Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 50
More storms are streaming across the southern part of the country and they are not being stopped by the virus or any governmental orders. Some of these states have opened many of their businesses despite warnings that the virus has not been put in check. No vaccine coming for months, so people should look for a second wave coming when people start getting out in crowds again. So far, we have been fairly safe in the north country, with only a few isolated cases.
We have been getting takeout as much as feasible, as have others, and so far, it has been working out ok and keeping some of the small businesses a float.
Karen has us cleaning up our gardens and stone walkways around the house, which have needed care for a long time. It looks neat and lots of wildflowers got moved to new locations, as they were in the way of construction. A few got walked on, but they are wildflowers and will probably recover, if not this year, next year.
Speaking of wildflowers, they are blooming all over the forest floor: spring beauties, trout lilies, yellow and white violets. The daphne bushes are holding their pretty purple blooms, which will soon turn to red berries that stay on the bushes into the fall. This, along with the bright green leaves, makes it an attractive bush the whole year long that the deer do not eat. I do not know what is in the bush that makes it not in the deer diet, but it makes me happy living here with the deer. They are blooming about a week earlier than normal this year, but that is about normal for other plants in the wild also.
The weatherman is talking about snow for this weekend, which has happened on Mother’s Day a few other times. Back years ago, we got about eight inches of snow that weekend and many of the birds had traveled north already. The hummers were also here along with the smaller birds. I had to thaw out the hummer feeders a couple times to keep them going. The seed eating birds were doing ok, but the bug eaters were wind rowed up on the lake shores, as it was the only open land area and they died by the thousands. The hummers just sat at the feeders eating and napping between snacks. I have a picture of Evening and Rose- breasted Grosbeaks at the feeders together. This snow lasted about four days.
The blackflies have not been affected by the virus, as they are out and the snow this weekend will not slow them down. Once the leaves were out, we had some wet snow that took down lots of small trees blocking the roads in the Moose River Area, which was open. While cutting this stuff out, you also had to have on bug dope, as the flies were really hungry. Despite the snow covering, they had on truly little snowshoes and biting.
The American Goldfinch, which were out in the woods living off the cone seeds all winter, have moved into my feeders. I have banded over 150 during the month of April and the males are all getting their pretty colors after being drab green most of the winter. They looked almost like the females, but not anymore. The White Throated Sparrows have moved into the area along with their pretty colors and beautiful songs, which most people can hear along any lake shoreline. I have put bands on over thirty of them, and about half as many Song Sparrows. I got another new bird banded here: an Eastern Phoebe. Just yesterday, I saw a Slate Colored Junco carrying nesting material to a spot in the high grass, where I am sure they are building a nest. The pair of American Robins are on a nest along the driveway. So, life is good at Eight Acre Wood.
The pond has been almost as busy as ducks come and go. Yesterday, Karen, who gets up very early, saw a small flock of six Wood Ducks go cruising across the pond, then some Mallards came in for a snack. Some of them actually fly up under the feeders and get some seeds. Then, both the Hooded and Common Mergansers came in to eat some of the small minnows and maybe a trout or two. The pair of Kingfishers have been sitting on poles I put up for them to catch minnows. A couple days ago, there was an Osprey looking for a bigger meal, which I discourage when I see him here.
Social distancing at the Crown Point Banding Station, but that’s another story. See ya.