Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol.53


Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol.53

A week ago, freezing temperatures and snow on the ground and the next week temperatures in the seventies and some eighties. The leaves are popping out, but the surface leaves are very dry, so be careful with any outside fires. A few have gotten out of control up in the Saranac Lake area and they could around here too, until some rain comes to dampen down that leaf litter. When the trees finally get leafed out, the leaf ground cover will not dry out as quickly, but rain is surely needed. Sixth and Seventh Lakes are still not up to summer levels, as is the Stillwater Reservoir when I went by a week ago. 

I was putting in my loon platforms and most of the Loons that use them were there, just waiting for their nesting spots to be put in place. Some were over to the new platforms before I was one hundred feet away and I saw bands on some of these birds. Some Loons are already nesting, as I’ve seen these pictures online. Some of these Loons are being plagued by the blackflies and they can’t eat the flies fast enough out of the air to protect themselves.

If you haven’t been out and about, the blackflies are out and with the many visitors that I saw wearing shorts and t-shirts, they will be getting enough blood to lay eggs for next year. I know they got some from me as I was fishing one day, picking fiddleheads another day, and planting flowers and the garden another day. 

The fishing day was a good one, as I got the biggest brook trout that I ever caught in New York waters; a 22 and a quarter inch fish that weighed 4 pounds and 12 ounces. Using a woolly bugger streamer fly, this big female trout put up quite a battle and it will be a wall mount for sure.

The next day, I went picking fiddleheads as they were popping up extremely fast with all this warm weather. I put on my bug jacket this day, but they found a place to nip me on the wrists. I filled a couple shopping bags and froze sixteen quarts when I got home. I shared a few with friends while on the way home. Some of these folks I hadn’t seen in a couple years, as I didn’t get to pick brakes last year. I saw where some of the fiddleheads had frozen during the cold spell a week ago and others were now up almost two feet tall already. Over the buzz of the blackflies, I did hear some neat birds while I was picking. A Kingfisher was patrolling up and down the river I was picking near. I heard Chestnut Sided, Common Yellow Throat, Tennessee, Yellow Yumped and Magnolia Warblers and Ovenbird. A Pileated Woodpecker was very close a couple times as was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Scarlet Tanager and Baltimore Oriole. The noisiest little bird in the Adirondacks, a Winter Wren, was also calling most of the morning.    

With this warmer weather you could almost watch the leaves grow as the forest began to green up. With the rain and heat we are scheduled to get this week, everything should be very green by the end of the week. I didn’t even see my mayapples four days ago and now they are two feet tall with a flower bud on everyone. I started with a couple seeds that produce plants and now I have twenty that the deer don’t eat. 

My yellow lady slippers are also growing up inside their fence that protects them from the deer. The deer don’t eat them, they just pluck them and leave them near the plant. I guess they don’t have a vase to put them in when they get home; oh that’s right, this is their home. 

There have been some reports of moose roaming around the area, both bulls and cows. The cows may have a calf or calves this time of the year and caution should be advised around them, as they can attack you to protect their young and  can kill you with one hoof to the head. Their ears will go back and the hair on the back of the neck will go up. You can’t outrun them if you are that close to see that. They are nice to photograph, but from a distance.   

Baby birds and animals should be left alone as mother is not that far away, but that’s another story. See ya. 



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  • Bruce Dennison 06/06/2020 9:13am (1 month ago)

    Real nice brook trout Gary. One for the wall.

  • suzanne olson 29/05/2020 3:55pm (1 month ago)

    The photo of the Mayapples with the new leaves on the trees is beautiful. And unusual. Should be well framed and could be sold for good money. And all that birdsong makes me envious . Especially the long song of the Winter Wren. Enjoy this column always.

  • Karen 29/05/2020 11:04am (1 month ago)

    Loved this week’s column. Gary, what do fiddleheads taste like.

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