Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 152


Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 152

Well, it froze every morning this week, even spit some snow, but nothing stuck right here. They had spring skiing at both Whiteface and Gore Mountains this weekend, which must have been a late season for both. I worked around the yard and saw a few blackflies in the air and bombing me a few times. Better get out those hummer feeders, last year they came here on the fourth, not an early date, but more than a week earlier than the year before. They almost always get here before Mother’s Day, and I’ve had to thaw out the feeders more than once to keep them going. 

Even with these cold temperatures some of the little wildflowers have popped out, trout lily, coltsfoot, and spring beauty.

Karen will be watching for them, as I will be at the Crown Point Banding Station camping out and banding birds, I hope. Lots of little birds have already moved up from the south and we may have missed them, but I have been out and about all week and have only heard one warbler so far. Make that two, a Pine Warbler, one of the first to arrive and they will feed on suet, and Yellow Rumped Warbler (a butter butt) was calling along the Moss Lake Trail on Saturday, 4/30. I also heard my first peeper calling in the inlet from Cascade Lake, right where that inlet crosses the trail. There was a mourning cloak butterfly sunning on the bridge as it was only forty degrees. 

Met a young lady from Old Forge walking her dogs as I was checking out the trail and asked her how the rest of the trail looked as I had passed three blowdowns that were much bigger than my brush ax could handle. She said she and her husband had been around after the snowstorm and moved lots of little things, but did no cutting. I pick sticked little debris for over an hour to the outlet and turned around. I went in the next day with the chainsaw and cut out all the big stuff. As I was cutting out an old dead red spruce that had all kinds of arms and legs, which was on top of a ten-inch red maple, another couple came along walking their dogs. They got through what I had cut out and I got that mess cleaned up and the two-foot yellow birch just up the trail. Just past that, I saw something dripping in the trail. It was a large icicle melting from a birch tree, about three feet long, where a branch had been broken off by the wet snow.

Now everyone should be carrying a pick stick if you are out walking the trails, which is about three feet long so you can twitch the little stuff out of the trail without bending over. If I had bent over to remove all the stuff I twitched out of the trail that day, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get back into the truck. Just a quick flick of the wrist and the twigs fly off into the woods. My former Lt., Marty Hanna, showed me that trick when we took a walk into Stephens Pond one day and I never forgot it. It sure has saved me a lot of bending over the years and most times I walk back out the same way I came in and I don’t have to walk over all that little stuff. It doesn’t take much to trip some people up and those rollers on the hills (little round branches that can put you on your butt quicker than you can say... well I can’t say it here).

The fires rage in the western states of New Mexico, Arizona, and Nebraska with no sight of rain any time soon. The weather just to the east of them, in the line between hot and cold fronts, have caused thunderstorms, tornados, and baseball size hail all the way into the southeast. The video of the tornado in Andover, Kansas, a class three with 165 MPH winds, was amazing and how no deaths occurred is a miracle. There was even another tornado in Fort Myers that went into Cape Corral. They are expecting about the same again today, 5/2.  

There will be a blood moon this month and an eclipse in the early morning on the 16th, which should be great. I once photographed another one while at Crown Point a few years back. Fellow bander Tom Barber also photographed me holding this moon in my hand. There will be three more supermoons this year, when the moon is closest to the earth. There was already one in January and now there will be one on June 14, a strawberry moon, on July 13, a buck moon, and then again on December 23.

The Red and White-winged Crossbills are still in the area, as I saw some in the road this week picking grit. If the heavy snow didn’t get their nests, they should be feeding young, but I haven’t seen any yet.

Crown Point Banding Station is open, but that’s another story. See ya. 

 Above photo: Spring beauty   

Birch icicle

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