Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 73
The leaves sure came down with the wind and the rain, but there are a few pretty reds left and lots of yellows as the tamaracks are that color now, great for a fall shot along a lake shoreline in some places or along a river bank. I did get almost three inches of total rain in all the storms; some got more, some got less. My pond just went over the overflow pipe yesterday. It had gone out since August 4th. The springs in the bottom kept the trout alive, happy and growing.
Out west, some of the states got some rain and snow to cut down on the forest fires, but California got skipped. Hotter temperatures there this week will not help in the fire fighting efforts.
Down south, hurricane Delta hit Louisiana in just about the same spot Laura did four weeks ago. It packed 100 MPH winds and a strong storm surge, which just added the damage that they had from Laura. Hundreds of the blue tarp roofs that were put on structures after Laura, were blown off in this storm. These places were re-wet by the 10 to 12 inches of rain and some hit by the storm surge. Other storms are still building out in the Atlantic, as we are just about halfway through the hurricane season.
I did get two beavers that were flooding the access to the back nine at the Inlet Golf Course. I guess they have been there most of the summer, but their last dam in Bottle Creek on 17 flooded both that fairway and the bridge on twelve. They cut several trees preparing for winter and had a house just above the bridge on twelve. One night when I was there, the full moon came out and the coyotes were having chorus practice over by the Transfer Station, and another pack up by the sixteenth green. Just howling at the moon, I guess, and letting each other where they were.
The geese were going over that night and every day and night since, as they know something that we don’t, I’m thinking. There was some snow falling in Tupper Lake earlier in the week. I’ve seen it on some of the prettiest fall leaves before, which made for some neat photos, but it wasn’t fun to drive on.
The woodland trails have been terribly busy with lots of people getting out to recreate, maybe too many in some places. They must have been holding hands going up Rondaxe Fire Tower trail yesterday, as cars were lined up past Fly Pond, both parking areas full, several cars along the road as well as about twenty- five out on Route 28. I walked into and out of Goose Pond and never saw a soul, or a bird for that matter.
I guess the birds were all at my feeder; lots of White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrows, Chickadees, Nuthatches (both kinds), Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Purple Finch and American Goldfinch. I did also catch a couple warblers that were lagging behind the big push south, a Black-throated Blue female, a couple Golden-crowned Kinglets, one Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a couple Yellow-rumped Warblers.
I got one special bird, a Black-capped Chickadee, that was sporting a band number 2590-85187. I banded this bird on 11/19/09. I had it in hand again in ‘10, ‘11, ‘12, ‘14, ‘15 and ‘16, but hadn’t seen it since. It came back, making it the oldest living Black-capped Chickadee of record and still living, so it can maybe caught again, when it is even older yet. It looked no worse for wear and not much different than the ones that I’ve been catching that are four and five years old. The bird was in its hatch year when first caught in ‘09.
The woodpeckers and nuthatches must have had a good season to raise young, as I keep catching new ones that have been born this year, by looking at their plumage. One female Downy drilled me about fifteen times while I was taking her out of the net, and she drew blood with each peck. I guess my blood thinners are working.
The fringed gentians are out along the highway over by the Dry Hydrant between Inlet and Eagle Bay. More in the ditch line west of there, before you get to the set of guardrails. They open up better on sunny days and close up at night.
Trout season is closed after Wednesday in most places, but many local lakes are open year-round, but that’s another story. See ya.