Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 197

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The couple inches of snow on Friday night got us through the weekend for Snofest and it looks like we might need a snowmobile to get around this week if all the snow predictions come true. Looking at the weather map they are getting much more to the south of us just like most of the storms this year, some went south of us, and some went north of us. I did see some skiers enjoying the new snow on the ski trail out back both Saturday and Sunday. I could hear the snowmobiles going up the shoulder of the road out front while here at my computer. 

Once I heard some crows right outside harassing something that caught my attention and I had to go outside and see what they were chasing. I saw a brown and white bird flash in front of them and got up into a big balsam tree along the driveway. I grabbed my binoculars and went up the driveway. The crows flew away as I got closer, but I couldn’t see anything in the balsam tree. As I went back down the driveway, I noticed a bigger bird on a branch not far from the balsam tree and it was a Barred Owl. I got back into the house and grabbed my camera with the big lens. I got several shots of this bird which was just happy that the crows had gone away. I heard some skiers coming down the trail and it was Jeff and Carol Collier and two of their grandchildren. I hollered out to Jeff and told him there was an owl in a tree right between us in the woods and he said I can see it. The rest of his party came along and they all got to see it. Since this was not far from my bird feeders the little birds were quite spooky the rest of the afternoon.

That and feeding the birds has been about the extent of my wanderings in the woods for a while. One of the trips to Utica last week was for an MRI on my ankle as it wasn’t getting any better. I went to St Elizabeth’s for that early Wednesday morning and got right in after giving them my page full of operations since I was a kid and I even forgot a few. I guess they were looking for any metal in my body which I didn’t have. I put the rest of my stuff in a locked drawer along with my knife, watch, wallet and hearing aids. When I got to the table, she had me take off my leather boots and put them on the floor as she said the one I didn’t have to take off might not fit in the machine, which was a good thing. The machine pounded a few times taking pictures of my inner ankle and I was done. I sat up on the side of the table and put on my socks. My feet didn’t touch the floor, so I picked up my boots to walk over to a nearby chair to put them on and, zip bang they, flew right out of my hand and into the machine one at each end. The attendant said they are steel toed boots as she retrieved them from the machine. I said one must be positive and one negative as they went to opposite ends of the machine which got a chuckle out of the attendant. Well, they got good pictures of my ankle which had three torn tendons, not good. 

So, this week I went to an orthopedic surgeon in Syracuse who said these tendons would heal with me wearing a brace and doing PT locally for a few months. That’s my tale of woe so now I maybe just feeding the birds and writing that long awaited book, while I exercise my elevated foot.

The folks out in California aren’t catching a break as another Atmospheric River with rain and snowstorm is hitting them this week off the ocean with over a foot of rain in places that don't need any more and feet of snow in the mountains that already have more snow that they can deal with. Coastal highways have been closed by mudslides and flooding and mountain highways some haven’t been opened from the former snowstorms yet. 

Another storm is sweeping across the south with scattered thunderstorms and tornadoes and one in our northern states is dumping well over a foot of snow along with very strong winds. The cold from this storm is streaming south which is going to bring freezing temperatures as far south as Georgia. Many of the flowering plants will be hit by a hard frost and not produce any fruit or berries as a result. 

Locally they are saying that a north easter is coming up the coast and meeting with that storm in the Midwest and giving us more snow and wind than we’ve seen all winter. Well March came in as a lamb but maybe going out as a lion and we aren’t halfway through the month. 

The synchronized snowplows in the St Patrick’s Day Parade Friday may lead and have to keep their plows down, but that’s another story. See ya.     

Photo Above: Barred owl in the yard

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Flying squirrel that got out of the feeder


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