Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 160

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Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 160

The longest day of the year passed on Tuesday in the pouring rain, so who could tell. Missed the strawberry moon last week in the clouds and when I did catch it in the middle of the night, it was so low in the sky that it hid behind the trees, even on the second story.  In the early morning before daylight, five planets are still aligned in the eastern sky, which won’t happen again for several more years. The best place to catch this is on a lake shore with a good view of the SE sky. The moon is at its smallest, so that shouldn’t interfere with your view, but you must get out before the sun lightens the sky. Since I’ve been doing boreal bird surveys starting about daylight, I should get a few looks at these planets while traveling to these sites. 

Some Loon chicks hatched this week in many places across the Adirondacks. Many more should hatch just before the Fourth, so be aware of them while you are out and about on the area lakes where we do have chicks already. Many will still be nesting, as they lost their first nest and renested for their second nest. These birds will still have to sit on eggs for 27 days, so they may not hatch their young until mid- July.  The latest I ever had a nest come off was at Dart’s Lake and that was August 15. These chicks grew enough to fly out before freeze-up, as the river runs through the lake and kept it open longer than lakes that don’t have moving water going through them. With global warming, most lakes are freezing up later than they did ten or twenty years ago. Some lakes like Lake George and Lake Champlain don’t completely freeze over or not until late in the winter. This has caused some confusion for the Loons, who think they can stay all winter in open water, then comes a quick hard freeze and their open water is gone. Also, since they should have been in the ocean where they normally molt and they are unable to fly, they are now stuck unless someone catches them and moves them to open water. This has happened the last two winters on Lake George and just last winter on Lake Champlain. All birds had molted and were trapped in a puddle they had kept open. Last winter, three on Lake George got frozen out completely and were caught by fishermen out on the ice. Videos of some of these rescues can be viewed on the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservations website. 

Our big event this weekend was traveling to Webster, north of Rochester, to see our grandson, Nathan Gary Lee, graduate from Webster Thomas High School on Friday night. This was an outdoor event at the Webster Thomas Stadium with 315 graduates on the field and all their families and friends both seated on the field and filling the stadium seating. There were several great speeches by both teachers and students before the diplomas were handed out to each student. The weather cooperated as the ceremony started at 7:30 and the sun set just as the speeches ended and the stadium lights came on.  

The prelude and processional were played by the Webster Graduation Ensemble. The National Anthem and Thomas High School Alma Mater were sung by the Thomas Select Choir, of which Nathan was one of that choir. Later in the program they sang Hero. Between songs, there was a Welcome and Recognition of Service by Mr. Glenn Widor, Principal, Words by Superintendent of Schools Mr. Brian Neenan, student speeches My Life’s Journey by Stephen Woodward, Everybody Makes Mistakes by Jaden Morales and A Titian’s Journey by Caroline Cunningham, great job by all. A Graduation Address given by Mr. Todd Stahl. After the handing out of diplomas and Confirmation of Graduation Status by Mrs. Tammy Gurowski, Board President, the song My Way was sung beautifully by Alexander Ramirez. The class was then dismissed to go over by the scoreboard and toss their caps into the air, which made a great parting shot in the night light. 

Before the ceremony, we had supper at our grandson Jake’s home in Livonia, which got hit with a 100 mph downdraft just last week during a thunderstorm, which took down several big trees right in his backyard and lifted a few shingles off the roof of his garage. We stayed at our daughter and son-in-law, Erin and David Bills’s home in Henrietta. Erin and I did a bird walk around the block the next morning and found a few. Then we visited our expecting granddaughter Emily and her husband Kris’s home in Leroy before heading to the graduation party at our son Jason and Kelly’s home in Webster. Mitch came to the graduation and then he and Jessie and their two young ones came to the party. It was a great weekend with our tour guide, Erin, and seeing all the family in one place since covid hit two years ago. 

The Fourth of July is upon us, but that’s another story. See ya. 

Photo above: Karen, Nathan and me

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Caps in the air

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  • suzanne olson 09/07/2022 3:05pm (7 months ago)

    Gary I enjoyed the photo and your report of the graduation.. You have several family in this area. Ever think of moving someday into Independent living place.?Where I live, (Valley Manor on /East /avenue), is way to citified for you but Webster has one that may be lbetter for you and Karen.
    I read all your columns and they are my only touch with Adirondacks which we loved so much. I kept a journal of every visit so have easy access to memories. Stay healthy and keep the columns coming... Suzanne O

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