Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 180
Clocks are all set back an hour so that sunset comes earlier now and if you are out and about, it is always good to have a headlamp or flashlight in your pack and not rely on using your cell phone light to get out of the woods. So many this summer have been stuck on a trail somewhere because they ran out of light. Plan your hike or hunt so that you can get out of the woods before dark.
The eclipse of the moon on election day morning was very nice. I saw it start to cover the moon a little after three and by four, the moon was a pretty orange glow. I went down to Fourth Lake to take photos as it was too low in the sky to get them at Eight Acre Wood. The wind was a little nasty coming off the lake, so I just stood behind the car door to take the photos through the big pines at the Inlet beach as the state boat launch was still closed off.
The election is over, but some counts in the western states are still going on. The Environmental Bond Act for New York State passed statewide, but four Adirondack Park counties (Herkimer, Hamilton, Fulton, and Lewis Counties) voted against the bond. New York Governor Kathy Hochul won reelection, but several Republican House of Representatives won seats in the state. The Federal Senate is still in the control of the Democrats, so the big red wave didn’t happen as planned by the Republicans, but it looks like they will win control of the House of Representatives by a few when all the counting is done.
Many birds are still moving through the area, and some may stay the winter. I had over fifty American Goldfinch under the feeder one morning and a big flock of Evening Grosbeaks came about the same time. I’ve banded more than one hundred of these finches and a few of the grosbeaks, which do give quite a bite if you give them a chance. So far, no scars or band aids required. I also have a female Northern Cardinal around the feeders, but it has escaped hitting the net or getting into the Potter traps. All the White Throated Sparrows, but one, had flown south for the winter and only a few Slate Colored Juncos are still around. I did catch one American Tree Sparrow and most times they stick around through the winter. I had a Brown Tree Creeper working on the suet cakes, but didn’t catch that either. They are even smaller than the Golden Crowned Kinglet in hand and take one of the 0A bands, the smallest ones I have. I caught a few new Black Capped Chickadees, most are hatch year birds, and I had several recaptures from several different years back to 2014. The White Breasted Nuthatches must have had a good breeding season, as I’ve banded several of those and a few Red Breasted Nuthatches.
I don’t know if you have bought any seeds to feed the birds, but that price has gone up just like your food prices, maybe even more. Fifty pounds of black oil sunflower seeds was $41 at Bailey’s Mill in Boonville and $31 for forty pounds at Tractor Supply. I heard that there was some locally grown seed at the Holland Patent Farmer’s Co-Op, which had a better price of $40 for fifty pounds. Much of this sunflower seed had been raised in Ukraine, as were other grains, but they have been limited as to what they could raise and ship with the war going on there, causing this price increase. If you get a big flock of grosbeaks coming to your feeders, you may have to bite the bullet or not feed.
Hurricane Nicole, which crossed Florida midweek and then went up through Georgia and the Carolina’s and eventually dropped a few inches of rain up this way. From what I saw, it came in as a Category one hurricane, but it had a very wide storm circle. This did lots of damage up the coastline of Florida with the storm surge, high tide and a full moon washing many coastal homes off their piers and foundations. Predictions are that there might be four or five more possible hurricanes to come ashore before the end of the month.
Regular Big Game Season has been open, four weeks now and a few nice bucks have been taken, but not too many bears that I’ve heard of. Even with the warm temperatures, they may have gone into hibernation with not much wild food available, so why waste energy looking and just go to sleep. This year hunters are required to wear a fluorescent orange or pink hat or vest, but many hunters that I’ve seen walking down the trail past the house have neither. Where we hunted out in Colorado, it has been required to wear both for several years now.
Tracking snow is coming, but that’s another story. See ya.
Above Photo: Sunrise at Eight Acre Wood
Eclipse of the moon