Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 106
The inch of rain during the week helped with the shortage of water needed to keep things growing and green. I got everything in the garden except zucchini, which I couldn’t find anywhere. Should have saved some seeds and grown my own; maybe next year. I plant most of my flowers by seeds collected and bought bulbs and tubers. The heat this weekend should hatch out all the blackflies’ species and get them out of the way, so the mosquitoes and deer flies can take over. They have been pretty bad in many areas already, sometimes they were climbing on the backs of the blackflies, trying to find a spot to bite.
Many new wildflowers came out with the rain and the heat. My yellow ladyslippers came out this week and I’m sure the showy ladyslippers will be out in grand style for Father’s Day. I’m not doing the hike to Remsen bog that day for the first time in over thirty years, having to cut back on a few things, plus family I haven’t been able to hold in over a year will be here.
I was planting fringed gentian seeds along 28 the other day in places where I had seen ladies’ tresses growing last fall and found several clumps of one flowered cancer root. This flower looks waxy, only about three to four inches tall and has no leaves, like the pine sap and Indian pipes found in the fall. The cancer root grows in limy areas as do the gentians and ladies tresses. I kept a few other wildflower seeds over winter in my garage, where they harden off just like they would have in the wild.
I started watching loons again for the summer this week, but didn’t find any on a nest yet. I did get reports that they got on the nest site the very next day from people who watch them from their camp. These loons should have young to celebrate the Fourth of July with. It takes them 27 or 28 days for these eggs to hatch if they get through high water, which happens nearly every year and predators which are always around.
I was up to Hitchen’s Pond this week with Joe Poliquin and put in a Loon platform, as the water there has been drawn down about five feet to repair the lower dam. This left just a muddy shoreline all around the pond and the loon’s normal nesting site high and dry and a long walk for a Loon that can’t walk on land. Hopefully, they will use the platform while the dam is being repaired. Walking down the carry from the upper dam, which is on Lowes Lake, you go right by a homestead from years ago and wildflowers from the yard of that homestead line the carry. Wild lily of the valley, lupines, columbines of several colors and foxgloves all live on from seeds put out by plants that have lasted for years. The campsites along the shoreline of the pond which are used a lot would be a muddy walk for campers to get to until the water is back up again.
It was one of those places where the blackflies and mosquitoes were competing for your blood. Luckily, I put on my bug jacket. Some DEC workers came along in t-shirts and no hats, and it didn’t take them long to get back into their vehicles and wait for a canoe that was coming up the pond from the lower dam. This was the first time I had seen this pond in the daylight, as I’m normally there in the dark while loon banding. There is a nice lookout spot to the northwest of the pond about a half mile hike where many pictures have been taken of the pond down toward Tupper Lake which this water flows into. If you go into the Horseshoe Pond Road you only go in a short-ways and there is a pretty falls on the bog river just before it goes into Tupper Lake.
On the way back out the Sabbatis Road, we saw where several snapping turtles were trying to lay their eggs and found two right in the road. We also saw a couple painted turtles doing the same thing. We saw no Moose tracks, but we did see a few deer moving around to keep away from the flies. Then we had a female fisher run right across the road in front of the truck, the first one Joe had ever seen; a good day to be outdoors.
Some does have dropped their fawns, so watch out for these little guys and girls following moms across the highways locally. Down at the pond this morning, three young deer, fawns from last year, were frolicking along the shore of my pond to cool off just like kids would do, splashing each other.
Plant flowers and garden plants in the cool of the evening and give them overnight to adjust to their environment, but that’s another story. See ya.
Above Photo: Doe and Fawn by Tom Beckingham
One Flowered Cancer Root