Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 69
It is about as dry as I have seen at this time of the year in a long time. We did get about three quarters of an inch of rain today, 9/13, but much more is needed. There have been a few forest fires around the state, nothing major, so let us hope it stays that way.
Out west it is a much different story. In California alone, there have been 7,606 fires which have burned 2.3 million acres. In 2019, there were 4,927 fires that burned 118,000 acres. In Oregon, 40,000 have fled their homes, and many are missing with over 1 million acres burned. A total of 33 are reported dead, with many more missing, as several complete towns were burned to the ground in northern California and Oregon. I was fire boss of the New York State fire crew in 1995 or ‘96. We were deployed in Oregon and worked with fire engines to save several homes in some developments. We did not save them all, but it was nothing like it has been out there this year. A Fire Crew from New York was earlier deployed in California. Alaska and California were the only two states I did not get to fight fire in during the five times I went west with the NYS Fire Crew. There were some hot times and I saw a lot more fire than I would ever see here in New York. Not that places in New York do not burn, because they do. Just look at the big fires in the early 1900’s, which burned a good share of the Adirondacks. So be careful as you are out and about. If you do have a fire, make sure it is dead out so that you can touch it.
As many are fighting the fires, another storm, Sally, is about to hit down south on the Louisiana/Alabama Coast as a category 2 Hurricane. They still have not cleaned up from Hurricane Laura, which hit just two weeks ago. This is the earliest that a Hurricane starting with “S” has hit the mainland. Earliest before was October 2nd, which is still a couple weeks down the road. There are three more Tropical depressions coming across the Atlantic Ocean: Paulette, which is going to hit the Bahamas and then swing out to sea; Rene is not far behind and then Teddy is coming right along, with no course set for these two storms. Paulette, which will be going out to sea, will still push high tides and much rain along the eastern seaboard from South Carolina to New York. Sally, which is now going across the warm Gulf of Mexico, will pick up much force and let us hope it is not as bad as Laura when it hits the southern coastline. I emailed some friends who stayed in the Panhandle of Florida for the summer and did not come north. They said it has been an interesting time down there and they hope Sally goes further west, away from them.
I picked up one of my trail cameras in an area where I had seen moose tracks, and sure enough in two weeks, a nice bull walked by the camera a few times, plus a few deer, but no bear. I guess they all stayed in town to their demise. The moose in the area are going to be moving looking for females, so be on the lookout as they make big, big dents in cars and trucks and may even kill you.
I got out and fished a couple times and caught a few bass. The water has been cooling down some and the trout should be more active with these cooler temperatures. They have had the summer to grow so some bigger ones should be out there.
Early Bear Season in the Northern Zone starts Monday 9/14, so be aware as you are out and about looking at the leaves and enjoying the fall season. Wear something bright orange, red or pink, which is the new color being pushed by many outdoor sportsmen and women. An outdoor vest or jacket of that color will make you much more visible and safer out in the woods as the leaf cover is still green on the trees and underbrush.
Speaking of that, there is a lot of color coming on fast. Just drive from Inlet to Old Forge and there are some very pretty reds coming out already. If you are out on a lake, the shorelines are really getting red with all the red maples showing us their true fall colors. Being as dry as it has been, you never know how the colors will come out or if they will be just a dull red. So far it is looking surprisingly good for color in this area.
Another new bird for me in Hamilton County, but that’s another story. See ya.