Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee – Vol. 21
Moose are on the move with lots of sightings locally and photographs of many, mostly bulls, on the move looking for cows this time of the year. I thank Terry for his moose story last week, which he is still talking about in e-mails.
I had a moose hike to Rockdam on Saturday, as part of Indian Lakes Great Adirondack Moose Festival. There was a threat of rain, but five ladies showed up after they found the Limekiln Gate to the Moose River Area, and we had a nice walk in the fallen leaves to Rockdam. There was a new moose track in the trail, and I showed them evidence of where moose had bitten the bark off red maples to eat as winter food. We took a few pictures of bushes covered with fruit along the river, mountain holly, wild raisin, arrow wood and carrion flower. The migrating birds should have no problem finding food if they are berry eaters.
Coming back from the Cedar River Flow the other day, I saw several flickers who were gorging on berries along the Plains road. Some of the berries they were eating have fermented, so they actually get drunk. You know this as you watch them try to fly up from the road. They go about ten feet and do a summer salt when landing and look around like what just happened to me. I’ve watched this almost every fall when there is a good berry crop. I think they recover in a couple days, after sleeping it off, and make the trip south.
I did have a nice paddle around the Cedar River Flow, having it almost to myself, except for the birds both on the water and in the air. There was a flock of 26 total geese who thought I was a hunter and never let me get too close. Flying up against the fall leaves made a nice picture. I did see the loon and chick who were playing keep away. I saw a beautiful marsh hawk cruising along the shoreline looking for a snack. I saw several mallard and wood ducks, and a lone fisherman coming out of the Cedar River, who looked like he was padding in grass. One lone Wilson’s snipe flushed along with the ducks. Also feeding in the grasses along the shore was a flock of horned larks, who flew up a couple times and went all around me before landing back in the grasses. Jeff Nadler was up there a day later and had a boreal chickadee on the first big island on the left. I may have gone right by it, as I don’t hear them anymore.
The leaf peepers sure have been out and about, and the leaves so far haven’t failed them, with lots of reds on the maples, and even sunshine for a couple weekends to make it even better. The beechnuts have begun to fall, as I’m finding them all over my driveway. The deer and turkeys can now eat them off the ground. My brother Bob has several oak trees in his yard and yesterday he took four wheelbarrow loads of nuts off his driveway. He said this morning, he probably has another three there again.
If Mother Nature is telling us anything with this, it might be a winter to remember. The folks in Montana are having blizzard conditions today with over 40 inches of snow, which is about what they get all season, and this is only the last day of September. I have some friends out there on a horseback, elk and mule deer hunt, so I wonder what kind of tales they will have to tell.
The brook trout are on the bite just before spawning season and the males sure are pretty in their spawning colors; one of the prettiest fish I know of. The other day, my brother and I went to Pine Pond, in back of Massawepie Lake, north of Tupper Lake, and we had a blast catching trout. They have to be 12 inches to keep and we never did get one that big, so we cut several hooks off to save the fish. I was using a Hornberg fly, so mine weren’t hooked that bad, mostly in the lip. We caught over twenty trout that day, and the state helicopter came over and stocked while we were there, so there will be more next year.
There was a beautiful sunrise in the fog that morning both along the road by Tupper Lake and at Massawepie Lake as it was just above freezing that morning.
The fringed gentians are in bloom but that’s another story. See ya.
White birch and fall leaves at Lake Durant
Mountain holly and carrion flowers at Rockdam
Sunrise on Tupper Lake