Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 59
Nothing too much going on weather wise across the country, other than extremely hot temperatures and, locally, not much rain fall. Nor out west, where the fire danger is extremely high. Some of the storms locally dropped over an inch of rainfall and other areas got none. I got just enough that I didn’t water the garden, but Karen has been watering the flowers by the house, which get cooked every day, and the tomato plants that look more like trees, so I trimmed them of many of their leaves to give strength to the blooms and little tomatoes. My flowers are looking great, with yellow foxgloves blooming everywhere. Karen, while watering, knocked off the orchid cactus in bloom which took about a ten- foot fall and broke the pot to pieces. It’s not fun to pick up a cactus in pieces, even with gloves, so it’s not re-potted yet. There might be some babies if someone wants one, as it’s not going in the pot as one plant anymore.
Still some wildflowers blooming out there; many orchids in the bogs and on bogs in many of the local lakes. Rose pogonias seem to be covering some bogs and I found many double flowering plants up at Francis Lake by Number Four. I haven’t found the second loon nest there yet, but one of these trips there will be babies. They lost their first nest back in the boggy bay, but now they are out around the main lake somewhere and being very secretive about it. I’ve seen both the male and female hanging low in the water in several places, but still haven’t found the nest.
Near the landing at Francis, the ground is covered with Partridge Berries that have pretty white four pedal flowers, bright green and white leaves and some red fruit still on them from last year. Out in the boggy area, the wild cranberries are covered with flowers and if they all make it, there will be cranberry sauce to be made. There are two varieties: one the berries are about pea size and it would take a lot of picking to make sauce from them, but the others are mostly marble size and you can pick a quart in no time.
Another wild food that is just coming on is the flowers of the milkweed. You aren’t going to eliminate the plants by taking a few of the top leaves and the flowers just before they open up. There are plenty along the highways that are going to produce flowers and spread seeds. This is one of the tastiest wild foods going and they only have to boil for about ten minutes, which should bring all the ants and spiders to the top of the pot or you can eat them also and save your meat dish for another night. A little butter, vinegar, salt and pepper and they taste just about like the smell as you walk by them in the wild.
I did have a report on a Monarch butterfly in Indian Lake from Daisy Kelley, but I haven’t seen one yet, so they are on the move just looking to lay eggs in this area as they pass through. Lots of other butterflies, skippers and moths are out and about. When we were trying to catch a Loon with fishing line last week, the air in front of the light was full of flying bugs and moths, several lighting bugs also. We saw those outside our bedroom window a few nights ago.
The chipmunk, mice and squirrel problems don't seem to be coming to any end, as my bucket trap has three to four mice in it almost every morning. The ravens know when I go down to the dam on the pond, it's time to check for food, so it’s not wasted.
All kinds of other animals and birds are having babies, which are out and about everywhere I roam. Ducks and geese have babies on most every body of water that I traveled on this week. A couple young ducks that just got the wings for flying, nearly landed in my canoe on Twitchell Lake one day. The Loons are having babies on many lakes and it is best to keep a safe distance away and take pictures with a long lens, not your I-phone as many are doing. It is against the law to harass wildlife, whether it be deer, bear or birds, and you can get a ticket. If you see young animals or birds, leave them be, as Mother is not that far away and she will find them and feed them. If they are in the road, slow down and let them cross, or you may be wearing them on your bumper.
Loon census is coming up on July 18, from 8am to 9am, and there are many local lakes that still don’t have an observer. You can check this out on line at our website, www.adkloon.org/ny-loon-cencus. If you are doing the same lake as last year, please confirm at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518 354-8636 to confirm their lake choice.
Another new bird banded at Eight Acre Wood, but that’s another story. See ya.