Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 42
With the warm temperatures and the rain today, this may be more of the lamb that came in with March. Be careful if you plan on going out on the ice, as shorelines have become very unsafe, especially on the north side of the lakes. I'm sure some winter will return, as it is only the eighth of March, and sometimes we get more snow in March than any other month. It shouldn't last too long if this weather continues.
There was some severe weather south of us as five tornadoes touched down around Nashville, Tennessee, which took the lives of 24 people, as winds hit 175 miles per hour and struck during the night when most were sleeping. One tornado was on the ground for more than a mile, going right through homes, businesses and a school, the last being completely destroyed. This is what happens when the hot and cold air masses meet.
My neighbor Eric Sutherland got his power hooked up this week and he and his electrician worked all day yesterday to get his sugar house power up and going as the sap is running. I know because as I go through the woods, I break off branches and most of these have been dripping sap for a week now.
I had fifteen Red-winged Blackbirds at the feeder this morning, and all day yesterday the south winds were pushing Canada Geese northward. In the morning they were up where the jet planes fly, but toward the evening, they were flying lower, but still catching the winds. Why waste energy when the winds will take you where you want to go much faster. This also happens with little birds, so it wouldn't surprise me to see some song sparrows here this week and they are probably at some feeders already. They will have to put up with some winter, but someone must be the first on the territory to get the best spots and some die doing it.
Karen and I went to the Log Jam Restaurant south of Lake George Saturday to have lunch and visit with friends from Ballston. We had a nice time, and as far as I know, didn't catch the Coronavirus that's moving around very fast. In fact, while we were there, our friends got a text that there were two cases reported in Saratoga County. We did go by the ice meadows on the Hudson River, just north of Warrensburg, where I stopped to take a couple of photos. There is the main channel going down the river, so there shouldn't be much flooding in that area this spring. The snow and ice are piled up six to eight feet above the water channel. There is very little snow in the woods south of there and much less to the east of us as we traveled there.
Travel plans for many folks have changed, and will change as the Coronavirus moves around the country. Until they find a cure, it is going to be a very scary situation for everyone, and travel may be shut down in many areas of the country as the virus moves.
Just when gas prices will be going down below two dollars a gallon, there’s no place to go and use it if travel is restricted, and I'm sure it will be.
I did get up to the DEC Ray Brook Office on Friday to celebrate the Forest Rangers in Region 5 that have passed in the past fifty years since the Conservation Department became the Environmental Conservation Department. Region 5 was divided into three Ranger Districts 9 out of Ray Brook, 10 out of Northville and 11 out of Warrensburg. The entire Forest Ranger Force from the Region was present as well as many retired FR's, some of their wives and the Acting Director of the Forest Ranger Force from Albany John Solan. There was a neat story told about John by retired F.R. Bill Houck. When Bill got out of Paul Smith's, he was hired at the Lowville Tree Nursery, and his first day on the job was the day the Conservation Department became DEC. This was the first Earth Day in 1970. His boss gave him the job of changing the sign on the porch of the supervisor. Now he says that wasn't too hard of a job, and then his boss says “you must be very quiet, as the supervisor and his wife just had a baby yesterday and they don't want to be disturbed.” It just so happened that the family was John Solan's mom and dad and the baby was John, a great story for the occasion. The program was run by Captain John Strieff and Jen Temple and I got to unveil the plaque that retired F.R. Frank Dorchak had made containing the 47 names of deceased F.R.'s from the three districts in the past fifty years. Other names will be added to the plaque as retired F.R.'s pass on.
I will get to the bear take yet, they are dead and will never know, but that's another story. See ya.