Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 121

MG 8883

Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 121

All you must do is look out your windows and see the leaves are changing; not peak yet, but coming on fast. We took a boat ride around Big Moose Lake last night with Diane Bowes and there was a lot of color, but not as much as when we took the trip around about the same time last year. Beautiful night and we saw most of the loons on the lake, except the ones in North Bay. The pair in West Bay still have one chick which has been harassed by a Bald Eagle several times in the last couple weeks, but not caught. 

The adult loons are starting to lose some of their pretty feathers, a look like they have gray beards along their bills. It won’t be long, and they will look much like the chicks before they leave to go south. In the next couple of weeks, you will see as many as twenty fishing together some mornings on some of the local lakes. On those calm mornings, you will see some of their pretty black and white shed feathers floating like little boats all over the surface of the lake. 

One Lake, Lake Clear in the northern Adirondacks, has one of the biggest groups of loons every fall that come in there for a week or so, each day to feed and gather together, before going south. One day a count of 69 Loons was counted on the surface, but several could have been diving at the time for fish and didn’t get counted. There is a canoe access parking area on the east end of the lake off route 30, just after crossing the railroad tracks in Lake Clear Junction, well the tracks may be gone now. A short trail takes you to where you can view most of the lake. A spotting scope or binoculars will help you to observe the loons from the beach at the end of the trail. Looking at the edge of the water on the beach you will see many of those pretty black and white feathers if the loons are there or if they have been there. 

It won’t be long after these gatherings and the adults will be headed south for the winter. They don’t travel in flocks like geese, but go as individuals to their wintering grounds in the ocean, mostly off the east coast. They don’t call while traveling, but when flying by, you can hear their wings pushing the air as they go by at 60 to 70 MPH. Sometimes they make this trip to the ocean in one shot, and some make a pit stop along the way. The adults make the trip leaving the juveniles to fend for themselves and find their own way to the ocean. 

The Guardian has reported on the fires in California. N the Sequoia National Park in Sierra Nevada Fire reached Long Meadow Grove, where the Trail of Giants Sequoias is a National Monument. Sunday, 9/19, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning, saying wind gusts and low humidity could create conditions for rapid wildfire spread. 

More than 7,000 wildfires in California this year have damaged or destroyed more than 3,000 homes and other buildings and torched well over 3,000 square miles of land, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. 

The National Park Service said Friday that flames had reached the western most tip of the Giant Forest, scorching a group of sequoias known as the Four Guardsmen that mark the entrance to grove of 2,000 trees.

Firefighters wrapped the base of the General Sherman Tree, along with others in the giant forest in a type of aluminum that can withstand high heat. The General Sherman Tree is the largest tree in the world by volume, at 52,508 cubic feet, according to the National Park Service. It is 275 feet tall, has a circumference of 103 feet at ground level.

Still chasing loons, but for the last couple weeks only dead ones that have been reported and recovered. Hope to find out what they died of when checked. 

Moose Festival in Indian Lake, check out the web site for hikes and events. I have one to Rockdam on Saturday morning 9/25, meeting at the LimeKiln Gate at 9am, driving in and walking to Rockdam on the Moose River. 

Nice time to be out and about and not many bugs to bother you, but that’s another story. See ya.

Above Photo: 7th Lake Sunrise

MG 4035 
Loon Feather

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  • Tom Vawter 26/09/2021 5:40pm (28 days ago)

    Thanks, Gary. As you know I’ve followed your nature posts for decades. This is a particularly good one.

  • Berniece Boggs 26/09/2021 3:59pm (28 days ago)

    Great to read of the Loon migration. Such an interesting article for us to read. We have fun memories of a boat ride on Big Moose Lake and quite a few hikes with you seeing butterflies, and wildflowers. Just turned 90 this year so unable to come as in the past but saw a lot of the territory when there. Sorry to lose that journey of our lives.
    Have a beautiful fall season.

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