Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 124

snaping turtle baby

Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 124

If you didn’t get out and about this week you may have missed the beautiful leaves, which were peak on Wednesday and Thursday. There was still some color left for the weekend travelers, but they were super during the week and then a little wind came along, and it was raining leaves most of Thursday. We did have a frost one morning, but I washed off most of my flowering plants and saved them for what looks like another week or more. 

The oil spill off the southern coast of California in Orange County was the big news last week. A 17.7- mile pipeline connecting offshore oil platforms with shore had been displaced, possible dragged by a ship’s anchor about 105 feet with a 13-inch split along the length of the pipe. 25,000 to 132,000 gallons of oil leaked from the broken pipe to the surface of the Pacific Ocean and on to the city and state beaches off Hunting Beach. Lots of birds and fish were killed by the oil spill and some of the birds have been cleaned from the oil on their feathers.

Fished a couple of days for smallmouth bass and we caught some nice ones, and of course lost the biggest one; just another fisherman’s tale. The water was dead calm most of the day and we had a couple loons for company on the water and two bald eagles flew over. During the morning in the fog, several flocks of Canada geese flew over, not to be seen, and when it cleared, a few more flew over. One had over one hundred and fifty in one big V. They must know something that we don’t, even though it’s been so warm for the last few days.

Went up to the Paul Smiths VIC on stage for old Forest Ranger Stories. Scott vanLaer, his dad Dick vanLaer, Frank Dorchak and I were the storytellers. We related why we became Forest Rangers and told stories of searches, rescues and other related items of interest that happened to us while working. There were about fifty people in the audience, and at the end, there were a few good questions. One was how would we regulate the amount of people using the Adirondacks Parks trails and other facilities. No one had any good answers for this situation. Scott who had just recently retired was more keyed into this problem than the three of us who have now been retired for more than twenty years. Doug Riedman rode up with me and added information on some of the incidents. Some of the stories I had heard before and others were new to me. 

One of these was told by Frank. He and another ranger were in their truck watching some problem and suddenly, a shot went off and they looked for holes in the windows and themselves, but there were none. Frank’s partner said “Frank, your pipe bowl is gone,” and sure enough it was and laying on the floor of the truck. It seems Frank had been shooting some rats with 22 pepper seed shot and put some bullets into his pocket which went into his pipe tobacco. When he lit up his pipe, it exploded. One of the shots from the shell also went through the brim of his Stetson. This was not reported to the office. 

Scott told one where he was at the Ranger Headquarters at John’s Brook, which is near the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Lodge there. He was walking out when he met a couple not dressed for hiking on the trail dragging their suitcases on wheels up the trail. They had come 2 miles up the trail already and only a half mile from the lodge. They told him they had made reservations and they were on their honeymoon. He told them if they were this close, they might just as well keep going, but he didn’t tell them that there were just bunk beds and several to each room. 

Yesterday, again at the Paul Smiths VIC, was the Loon Celebration put on by the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation. They had a paddle in the morning on Lake Clear, where there were about fifty loons staging for going south and fishing for smelt. In the afternoon, there was a silent auction, Loon calling contest, where I was one of the judges, a talk by James Paruk who just wrote the book Loon Lessons after studying them for over thirty years. They had the raffle drawing for the Hornbeck canoe, which I didn’t win, and then music and songs by Dan Bergin. While there, Cody Sears showed me where some snapping turtle babies were emerging from the sand right near the driveway; neat little guys. Lots of folks attended the celebration and it made a few bucks for the loon program.

Still a few days left during trout season, hope to catch a few, but that’s another story. See ya. 

Above Photo: Baby snapping turtle comes above ground by Cody Sears

DSC05747Nice Small mouth bass Doug Riedman 

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  • Suzanne Olson 16/10/2021 5:03pm (1 month ago)

    Keep the columns coming! Enjoy photos too.. Great photo of baby turtle I wish her well... SAO

  • Karen A Gibbs 16/10/2021 3:17pm (1 month ago)

    I have recently lost a Bernese Mt. Dog on South Bay Road, Big Moose Lake. She has been gone since yesterday morning. She is a rescue so is very timid. She is microchipped…has a collar with name tags and phone #. If anyone see her in your travels please contact the game warden.

    Thank you,


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