Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 134

moose Uncas Camp Road bt TEd Riele

Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 134

It looks like it will be a white Christmas after all, as the five inches of snow we got last night, 12/18, pretty much covered up us seeing the full Cold Moon. You probably will not see this until after New Years as View will be closed until the third. The new show, Winter in Action is great, and you can look up a video that Heather did about the show and how it came about. You can also view the entire show online if you don’t get a chance to get in and see it in person. I got to help with the installation prep and helped move all the pieces into the gallery before they were hung up the following day. Some beautiful work and some even from countries across the ocean where their mountains are bigger than ours. 

I’ve been out working on the trails for something to do and with all the wind everyday is a new challenge, as I have to pick stick my way through the debris to where I left off the day before I do it all over again. So far, I haven’t found that much big stuff across the trails that I’ve been on, but there is some out there for sure, so if you're out and about, bend over and move the small stuff, so others don’t have to walk or ski over it. The snowmobile crews will take care of the snowmobile trails, but I’m talking about the foot and ski trails that not everyone travels. If there are big blow downs, put a note in the trail register or call the local Forest Ranger and let them know so someone can take care of it, so no one gets hurt skiing into a log across a hill which wouldn’t be fun. 

The snow and cold sure pushed the little birds into my feeders and I’m sure you have some coming to yours if you have seed out for them. Just today, 12/19, I had a new batch of American Goldfinch come in for a snack. Two days before that, I had lots of Purple Finch come in and they have stuck around, so I put up another feeder as the platform was just full of birds. The Juncos that I banded a couple of weeks ago must have moved on, as I’ve only caught a couple banded Juncos in the twenty or so that I’ve caught and banded in the last few days. I haven’t happened to connect with my oldest Black Capped Chickadee, so I don’t know if it is still with us or not. I’ve banded some new Chickadees and one Red Breasted Nuthatch. There are a lot of these birds still working the cone crop out in the woods, so they may not have to come to the feeders this winter.

Some of these birds that are eating out can be seen feeding on grit in the roadways so give them a toot, so you don’t run over them. There are lots of Red Crossbills and some White Winged Crossbills working the hemlocks and starting on the red spruce cone crop. These birds will be nesting here this winter with all the cones there are around, as almost every evergreen top is full of cones. 

Ted Riehle caught a bull moose crossing the road near Sagamore the other day, so be on the lookout as they wouldn’t look good on the hood of your vehicle.

I’ve got to pass along my Christmas plant search story. First, I should have started a month earlier so these plants might have had a bloom before Christmas, but now they can enjoy them part way through the winter. Anyway, Karen went on a search last Monday and I didn’t even have any cans for the can man in Port Leyden. We called around and most of the plants were gone locally or had grown out of their boxes. We first stopped at Tractor Supply in Boonville where I hit a gold mine last year. Well, I just walked in the door and there was a lady with two bags full of amaryllis, all growing out of the boxes. The clerk said she got them for a steal, but she got all of them. In the Christmas spirit, the lady gave me one as she went out the door and I thanked her. 

We traveled to Tractor Supply in Lowville, and they had no amaryllis, but they had several paper whites and something new calla lilies in several colors, which were just like the paper whites with a bulb to plant and watch them grow and bloom. We bought a bunch, but still had presents to buy for others. We then went to Walmart and did some shopping. Then I went over toward the garden section and there was a selection of amaryllis to die for, all in buckets and some just popping their greenery out of the bulb. We half filled the cart with those plants and there were hundreds more, so I didn’t take them all. I also heard there were many more at Lowes and Home Depot, but I’m flower poor now, so they will have to wait until next year. You can never have too many plants, especially if they are blooming in your home in winter. The orchid that I bought while on our quest for amaryllis last year has a flower shoot coming up, so I’m sure that will have a bloom soon. 

A year to remember, but that’s another story. See ya.

Photo above: Bull Moose by Ted Riehle

IMG 4237
Cones on Red Spruce Woodhull Mountain


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