Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 190


Outdoor Adventurers with Gary Lee - Vol. 190

The inch of snow we got here was just about enough to cover the ground and with all the rain we had before the snow, it sure made for an icy mix out in the woods to walk on. I found out the hard way as I was out back on the ski trail cutting beech stubs that I left last winter cutting them in deep snow. While walking back in I took a slip down a little hill and rolled over my right ankle, which hurt pretty bad. I’m a mile from the house and I said to myself this is going to be a long mile walk. I got to the house just before Karen came home. We put ice on it until I went to bed, and it only swelled a little, but still not good. Karen got an appointment the next day to see Doctor Socash and get it x-rayed. Not anything broken, but a bad sprain, so it has been getting the cold and hot treatment since with an ace bandage and feeling better. Not quite ready for a ski trip, but not in need of crutches which would have put a crimp in what little winter we have. 

California is getting a chance to dry out this week while much rain is coming into the Gulf Coast where they don’t need any rain. We are in a snow drought with some expected this week, but not any big storms.

It was just snowing on the Buffalo Bills which didn’t help them on their field, as they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals. It looked like wet snow falling, almost rain, which didn’t cover the field as much as I have seen in the past, but not a good trip home for lots of fans whichever way they had to go. 

With all the NFL and college football playoffs going on and the World Cup Soccer matches which ended on December 18th with a shootout win by Argentina over France, many may have missed the Syracuse Orange’s Mens Soccer National Championship win in North Carolina on December 12th. They beat Indiana in their first trip to the finals. They were tied 2-2 at the end of the game and played two overtimes with no scores. Then in a shootout, they won 7-6 to take the NCAA Soccer Championship. Since I don’t get Syracuse news on our TV and never saw anything on the internet, I wouldn’t have known until my son Mitch told me a week ago. I looked it up online and saw lots of the game, close plays and scoring. Then watched the shootout where the Syracuse goalie stopped the seventh sudden death penalty kick by Indiana and then the Syracuse Team Captain scored the winning goal. Nice to see this, even if not in real time and a great win for the Syracuse program.

The 2023 Winter World University Games in Lake Placid wound up today with the final ice hockey game, a Canada win 7-2 over the US team. There have been 43 nations participating, with 1443 athletes (832 men and 611 women) in 85 different events in 12 different sports. The weather certainly didn’t cooperate either before the games began or during the games with the lack of snow and warmer weather during the games, but the events went on with a few cancellations to another day. It takes a lot of volunteer help to put on such an event like this, as well as the staff at the venues to make ice and snow for these events to happen; hats off to all of you for showing to the world again what a gem the north country of New York State really is.

Listening to my birds this last week, you would think spring had sprung and to look around you might even think that yourself. The White breasted Nuthatches were doing their mating wood-wood calls and the Black Capped Chickadees were doing their mating phoebe calls. You could watch them around the feeders almost to the point of defending territories as chases went on all the time defending food stations. I tried to tell them that there was still more winter to come, but they kept right on calling. I did have ten Ravens on the carcass on the dam a couple mornings and there were several chases going on around there. These birds will be on their nests late next month and early March. Their young are usually born before May first and out of the nests before Memorial Day. 

Some more Christmas flowers are blooming locally, Adele Murdock’s amaryllis wins the prize with one three feet tall and triple blooms on both stems. My Christmas cactus is going to be a Valentine bloomer. 

I still have two White Throated Sparrows catching snacks under the suet cakes and every time I report them to e-bird they question my report, so I send them a picture. 

I got the results of the Region 7 Essex, Franklin, Clinton, and Hamilton Counties 2023 Duck Count from Ellie George-compiler. A total of 8090 waterfowl compared to last year’s 3,670 and 26 species compared to last year 20. 11 Bald Eagles and several other birds were seen during the count. Uncommon waterfowl seen were snow geese, redheads, canvasbacks, ruddy ducks, gadwalls, black scoter, wigeon, pintail, and red breasted mergansers. There were fifteen observers making several stops in different places in the region. Total by species: Snow Geese-7, Canada Geese-951, Gadwall-6, American Wigeon-1, American Black Duck-120, Mallard-1896, MallardxBlack-2, Northern Pintail-1, Canvasback-4, Redhead-10, Ring-necked Duck-4, Tufted Duck-2, Tufted DuckxScaup sp., Greater Scaup- 2416, Lesser Scaup-622, Black Scoter-1, Bufflehead- 284, Common Goldeneye-1437, Common GoldeneyexBarrows-1, Barrows Goldeneye-2, Hooded Merganser- 74, Common Merganser- 222, Red-breasted Merganser- 5, Ruddy Duck-7, Common Loon-5, and Horned Grebe-9 for a total of 8090.  

Hope to get back on my skis this week with a little more snow coming, but that’s another story. See ya. 

Photo above: Raven conference by trail cam

IMG 8760
Adele’s amaryllis by me


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