there. If I want to look something up, it may take me a few looks in different years, but I can usually find it in the month it happened.
With Covid all over the place, several friends and family have caught it, some vaccinated and some not. Some caught it before vaccines were available, but survived some real hell and some had lasting effects which don’t get told very much. The vaccines sure have helped and keep you out of the hospital if you do catch it, but so many still refuse to get the vaccines. Now boosters are available for all who had the original shots.

I’ve been out and about on several trails and the winds that have come with every storm that has rolled through have brought down many debris, and in some cases big trees. I think most of the major snowmobile trails have been cleared, but some of the minor ones may still have some trees in them, so be careful out there.
Don’t be like the dummies who walked to the top of Mount Marcy in sneakers in eight inches of snow and got frozen feet. When they got there, they called that they needed a helicopter ride off the mountain. Two Forest Rangers went up and walked them off the mountain, as weather kept any helicopter flights from retrieving them. The trails have been extra icy as thaws froze and then rains came and they froze. Anyone climbing any mountains with exposed rocks should be wearing spikes, not bad on flat ground in many places also.
I went up to Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower on the 21 to open the tower for visitors after hunting season was over. John Scanlon’s son Ryan went up with me and I’m glad he did, as there were many debris in the trail and a few blowdowns, all of which I chopped out, but one big beech not far from the parking lot. It was a bluebird day, and you could see forever; High Peaks to the northeast, windmills making electricity to the west of Lowville. We had a hiker pass us on the way up doing the fire tower challenge. He was going to Rondaxe in the afternoon.

The Magic Triangle over near Westport has been a buzz with birds all fall and now a few Short- Eared Owls and a Snowy Owl have taken up residents hunting day and night. Lots of other field birds living in the area.

Lots of birds at the feeders and still lots of birds everywhere I go out in the woods. Many out there are silent and eating the wild foods, but disturb one and others will come. On the trail over to Bubb Lake from Moss on Christmas Eve, I heard a Chickadee and pished a couple times and few more came, then I Saw Whet Owl called, and the woods came alive. Ten Chickadee’s scolding me, a family of Red Breasted Nuthatches, Four White Breasted Nuthatches, two Tree Creepers, two Downy Woodpeckers and two Hairy Woodpeckers, five Blue Jays, two American Goldfinch a flock of Red Crossbills in the trees overhead and then a Raven flew in just to see what all the ruckus was about, my Christmas present.

Lost dogs, but that’s another story See ya.

Above Photo: Short-eared Owl by Ellie George

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Flag out Stillwater Fire Tower

 

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  • Jim Fox. 16/01/2022 1:16pm (7 months ago)

    Thanks for opening Stillwater, Gary! I wish I’d been with you for a bird tutorial.

  • Eileen Buholtz 02/01/2022 10:22pm (7 months ago)

    Love your articles. I read every one of them. Am waiting for the story about "lost dogs".

  • Berniece 01/01/2022 3:05pm (7 months ago)

    A fun story today.
    Wishing you and yours a very
    Happy and Healthy New Year!
    Read your stories every week to keep in touch with your area. We enjoyed it for many years on vacation.

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