Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 195

trumpeter swans

Well, we had our sixth January Thaw this week as the temperature got up to 51 on Tuesday and 49 on Wednesday then dipped down so it could snow Thursday morning about six inches. Then the temperature went up all day and hovered right around freezing. When Karen came home from the library, it was 28 degrees and raining which put a razor sharp crust on what snow we had. Then it zipped down below zero and didn’t get much above 0 all day Friday. We got a couple more inches of snow and then right during the Inlet Frozen Fire and Ice activities it snowed some more but not a wisp of wind for the kite fliers Saturday afternoon. 

Some of the folks to the west and south of us got snow, freezing rain and rain which caused many roads to be closed over mountain passes in California and Utah. In places they got five feet, and it was still falling there tonight 2/26.  They got snow in California in places that had never seen snow before and a lot of rain where it didn’t snow. Ice taking down trees and power lines on the in-between zones and causing tornadoes in those areas also, even one in New Jersey. Michigan also had lots of ice damage to power lines. We just got lucky either, we had snow or rain, the temperature didn’t seem to matter what it was. I saw some skiers go by out back on Thursday enjoying the new powder but those tracks sure got slick with the freezing rain Thursday night. The ski centers making snow must be pulling their hair out with all these changing conditions from one day to the next. 

The earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have a death toll of over 50,000 and 2 hundred million left homeless. Many of them are living in tent cities or in their backyards and many without any shelter. There have been many aftershocks. Several builders have been arrested for poor construction but that doesn’t bring back the dead.  

The clean up of the train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio goes on with earth and water being removed from the contaminated area. Many agencies are working in the area, but residents still aren’t happy with all the results and fear their lives will never be the same living in that area. The train tracks have been reopened.

Not too far away a hopper car derailed by South Junction Road near Plattsburgh on Wednesday. It was carrying dry powered granular goods and no hazardous materials. The train car has been removed.

Saturday started off cloudy at -8 here at Eight Acre Wood and didn’t get much above ten all day but very little wind. I had 66 Evening Grosbeaks that morning and you could see breath come out of their beaks every time they picked up a new seed. I banded six that morning. My White Throated Sparrow is still hanging in there. He probably felt right at home when the Red Wing Blackbirds came last week but they left going further north. Some Snow Geese are at the north end of Lake Champlain and a pair of Trumpeter Swans are hanging out for a couple weeks in the marsh just north of the Ausable Point Campground. 

The Inlet’s Frozen Fire and Ice hit the only weekend all winter that had snow and cold but no wind for the big kites. The sliding hill was fast but only a couple cardboard racers made it to the finish line on their own, others had to be pushed or carried in pieces. There were some good spills and tumbles while racers came down the hill. A few neat creative racers, one was the Inlet Plow truck complete with a plow on the front which made it down within a couple feet of the finish line. The last one down the hill was a rowboat that was a bit bow heavy carrying five riders that went under about halfway down. Everyone was having fun and no ambulance runs were needed. From there I went down to the kite fliers on Fourth Lake but without any wind the big kites couldn’t fly, same as two years ago. The kids who made and painted their kites could fly them if they ran fast enough. It was snowing so hard that you could hardly pick out their kites in the sky.

The outhouse races followed, and the sidelines were full of people. Manzi’s Sh<#> and Giggles Privy was back to defend the winning title from last year. Two other competitors were the Holy Crap Batman Privy and Privy Pushers. Batman Privy won the first heat over the Privy Pushers and then the Giggles Privy won the next two heats, winning the top prize a new roll of toilet paper and they needed it to clean up the mess they left on the track. It doesn’t take too much to have fun in Inlet in winter.

More snow is coming this week. Maybe winter is here, but that’s another story. See ya. 

Photo above: Trumpeter Swans by Ellie George

IMG 8864.JPGsnow plow
Inlet Plow truck cardboard race - Gary Lee

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