Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 58
Just came back from a trip around the Old Forge snowmobile trail system with Karen with a stop at Rondaxe Lake to see the Loon on the bog; another stop was at Independence Lake to see the Loon on the platform. We looked at some Kingfisher holes in the few sand banks along the way and most seem active. I saw them at the holes where you go to Gibb’s Lake a few weeks ago, so I know they are feeding young there.
We did get a little over an inch of rain in the storms overnight, 6/27, and a little more during the day that was needed. It shows by the weather reports we are getting rain showers most of this week, which should cut down on the moderate fire danger we’ve been in for a couple weeks. There was a fire on the Adirondack League Club on Panther Mountain this week, probably caused by some of the lightning strikes, as they do cause fires when it is dry. This was about an acre fire on the north side of the mountain. With the winds we’ve had this week, it could have been much worse.
There was a loss of life on Stillwater Reservoir, as two fishermen in their late sixties had their boat sink and they were in the water for two to three hours in life jackets before being picked up. The older man, 69-year old Jerry Jennings, lost his life and his brother, Calvin, 67, was taken to Lowville hospital and treated for hypothermia. Their fourteen-foot boat hasn’t been recovered. The reservoir was very rough that day, which could have caused the boat to capsize or take a wave over the side and sink the boat. This is a big body of water which might seem calm by the land, but not too far out, you might encounter three- and four-foot waves and white caps, so be aware. There have been many days this spring when you wouldn’t want to be out on the water, even wearing a life jacket.
There was another dead deer just south of the Rondaxe Road when we came home tonight. They haven’t adjusted to the traffic, which has picked up in the last week, so be aware of deer, turkeys, ducks and other wild game with families crossing the highways, so slow down. They live here; you are just a visitor. Most of these are what we call edge animals and they find the best eating along the shoulders of the highway, whether it’s salty grass or bugs and grasshoppers in the grasses along the road.
I’ve had lots of birds around my feeders and yesterday, I put up my net for the first time in a few weeks. The first bird I caught was a beautiful male Black Throated Green Warbler. I heard it singing as I went to the pond that morning and now it’s wearing a band. The Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers have been bringing their young to feed on my suet cake and they forgot about my net, which probably caught them during the winter. I got a return Hairy Woodpecker, return Downy Woodpecker and three juvenile Downies. One was a male, just showing his red top knot feathers. I also caught two juvenile White Breasted Nuthatches, one female Purple Finch and a hummer, which I released unbanded. One neat return was a Blue Jay that I banded on September 8, 2018, recaptured June 23, 2019 and caught again yesterday, June 27. He must live in the area. I also banded some juvenile Tree Swallows from boxes in the area, most were just about ready to get out of the houses. Three boxes had five young and one had six babies all doing fine. Mom and Dad weren’t very happy that I was banding their young, but once back in the box, they were back to taking in bugs for the young. Most of these will be out flying someday this week.
Some orchids are blooming and others just in the bud. The Rose Pogonias are in full bloom on the bog in the back part of Francis Lake, as it’s pink with them. I took some seeds from some double blooms a few years back and put them down by the pond. Yesterday I looked and there are several in bloom and even a couple double flowers.
Most of the state campsites will be open by the time you read this, which will bring lots more people in from the outside, so be aware, wear your mask and keep your distance, as you never know. The virus is still out there.
The Wild Center in Tupper Lake will be opening on the 15 by reservation only, as to your membership standing.
The loons that are on nests should be coming off during the next couple of weeks, so be aware and keep your distance, but that’s another story. See ya.