Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 48

20200414 Coltsfoot Letsonville Rd. 4 14 20

Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 48

Spring weather is about the same as our winter weather was: very fickle. Warm one day and cold the next.; snow one morning and rain the next; up and down like a yoyo. We did get four mornings in a row with snow covering the ground, which mostly went away before the day was over. The folks to our south got some bad tornados from that weather as it came across the country from Texas to the Atlantic Ocean. The final death toll was 24, with lots of homes and businesses being blown apart.

So now they have to put up with the destruction, as well as fighting to not catch the Corvid-19 virus while cleaning up, and possibly not having a home to live in. 

Just today, Governor Cuomo opened the State Parks across the state and boat launching sites. I didn’t hear the conditions as to whether camping was being allowed or that you could just walk through these parks, but you had to maintain spacing. Some people are wearing their masks in public places and others are not. I think it’s only a matter of time before someone from outside comes into town and brings the virus with them, as that’s how it’s spread. I know businesses are hurting and I think they will be hurting more when our tourist season normally opens up to outside vacationers. Right now, it is considered mud season, but it won’t be very long. It will be black fly season soon, which does keep several people away. I read yesterday that the Blackfly Challenge Bike Race has been canceled. This race has been growing over the years as a big event. There will be lots of big events being canceled all across the country during the next few months, as it seems that’s the only way to prevent the spread of the virus, to keep people apart from others until some type of vaccine is found. 

Many of the Forest Rangers and Conservation Officers have been assigned to duty down state in plans and in the protection of testing, and even hospital sites during this crisis. Let us hope they all come home safe and get back to the job they were hired to do out in the woods and waters of the state. I think I mentioned that there is a ban on outdoor burning until mid-May, which has helped prevent many fires from occurring since this was implemented a few years ago during the spring fire season. 

The snow and cold temperatures have slowed the growth and blooming of many wildflowers. About the only ones that I’ve seen are colts’ foot, the little yellow roadside flowers that look like dandelions, but they have scales on the stem of the flower. My daphne bushes are just starting to bloom along the driveway and it looks like a good year for them. They came originally from Russia, so I guess they are used to the cold springs and they are deer resistant, so I like them. After they bloom them develop nice greenery and the flowers produce nice red berries which last through the fall. 

There are hundreds of trout lily leaves coming up through the leaf litter, and if they all bloom, it will be a pretty sight. The leaves of many other wildflowers and bushes have started out and I hope they are hardy enough to withstand the colder nights we have been having. Most have lived here for years and put up with our, on-and-off spring weather, so I’m sure their beauty will show through soon or later. Just keep watching as you are out and about. Take the camera with a micro lens and get some of the detail of these little flowers that you don’t see unless you are really up close, and I mean close.  

Many of the trails are very muddy this time of the year so tread on them lightly and some others not at all. This is when you see folks steering around the wet spots making the trails much wider and the mud holes much bigger especially on the more traveled trails. 

My pond and many of the local lakes have been awash with ducks and geese traveling through. Some of the ducks and geese have already nested and have been sitting on eggs for over a week now. They looked kind of silly as brown feather balls surrounded by white, those few snowy mornings, but they persisted. 

Most of the loons are back on their territorial lakes. They’re claiming them as they fly above calling, and then again as they land on these lakes, which is always nice to hear, but that’s another story. See ya.   

IMG 1356 
Hooded Merganser

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  • suzanne olson 24/04/2020 3:59pm (3 months ago)

    Gary How did Coltsfoot get that name? Wish you could get a photo of Bloodroot but it comes and goes so early.. Why are it's roots so red? Your column always brings back good memories.. S O

  • Sharlene Brigham 24/04/2020 2:54pm (3 months ago)

    Hi Gary,

    I am from Remsen and work for DEC Herkimer as a secretary the last 4 years.
    I am working on becoming a Cornell Master Naturalist. I love photographing flowers and mushrooms. I went to the Remsen bog with you years ago with the Tramp and Trail Club and would gladly go on any trips you offer! I'd love to find some lady's slippers as I've never seen them in person yet.

  • Marian Romano 24/04/2020 9:22am (3 months ago)

    Thanks Gary!,

  • Marian Romano 24/04/2020 9:21am (3 months ago)

    Thanks Gary!,

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