Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 118
Weather across the country, fires out west and the troops getting out of Afghanistan were some of the top stories in the headlines this week. Two were weather related and the other political and long overdue. The biggest story in weather was Hurricane Ida slamming into the Gulf Coast with winds of 150 miles an hour making it in the top four hurricanes to hit the mainland of the country and the strongest to hit the Gulf Coast on the exact same day that Katrina hit New Orleans 16 years ago.
The newer built levees held out the water surge, but the high winds put out power to most of the area which won’t be restored for weeks. Rainfall amounts of 12 to 20 inches came with the hurricane and even after it was downgraded to a tropical storm headed north, it was still dropping 6 to 10 inches of rain. Some of those areas were hit just last week with heavy rain from Hurricanes Henri as it went up the East Coast. Many areas inland got too much rain, causing flash flooding and some tornadoes were also reported from this storm. As it goes north, there may also be flash flooding all the way up through the Northeast states. The reported death toll so far has been low, but some areas haven’t even been checked yet because of high water and wind damage.
Out west, the Caldor Fire in California has burned 177,000 acres, only 14% contained as it sweeps toward Lake Tahoe. Christmas Valley, home to more than 22,000, has been evacuated. Just 65 miles to the north is the Dixie Fire, the second largest fire in state history at 1,025 square miles. The Caldor Fire has scorched nearly 292 square miles since breaking out August 14 and only 15% contained. More than 600 structures have been burned and at least 20,000 more were threatened.
The Governor of Nevada declared a state of emergency in Nevada, citing “the anticipation” that the wildfire in the Lake Tahoe area in California would burn across the state line into the Silver State.
Closer to home, in Minnesota, their largest wildfire called the Greenwood Lake Fire has destroyed dozens of homes and outbuildings in the NE part of the state as it grew to 34 square miles, scorching forest land. This is in the Superior National Forest. Officials closed off the entire Boundary Waters Canoe Area as a precaution as their resources had been stretched too thin to protect visitors to this area. A fire crew from New York was sent to this area last week. An inch and a half of rain fell on the area, which slowed these fires and helped firefighters get more control of these lightning-caused fires.
If you are out and about this week, you might see some of the Plein Air Painters out painting local scenes. Their work will be for sale at the Plein Air Auction held at View on Saturday; at 4pm, a preview reception of their work and the live auction starts at 5pm, where you can bid and get a great painting of area landscapes for your camp wall.
Also, if you are out and about, there are many wildflowers still blooming. Some along lake shores and rivers, like the cardinal flowers in my article last week or white turtle heads. All kinds of asters are starting to show their colors, as well as the red maples which are really bright red this year in most of the wet swamp areas, great photography time.
This Saturday night is also the lighting of the fire towers from 9 to 9:30 pm. Locally, Rondaxe, Stillwater and Woodhull towers will have someone lighting up in the tower. Some of the other towers may have someone lighting them, which can be seen from some of the area lakes and highways. I’ll be at Woodhull and from there I can see Rondaxe and Stillwater lit up. I can only get up to the upper landing for lighting as the tower is full of repeater radio equipment.
Many birds are on the move south, mostly at night, but not saying much as they travel, but that’s another story. See ya.
Pink turtle head
White turtle head