Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 39

5 loons lake George

Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 39

The cold temperatures have held the snow for the outdoor enthusiast this weekend, even being -22 one morning and not warming up much above ten all day. We did get little dustings a couple mornings, but the rest came in the big drop of 18.5 inches. This brought out the snowmobiles in a big way, and for the most part, there were few accidents even though they are still traveling much too fast for the trails. We have been just lucky, as they pass each other at 55MPH only inches apart. I walk one trail checking traps and they go by me zippy fast for the most part. I had one lady all by herself the other day who came by at about twenty miles an hour, just enjoying her ride and getting where she was going, but just taking a little longer. Most of the businesses got a big lift from this weekend, but I don’t think it made up from the other major big weekends they missed with the rain outs.

Speaking of rain, I mentioned last week they were getting hit in the southeastern part of the country with big rain storms off the Gulf of Mexico. Flooding from those storms was just coming to a head today in Mississippi, with the river 32 feet above flood stage; more like spring runoff conditions. This is also happening on the Ohio River, as it flows through adjoining states before hitting the Mississippi River, with more rain predicted today. There have been very strong winds and some tornados along with these storms.

One storm with very strong winds out in southern California blew down part of the new border wall just placed there last year; so much for the wall.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is over today and already thousands of records have been sent in from all over the world. I didn’t find as many birds out in the woods on the many walks I took, but just this morning while checking a trap, I saw a little Brown Tree Creeper, one of the smallest birds in this area, but it was too fast to get any pictures. If it hugs the rough tree bark of a hemlock, which it was on, it is nearly invisible, but it goes as counted. Yesterday, as I was on Safford Pond, I found a small group of Black Capped Chickadees and two Red Breasted Nuthatches feeding in the spruces along the shoreline. A little further along, I heard some loud tapping and did some barred owl calls and out came a Pileated Woodpecker to investigate.

This afternoon I read through a new book from the Old Forge Library, Flowerbeds and Borders in Deer Country by Vincent Drewucki Jr, that Karen and I donated to the Library. It lists many flowers that are deer resistant or that they don’t eat. Some don’t work in the Old Forge area, as I’ve tried them, but many do. A couple that will work, but not mentioned in the book are wild carnations and tansy, which both grow in the gardens at View. It’s a neat little book.  Check it out when you visit the Library, as it won’t be long until we will be putting plants in the gardens again.

Many don’t think like that as there is still two feet of snow on the ground, but I’ve had a chipmunk out under the feeders all winter. I’ve never had that happen before. I’ve seen them out on warm days during the winter, but not all winter. This one was even out at -22, so must be his storage ran out or he never had any.

There are some loons still hanging out on Lake George this winter. A couple of my birding friends, Malinda and Glen Chapman, photographed five in a group off the Rogers Rock Campsite last week. I’m sure there are several on Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes as well, as not much of these is frozen this winter.

  This was the safest hunting season, accident-wise, but that’s another story. See ya.

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Chipmunk on the snow

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Snowmobiles at the Old Barn

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  • Pat Rickard 21/02/2020 8:28pm (1 month ago)

    Hi Gary,
    I read your news and want you to know that in St. Augustine, Florida tonight it's pretty cold here also, with a brisk wind that has been blowing all day, and frost warnings for some of the region just west of here! The wind has been blowing hard all day, and continues. With Mirnie gone and the cabin in the woods not available to me anymore, I don't get to Old Forge often. However, the many years coming there and teaching the summer theater programs will always provide fond memories. And then there was that forest ranger who would holler at me for picking some of the wild flowers on the trails??? :=)) Greetings to you and Karen, Pat

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