Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - VOl. 172

momarch by tom

Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 172

Another year has passed for me and only one more for the big 80, but things are looking good on this end. For others on this side of the globe, things aren’t looking so good this morning. Hurricane Fiona has clobbered Puerto Rico with over thirty inches of rain and strong winds that have again devastated their power grid five years to the day when they were hit by Hurricane Maria. They had just about recovered from that one and everything got laid flat again. The hurricane heading north hit the Dominican Republic and will end up in the Canada Maritimes. This will also push high tides all along the east coast while going north.

Out on the west coast of Alaska, remnants of Typhoon Merbok brought high winds and flooding from the Bering Sea to several cities including Nome and Goloyia. The 1,000-mile wide stormfront caused the worst coastal flooding seen in over fifty years. Officials said it would take over fourteen hours for most of this water to recede. 

The tail of this storm went into northern California bringing up to three inches of rain to coastal areas of Sonoma County and a bit less as the rains moved southward to the San Francisco area. These storms were forecast to continue on and off through Monday. 

In the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of the state Capitol of Sacramento, fire crews have been fighting what has become the largest fire in the state this year. While the rain is needed the winds were a concern for crews battling the Mosquito Fire, which was only 21% contained as of Saturday morning. 

“The winds will definitely cause erratic fire behavior” that could ignite new hotspots despite the welcome moisture, said Cal Fire Spokesman Scott McKean. “The rain is not going to put out the fire, but it will help”. Information from AP news. 

I hope you have noticed that the leaves are changing, and they may even peak around here in the next week if the rain doesn’t knock them all to the ground. We got over two inches here on Monday afternoon in less than an hour and it was gushing out the outlet of the pond that night. My intermittent stream, which hasn’t been flowing since spring, was sure flowing last night.  

A young bull moose was killed on Route 28 east of Raquette Lake last week. All I got was a picture of the dead moose beside the road and I heard that it was hit by a tractor trailer, which lost the radiator.  One less to be seen during the Indian Lake Moose Festival coming up this weekend. I saw some big moose tracks by the Rockdam Trail in the Moose River Area this week as I was checking out the trail for the hike there on Saturday morning, 9/24, for the Moose Festival. Persons wishing to take the hike will meet at the Limekiln Gate of the Plains at 9 that morning. 

Going to Big Moose on Saturday I saw that Herkimer County Highway Department had started to mow the roadsides as far as Covewood Lodge. I knew that several Monarch butterfly caterpillars had been chopped up in their mowing of the patches of milkweeds along the shoulder of the highway. There is all this talk of protecting an endangered species which the Monarch Butterfly was declared this spring and yet the county can chop up a few hundred and nothing said. I went ahead of where they stopped mowing and picked over forty from the milkweeds along the highway so they wouldn’t get mowed down this week. I’m raising them in a butterfly cage at the house. They had already mowed the South Shore Road where there were hundreds of Monarchs, many still growing as caterpillars and many which had already gone into chrysalis but had not become adults yet. Two years ago, I got ahead of the mowers on the South Shore Road and picked over two hundred Monarch caterpillars and raised and tagged them for release. Being declared an endangered species, I thought they would be protected, and they would get out naturally and the county could mow after they had left, but not so! 

Up at Paul Smiths VIC, they run a butterfly house where they raise and tag Monarch Butterflies. One that they tagged last year was found dead in the wintering area in Mexico. None of the over four hundred butterflies that I tagged have ever been found or reported. 

The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation is having their fall get together at the Paul Smiths VIC, but that’s another story. See ya. 

 Photo Above: Monarch female by Tom Beckingham

dead moose
Dead Moose-Unknown

Tagged Monarch-Wyatt Beckingham-Paul Smiths

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