Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 75
Well, we got some more welcome rain, but my intermittent creek still isn’t running under the driveway, so the ground must be soaking it up. The fallen leaves probably soak up some moisture also. There were some forest fires in the county last week and the rains helped out with those problems. Out west, the fires are still burning, especially in southern California. 31 people have been killed in the fires in the state and two firefighters, just this week, were critically injured, and 100,000 people evacuated from their homes.
In neighboring Oregon, wildfire season was one of the most destructive on record. Fires killed at least 11 people, burned more than 1,000,000 acres of land, and destroyed over 8,000 homes. Parts of this area got some rain and snow to slow the spread of these fires.
In Colorado, they had several fires right in the area where I had hunted elk for the last four years on Troublesome Creek, or just east of there. The East Troublesome Creek Fire was 192,560 acres, where several thousand residents had to evacuate their homes and two elderly people were killed in that fire. Not far away, the Cameron Peak fire, the largest in Colorado history at 208,663 acres, burned 100 structures. This fire traveled into the Rocky Mountain National Park. These two fires closed down the lands in the Arapaho National Forest and the Rocky Mountain National Park. The lands we hunted were in the National Forest, so I guess there were lots of big game hunters out of a place to hunt this Fall. The third Fire Crew from New York were on the East Troublesome Creek Fire. They received 8 to 12 inches of snow on Monday, which slowed the fire to a halt, with only some of the big down timber still burning inside the fire lines.
It looks like we might get some snow at the end of the week, as the remnants of Hurricane Zeta travel across the south eastern states and will be off the coast of Connecticut by Friday. This fast-moving storm hit the coast of Mexico on Monday and will be hitting the Gulf Coast on late Wednesday. This will be the 27th named storm of the season and only one other time, in 2005, were there 27 storms and then one more for 28. The season isn’t over yet and Louisiana has been hit with three of them, almost all in the same spot.
I don’t think I have to remind you to vote, as that’s about all that’s been on the TV and radio, and it’s a big one for sure! With the Covid virus in the news, you may not have even heard about the other things going on across the country which may affect many of you or your loved ones.
The other night, while tracking the two lost ladies behind Limekiln Campsite, FR Melissa Malino said to me, “what is that ringing?” Now we were in the middle of nowhere, coming up from Limekiln Swamp and it was midnight. I said it must be my watch alarm, which I can’t hear. The last time I was told about that was out in elk camp last fall and my Grandson Jake said, “Grandpa, your watch is ringing.” Melissa, about two minutes later, said it’s ringing again because I didn’t get up, I guess. Well I still can’t hear it, so I don’t know how it would ever wake anyone up.
The little birds have mostly left the north country, but there are a few lingering around the shoulders of the road and at feeders. I’ve banded a bunch as they passed through on their way south and some may remain at my feeders for the winter. There was much wild food out in the woods this fall, unlike all the beechnuts that were around last fall. The last real little bird I banded was a female Ruby Crowned Kinglet that I got on Saturday. That bird isn’t much bigger than a hummer, but it has exceptionally long legs.
I’ve also had my owl nets up several nights, playing the Saw Whet Owl tape, and called in a few. I got one the night of the search and one the next night, all before nine. Then the wind and rain put me out of business a couple nights. I caught three one night, along with several leaves that blew into the nets while falling from the beech trees. Then I recaptured one of the last three owls another night. They should still be going through, so I’ll try again, should the weather improve.
There will be a blue moon on Halloween Night which is the second full moon in October. The next time this will happen will be in 2035.
Big game season is open, so be aware as you are out and about, but that’s another story. See ya.
East Troublesome Creek Fire-Photo by FR Gary Miller