Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 33
Our weather has been up and down like a yoyo: winter one day and above normal temperatures and rain the next. It looks like its going to be that way the end of this week and next. The snow today was just a rare gift, which probably won’t last through the rain on Friday and Saturday and temperatures up into the high forties. Then rain is also forecast for next week Wednesday. Look out; the bears will be out and attacking your bird feeders. I had a report just last week of a bear not yet denned up, out foraging.
The folks in Australia are battling wildfires all over the country with 25 deaths reported. Residents in some villages had to run to the ocean to escape the fires. Right now, there are 169 fires burning, with 69 still uncontained. Many domestic animals and wildlife have been killed by the wildfires (a University of Sydney Ecologist estimates over a billion animals), which cover an area of land the size of Massachusetts.
My longtime fishing friend, Allen Birchenough, passed away two days before Christmas from complications from Alzheimer’s. I would like to pass on a couple fishing stories about Al and our trips together:
I met Al on Limekiln Lake while he was ice fishing and we became fast friends. We fished both hard water in winter and many ponds and lakes together during the summer season. He was a brook trout fisherman and held the title for the largest brook trout in the state for a while. I could always write a story about our fishing trips because something almost always happened. One day we were fishing Townline Pond and the trout were biting. I was catching them on flies and Al was catching them on worms. He had to leave early, but I kept fishing. I saw him over by the landing, trolling back and forth, so I thought he had found some fish and couldn’t leave. I went over and he was actually trolling for his stringer of trout that got lose from his canoe, not far from shore. He could see them down on bottom, some swimming others dead. He finally hooked the stringer and got his limit of trout back in one cast.
During a trip for splake on hard water, just a few years back, with Al and his longtime fishing friend, Tom Flynn, we had caught some nice fish, but no real big ones. Al had a flag, and just as soon as he hooked the fish, he yelled, “Get the gaff. This is a big one.” Tom came running with the gaff and Al got the fish to the hole a few times, only to have it run out line again. He told Tom, “The next time I get it to the hole, get it with the gaff.” The fish came up in sight and Tom went for it with the gaff, but only got the line. It broke, and away went Al’s big splake, which was probably six or seven pounds. I thought he was going to make Tom walk home that day, but that’s fishing. I’ll bet it was a quiet ride home. I know he’s still catching them, may he RIP.
I’m still catching some beavers that have been flooding the roads and trails in the area, and this will happen on the railroad when they make it a bike-snowmobile trail. Who’s going to catch those beavers before they wash out this trail. It goes through many water courses from Big Moose to Tupper Lake and many more from Tupper to Lake Placid. (I hope they) think about that one when they make it a rail trail.
A new bridge had to be built on snowmobile trail ten because the old one was washed out by a beaver dam.
Well, Christmas and New Year’s all went by and we celebrated our 56th wedding anniversary with a big bash at the Little Fox. We had the only table occupied in the place on the 27th, with our friends Mary Ann and Stu Nelson and Diane Bowes. That was about as much excitement as we could take in one evening. Four days later, we all tried it again for New Year’s at the Woods Inn and had a great meal, but never made it to midnight. I don’t think we made it to nine o’clock, but we felt better in the morning than some did, I’m sure.
Last week, when we only got rain. But to the east of us, they got ice, and plenty of It, putting about 5,000 customers out of power in the Schroon Lake area. This ice also covered up the wild food that the birds were eating, and it drove them to feeders. My friend Ellie George had over 250 goldfinches at her feeders, which were covered with ice. She had to fill the feeders twice to keep the birds fed. The snow pushed a few birds back to my feeders, but there are still lots of birds living off the land.
Our big event this week is our grand daughter, Emily Sarah Bills, is going to get married in Rochester on Saturday, but that’s another story. See ya.
Karen and MaryAnn Nelson on New Year's Eve
Me on New Year's Eve
New bridge on Trail Ten