Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 220
Labor Day came and went without a whisper of much change from the week before. Years ago, the day after Labor Day you could drive down each side of the street in Inlet and not hit a car. The first year we were here in 1966, I came home from town and said to Karen we are the only ones left I think, the only person I saw was the Post Mistress.
The Ninety Miler Canoe Race started on Friday, so the town was certainly full for the start of that. In the Express, they had it starting in Lake George on the first day and going to Blue Mountain; I don’t know that water route, must be a new one. Some must have gotten wet from the rain showers that first day and I heard a few more got wet as the waves from Fourth Lake bounced off the boardwalk and caused a cross chop in the channel which dumped a few canoes. People had a tail wind and just when they thought they were out of the waves, a big one hit them in the channel. Luckily, they could stand up on the bottom there, but it was still a long way to Blue Mountain being all wet. The day was cool also with a stiff wind blowing out of the west.
I was at the Farmers Market for the afternoon, and it was on and off cool when the sun went under clouds. Our booth for the Old Forge Garden Club was selling wildflowers and some inside flowers. Most of the outside flowers have been tried and tested in the Old Forge Gardens to be mostly deer proof. Some I have growing here at Eight Acre Wood are deer proof here, but not in Old Forge and vice versa. I guess it’s all in the taste these deer grow up with. In Old Forge, mostly anything green gets a try at least once, but there are things they don’t eat and won’t eat. I tried a few things at the Old Forge Library that they didn’t eat at View, but they ate it at the library. Go figure! Members also see things they don’t have in their gardens and they want to give them a try. There are some great gardens in and around Old Forge that are hidden to most of us which have some great plants growing. Some spray with deer repellents or fence their gardens and others don’t. I fence a few individual plants and the veggie garden, but I haven’t sprayed in a few years. The deer nibble here and there but mostly on the shrubbery and not the flowering plants. They don’t eat daphne bush here.
I got an e-mail from Nina Schoch last Monday that there was a dead banded loon on Little Moose Lake, at the head of the South Branch of the Moose River. The party who found it took a picture and showed the location on a map of the lake. The picture showed a 15-foot red maple all in color on shore behind where the bird was on shore. There is a bike trail that goes right by the lake, but it’s about a five-mile bike ride in from the road over the mountain. Luckily, DEC was working on the trail and going in with six wheelers to do the work. I got a ride in with FR Jen Temple right to the outlet of the lake. The outlet was plugged with a beaver dam and the bridge that I remember and then a later tube that was put in were both downstream. Jen went with me and we walked along the woods for a ways, then cut out onto the boggy area along the south shoreline looking for that red maple. Well, the beavers had flooded much of the bog and Jen got her feet wet, but I had higher boots and kept mine dry by jumping from bog to bog. She went back into the woods and cut in further up right by the red maple and found the dead loon in the water. I pushed through the alders and made it to her location. I had cut a dead pole to get the bird if it was further out in the lake as the finders said it was stuck by the head under water. I freed it and got it to shore but the band was missing. Its neck was chewed on by crayfish and maybe a snapping turtle and it had a little odor. I double bagged it and put it in my pack. We saw moose tracks in the mud as we took a woodsier route back to the outlet. Jen looked at her messages from the finder and they said that they had cut off the band, now I didn’t see that one, but we had the bird to be checked to see just what killed it. I contacted the finder and the white band had just a black dot on it, so it was banded as a chick on South Lake in Herkimer County in 2011. I remember even catching that bird after two misses down at the far end of the lake. A good find even though it was dead.
Another Hurricane Nicholas is hitting the Texas Coast as I’m writing this. This will bring more rain as it moves inland to the State of Louisiana, who doesn’t need that right now.
Looks like another on and off wet week here. The lake waters are cooling down some, so it’s time to get back out after some brooktrout again, but that’s another story. See ya.
Above Photo: Sunset on Raquette Lake by Tom Beckingham
Dead banded loon