Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 15

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Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee – Vol. 15

A few of the bigger storms missed us again, but slammed some folks to the west and north of us. Route 12 in Utica again got flooded, with several cars getting half submerged. This is the third time, so some engineer goofed up somewhere in the planning. They aren’t that far from the river, so it seems they could drain that water off in that direction. Others got hail and wind.  My daughter, Erin, and grandson, Jake, were loading a horse trailer at the Syracuse Fair Grounds when the storm rolled through.  They thought the windows of the truck were going to break. We were headed for Camden and the storm was just to the north of us all the way, as the sky was just all black with rolling clouds. We got a little thunder and lightning as we went through Rome and that was about it.

The day before, we got over an inch of rain for the second day in a row, which put enough water in my pond that some was going out the drain for the first time in a couple weeks. It sure perked up the trout in the pond, as they were jumping right out of the water for their supper.

This year is the 75th anniversary of Smokey Bear, with celebrations all over the state.  The biggest is at the State Fair this week and next, which will probably be over by the fire tower and log building near there. I played Smokey a few times at the Fair, when it was about ninety degrees, and the fan in the suit didn’t cool all that much. Some of you may have seen Smokey over at the Woodsmen’s Field Days in Boonville over the weekend.

A team of 20 Forest Rangers and volunteers just went west to fight the forest fires that are burning in the northwest part of the country. They will be spending two weeks on a fire out there before coming back home. There are about 200 active fires right now in the northwest part of the country.

Another Forest Ranger, Ian Kerr, who lives in southern Hamilton County, went out as a special resource working with a Heli tack crew of eight working just south of Fairbanks, Alaska. They were the first attack crew on some fires, and for other fires, they dropped in supplies and made water drops on some of the bigger fires. Ian said his grandfather was Randolph Kerr, a Forest Ranger in Glenfield, Lewis County, and the District Ranger in the Canton Office. Randy went on to Albany where he worked in the Recreation Bureau. I once gave him a tour of the Moose River area with his son, as he had never been around here before. Ian said his grandfather was a big influence on him becoming a Forest Ranger. You can look at a write up in the Leader Herald at http://www.leaderherald.com/news/local-news/2019/07/local-ranger-puts-out-alaska-fires.

Here at Eight Acre Wood, my tomatoes are finally getting ripe and I’ve picked the beans twice, putting some in the freezer for winter. It sure is nice to grab a few things from the garden and put it on the table an hour later as fresh veggies. Nothing like eating a tomato right off the vine, or putting it in a lettuce, tomato and bacon sandwich, which we’ve had a lot of lately… good eats.

The birds are pretty quiet right now, as they are molting just before heading south.  Their speed on the fly isn’t what it was when they had all their feathers, so they keep a low profile by not singing or calling to let predators where they are. Many have already flown the coop and are heading south. With all the wild food out in the woods, there should be a big influx of winter finches coming into the area. Some crossbills are already here feeding on the softwood cones and they will probably nest here during the winter.

The crows and blue jays are already feeding on the beechnuts, and as long as there are hanging nuts, these species will feed on them before coming to feeders in late Fall or after the first big snow fall. I know, don’t talk about that, but it will happen.

My grandson Jake and I got out to catch a few bass the other day before he had to go back to Rochester. The big one got away as always, but he got a nice one on a top water plug, which he said was the biggest he had ever caught.  He needs to go with grandpa more.

Some fall wildflowers are coming out, but that’s another story. See ya.

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Tomatoes on the vine

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