Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 151


Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 151

The trip home from Florida was an adventure in slow downs, first on I-75 in Florida, then on I -95 in Georgia and then again on I -81 in Virginia and Pennsylvania and each time Karen was driving. One was for an accident nearly thirty miles ahead the only accident seen during our trip down and back. With all that traffic and all those moving cars and trucks you would think we would have seen more but not so. 

It was nice to drive down the driveway at Eight Acre Wood with the daphne bushes blooming on both sides to end our three- day trip. Going through the trees being so green further south all the way through Virginia with lots of redbud trees in bloom and less green into the non- green world to the north of that. Looking at the snow damage to the trees all the way through Pennsylvania and New York from the wet snow. Where we stayed in Woodstock, Virginia the manager of the hotel said even there the area was covered with wet snow in that storm. 

Since that snowstorm here and to the south there has been much severe weather from Texas into the Northeast where the hot weather and cold weather clashed. High winds, some tornados and much rain in the thunderstorm areas has caused much flooding, power outages and homes lost or damaged. 

To the west of these storms forest fires have ravaged the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Nebraska. In New Mexico there are twenty active fires burning. The Calf Canyon and Hermit Peak fires have merged into one burning 56,478 acres and the flames are only 12% contained as of this morning 4/26/2022. Fires also burning in New Mexico and Nebraska where one person has died because of a fire in the southwestern part of Nebraska. Retired fire Chief John P. Trumble,66, was driving as a spotter when smoke and dust blocked his visibility, causing his vehicle to leave the highway. He was overwhelmed by fire and smoke. His body was found around 3am Saturday, a Sheriff’s office release said. 

To wrap up our vacation on Sanibel Island the weather cooperated, and it got hot up into the 90’s a couple of days and hardly a breeze blowing off the ocean at the beach. Those were water days where Karen and I floated around a lot before coming out and sitting in the sun for a short spell. The birding got better the last couple of days, and we even saw little birds mostly warblers coming off the ocean right over our heads as we floated in the ocean. They made it one more time across the big pond to the safety of land. A place to rest and eat their fill of caterpillars, spiders, and berries ripe in the trees. All you had to do is find one of those trees and you would see most every bird that flew onto the island. Some were even singing others were just giving a chip note as the foraged for food. I went up to the Lighthouse Area each morning as different species arrived daily. Many birders were around once they heard on their cell phones what had arrived and where to find them. 

That last morning there was a young lady from California who had never been east before so nearly every bird she saw was a life bird for her. We saw several different warblers all new to her then she found a Yellow-billed Cuckoo which was new for most birders on the island. It wasn’t a Mangrove Cuckoo but she had several other places she was checking out in the next couple of days so she may have found that one also as they were around in more numbers this year than I remember especially in Ding Darling right along the drive. 

Each morning before eight I checked out the night blooming cerus plants to see how many flowers had come out during the nighttime. I think there was only a couple of mornings where there wasn’t one blooming. Since I’ve planted several plants in the last few years there are more to check on. One that I just started last year had one bloom and several more buds that were going to come out after I left. I spread out fourteen more plants while on the island this year as all you have to do is cut off a leaf and stick it in a new palm tree along the bike route. 

A new plant that I found in a neighboring yard near our unit was star cactus and this year I found it in bloom, such a big, beautiful flower from such a small plant. 

I forgot to report on the missing older lady that had walked away from her unit in the middle of the night in just her night clothes and she was suffering from Alzheimer’s. She was found around four that afternoon ok and no other details given.

The Crown Point Bird Banding Station will be operating from 5/7/22 to 5/21/22 and open to the public this year 5am until dark each day. This is the 47th year the station has been in operation. Follow signs from the main parking lot as we are located in the field behind the fort at the Crown Point Historic Site. 

The crossbills and siskins should be out and about with their young ones but that’s another story. See ya.

 Above photo: Night blooming cerus

Star cactus

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