Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 62
Hurricane Hanna hit the Texas coast, dropping 8 to 10 inches of rain and winds over 70 MPH. It became a tropical storm as it crossed into northern Mexico, with winds of 40 MPH and heavy rains still coming down, but the storm is moving and not staying in one place like some other storms.
Then in the Pacific, Hurricane Douglas is traveling just to the north of the Hawaiian Islands, causing high waves hitting the coast lines of Kauai, Oahu and Maui. Most of the rain is on the north side of the storm, but some flooding is still going to occur.
Here in the eastern US, temperatures will hit triple digits in some large cities early in the week with little rain expected. So, if you are out and about, take plenty of water and pace yourself, as you can become dehydrated and not even know it until it is too late and it is hard to get rehydrated. Many of the emergencies in the High Peaks were caused by this and some were so bad they had to be air lifted or carried out.
With all the added outdoor use, as many are out of work, many of the areas are being overused and even abused by both hikers and campers. Litter left behind by campers has been a real problem and there are not enough people to patrol these back in areas. As I drive through the Moose River Area, I see many campsites trashed by campers and left for the next person to pick up in order to use that site. A week ago, on Loon Census Saturday, I traveled through much of the area checking lakes and there wasn’t one site that wasn’t occupied. It is free camping, which is a big draw and the bugs have tapered off some, but let us not leave the place a mess.
Just today, I went to Independence Lake to see if the Loon chick was still there and, just before the lake, there is a big gravel pit that was completely trashed by an overnight beer party or several parties. In the fire spot were over five hundred melted cans, some type of furniture burned on the pile, and many cans and bottles around the area. This was a problem last year also and someone cleaned it up, but it is back even worse.
I have been chasing Loons several nights in the last week. Three of the four nights we got to see the Comet Neowise going through the Big Dipper. I took a few pictures with my little camera while out in the canoe, but it only showed me a few stars. The comet is dimming, but still can be seen in the northern sky, which is pretty neat. It will not be seen for another 6,000 years and we won’t be here to see it for sure. Friday night was the only night we didn’t see it, but falling stars were super that night, as we saw many of them travel a long way through the sky. That night, we were on Hitchins Pond with Joe Poliquin as lighter, me as catcher, and Nina Schoch as canoe paddler, and we caught the female Loon of the pair there in the fog. We took blood, feathers, and banded this bird before she was released. We were at the far end of the pond and had the banding kit, so we went ashore to a campsite nearby that we thought was unoccupied to process the bird. It wasn’t, but we asked the occupant if it was ok after he woke up. We told him what we were doing and were sorry to bother him in the middle of the night, but once he found out we had a Loon in hand, he came out with his camera and visited through the process. He was a School Teacher from Virginia who was on a week trip camping, fishing and canoeing up the Bog River to Lowes Lake. During the conservation, it did come out that he and Nina Schoch grew up in the same city in Virginia; small world. He said he keeps a journal and tonight he would have pictures to prove it really happened.
The Milky Way has been very bright and one person who was with us the other night while on shore got some great shots of that and with a campfire on the far shore in the photo.
Dick Knight sent me a photo of the comet taken out West by his cousin in a National Park with a Great Horned Owl in the photo. Just before going to Hitchins, we stopped at Bear Pond to check for Loons and a pair of Barred Owl young were right at the landing calling for their supper. We got the light on both of them, sitting in a big pine tree.
Loon rescue and more loon banding, but that’s another story. See ya.