Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol.77

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Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol.77

Well we had our first taste of winter; about 8 inches of snow and temperatures below twenty a couple morning, which lasted a few days. Then the temperature got back in the 60’s and took that all away along with the ice that covered my pond. This weather is going to last the rest of the week and then some say we will pay for it. 

During this time, Election Day passed by and after a few days of counting ballots a new President and Vice President were elected. The most people voted, ever, as 76 million voted for Joe Biden and 70 million voted for President Trump across the country. This showed that the country is nearly split, and many families and neighbors were also split on how they voted. Let us hope they can all get back together to heal this Country and our Country’s part in the world. 

The Covid virus is still spreading, with over 240,000 deaths in the US, more than 500 just yesterday. Some locals have come down with the virus, which was almost a given with all the outside visitors that have traveled through here to recreate in and on our area woods and waters. So, keep wearing that mask and keep yourself and others safe, as you never know where it might come from. 

Hurricane Eta, which is number 28, hit the southern tip of Florida this morning  and is now headed out into the Gulf of Mexico, where it is expected to gain strength and hit later this week in the panhandle of Florida, again as a full blown hurricane. This storm caused several deaths and much destruction in Honduras, Guatemala and the gulf coast of Mexico. 

The New York Wildfire fighters fourth team just returned from the fires in Colorado. They were on the East Troublesome Creek Fire until snow stopped its spread. They were then deployed to the Cameron Peak Fire, one of the largest forest fires in Colorado history, before coming home. The first fire burned over 800 structures in the area of Grand Lake as it spread eastward and caused two deaths. The second fire burned through the Rocky Mountain National Park and caused the evacuation of Estes Park residents. It is now 92% contained. The largest Forest Fire in Colorado history, the Pine Gulch Fire, just north of Grand Junction, burned 139,007 acres and is 100% contained at this time. 

Locally, the snow added to the moisture content of the fallen leaves and lessened the fire situation, but a few warm days could change that, so be careful if you are having a campfire or burning brush outside. The leaf cover is very heavy and even most of the beech leaves are on the ground. 

I’ve taken my gun for a few hikes and seen nothing but scrapes and rubs for my time, so I know the bucks are around, but mostly traveling at night. When the rut gets in full swing, they will be chasing does both day and night and chances of seeing one are much higher then. The snow showed some hunters where these bucks were hiding, and they were successful at tracking and harvesting a nice buck. They show up much better on a white background. Now that it’s back to leaf cover, they can hide much better. 

Just yesterday, while walking a trail that I’ve walked many times before, I heard water rushing and thought there must be a beaver dam there. I walked over and found a neat little waterfall, so I snapped a couple photos. I always like finding a new waterfall, no matter where I travel.

The snow drove several birds to the feeder and more birds poured in from the north. I had several
Fox Sparrows and managed to catch and band a few of them. I still had one around yesterday. This must be an older bird as it has the tip of its upper beak broken. Watching Fox Sparrows is neat, as they are always scratching in the leaves looking for a nibble to eat. They are larger than most sparrows and a pretty reddish brown. The Evening Grosbeaks ate here a couple days and moved on. I guess they didn’t like all the turkeys under the feeders. 

Bucks in the rut are on the move, so watch out on the highways. Not as big as a moose, but still can do a lot of damage if you hit one, but that’s another story. See ya. 

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Fox Sparrow

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Sunset on Fourth Lake

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  • Jennifer Potter Hayes 19/11/2020 6:41am (5 days ago)

    Fox sparrows are new to me. I'll keep my eyes open for them. I hope the lack of beech nuts this year will mean many fewer mice and chipmunks next spring, though I kind of enjoyed checking my mouse trap line each morning.

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