Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 22
The leaves made it through a third weekend, bringing thousands of visitors from outside the area to see them. I don’t think most were disappointed, as the color stayed for the most part. The wind and rain during the last couple days has put a lot of the leaves on the ground, leaving gray spots all over the mountains, with more to come and maybe even some white stuff. The mountains out west, and even some folks to the east of the mountains, are getting snow this week.
We had the first real killer frost on Saturday morning, , 10/5, as it was 26 here at Eight Acre Wood, which darkened the leaves of many of my flowers and ended their long season. I did release three more monarchs yesterday and saw many on their journey as we traveled to Rochester and back over the weekend.
We went out to a high school band competition at Schroeder, one of the Webster Schools, where our Grandson, Nathan, plays a tuba in the Webster Marching Band. It was cold as the sun went down, with a slight wind blowing, as the competition began on the football field at 5:30. There were seven bands from the area in three different divisions, depending on the size of their schools. All the schools have a theme, with some background scenery and music that goes along with the theme. There is a color guard with flags and wooden rifles that change during the program, as the bands march around, which is very colorful. Each band gets a short time to set up and they play about fifteen minutes. They have a short time to break down so the next band can set up. They are judged on all phases of their program and their music and are given a score. I think they all did very well. Many who have gone to all their competitions so far, said all the bands they watched had improved during the year.
We went out to breakfast the next morning with almost all the Rochester family at Cracker Barrel and had a nice meal. We toured Rochester on the way home, but finally found our way east and north.
The NYS Forest Ranger Western Fire Team got back from the Walker Fire in the Plumas National Forest near Taylorville, California, last week, which isn’t far from the Nevada border. When they arrived, the 54,518-acre fire, the largest in California this year, was only 68% contained. They mostly worked the night shift and some hot fire, based on the pictures I received from FR Gary Miller, who was a member of the team. When they left, it was mostly contained and nearly out as snows hit the area. Other places in California were still under a red flag warning for forest fires.
The frost I mentioned above did in most of the flowers, but a few do survive this time of the year, as they seem to have antifreeze in their system. One of them is the fringed gentian, which seems to be doing well this fall and is growing in many different areas now with the movement of seeds to new places. The biggest new patch is in the clearing going down to Independence Lake, where I planted seeds four years ago now. There are about three hundred plants in bloom there. Another spot that’s doing well this year, with over 110 blooms, is right in front of the Pawony Pillars, along the walkway between Inlet and Eagle Bay. Let’s hope the lawn mower guy is done for the year. Scott Stewart is smiling from up above, as he once said “I hire your boys to plant my summer flowers and many don’t make it. Then you (meaning myself) are just throwing some seeds in the ditch and they bloom every fall without any care.” That’s the truth with these wildflowers and many others. The pretty purple fall New England asters seem to also be somewhat resistant to frost.
I was just down to John Munyan’s at Okara Lake West-Easka, and he was showing me some of his flower garden and asked if my fall blooming crocus were blooming, as his had just come out. I came home and looked closely where I had planted mine, and sure enough, they were out.
A couple more brook trout fishing trips before going west, but that’s another story. See ya.
Grandson Nathan and his tuba
Fires in California by FR Gary Miller