Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 51

IMG 3804 Bowl of fiddleheads 5 5 20

More severe weather crosses the southern part of the country and we get snow the way it looks for Mother’s Day. It will not be the first time, but it won’t be welcome for sure. I will be tenting at Crown Point, which might be a tad chilly to say the least. 

I think it was the first year we were married, and I was working in Warrensburg. We went camping at Schroon Lake for Memorial weekend and I left Karen at the campsite for the day and I went to work. I don’t think it got above forty during the day and when I got back to the campsite, Karen was in her sleeping bag to keep warm until I got a fire going. She had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, while in her sleeping bag.  She said it wasn’t a very nice day. Luckily, it did warm up for the rest of the weekend, but not a good start to our camping world. 

The virus is still with us and it will be for a long time, so keep your spacing and wear your mask, as you’re not the President. With some states opening up, the number of cases hasn’t gone down, and the death rate has remained the same. It will probably go up as people are getting together more. We are a little safer in this neck of the woods, but we can’t let our guard down, as it will be with us at some time as folks move to their summer homes from infected areas.

There have been a pair of Loons on Fifth Lake several days this week. Maybe they have just been getting out of the windy Fourth Lake, but it’s nice to see them there. While watching them one day, an Osprey came up the channel and dove right in front of me, catching rock bass. Another Osprey, probably it’s mate, came chasing after the one with the fish, but it wasn’t going to give it up as it headed back over town. The other one flew over a couple times, checking out the fishing hole, but didn’t catch anything these times.

I had another new bird for Eight Acre Wood yesterday, 5/7.  As I was watching the ducks on the pond, a Goshawk came swooping across the surface of the pond to take a duck, but they both dove under and he missed. He came streaking across the front yard with empty talons, but I’m sure he will be back as dinner is just waiting for him there.

I had one at the Ranger Headquarters at Limekiln one winter and that year I had about fifteen Mourning Doves feeding at the feeder. This Goshawk would streak through the hedge of spruce trees by the road and grab one of these doves each morning until he had caught them all. The doves would freeze tight to the ground and he would zip one and be on his way. A dove is a very strong bird, if you’ve even had one in hand, but they were no match for this hawk. Their sleek slate gray color is very pretty, and they are able to catch a grouse in flight through the woods, which is one of their favorite prey. If you even get close to their tree nest in the woods, you will know it, as they will take your hat off and sometimes leave tracks in your scalp as they scream by.  

The hummers are a little late this year, but maybe they heard it was going to snow in the Adirondacks and put off their trip north a couple more days. As soon as this cold spell goes by, they will be coming around, so keep the feeder thawed out. 

If it gets as cold as predicted, the wildflowers will take it in the shorts and so will the fiddleheads that have come out. Most of mine are still in the clump, but in warmer areas, they have popped up and some have been picked already. My friend had her first batch of fiddleheads ever and she said they were great. They have a taste that is very different and can be eaten raw as a dip or in a salad. I’ve picked them since I could walk. My mom would say “don’t pick the red ones (sensitive ferns) or the white fuzzy ones (Cinnamon and Interrupted Ferns), just pick the ones with the brown silky covering (Ostrich Ferns).” If these get frozen, they have enough energy to push up another set of curls, but they won’t be as big as the first ones.

Next report from the Crown Point Banding Station, which will be open for the 45th year, but it will not be open to the public like every other year because of the virus. We have separate banding tables and people are still allowed in the park, but not up close and personal to our banding operation. Of course, schools are closed, so we wouldn’t be getting students streaming through like we have had in other years.

There are places to room out in the woods, but that’s another story. See ya. 

Rough waters on Seventh Lake 

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  • Joan K. Trask 18/05/2020 2:29pm (4 months ago)

    Love your comments about the Adirondacks, a place that my husband, John, and I love and miss as we sold our place on Otter Lake in 2017. So reading what you have written makes us feel as if we are there again.

  • Jon Benson 17/05/2020 2:41pm (4 months ago)

    A question for Gary Lee or anyone else that may know... The beaver dam at the end of Fawn Lake at the Limekiln Lake end has been breached. Did the Halloween storm last fall take it out? Just curious. Stay well everyone. Thanks, Jon

  • suzanne olson 16/05/2020 11:18am (4 months ago)

    Old Forge area has the best clouds of anywhere! If you look just past the cloud close to it, you may get a new idea of its bulk or itself as a body rather than a flat image. Finding that and trying it has become a new habit for me as I approach being ninety. Suzanne O

  • Ani 15/05/2020 4:51am (4 months ago)

    Thanks for the informative read.

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