Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee

Not much sun this week but the wildflowers are still popping out everywhere. My yard is covered with trout lilies, spring beauties, three kinds of trilliums and a single hepatica plant that has several blooms. The daffodils that I planted in two feet of snow along the driveway just started showing their colors today 5/9. I put out the bulb and greenery of my amaryllis in the garden today and I will leave that until mid- summer. Then I will take it out and give it a rest until November when I will repot the bulb and see it produce another set of flowers.
We did have a frost yesterday here at Eight Acre Wood and the peepers were peeping at dark. What many say is that the peepers need to get frosted three times so look out there maybe more to come. There is still 55 inches of snow at the stake on Mt. Mansfield in Vermont another indicator of the last frost could happen any time there is still snow up there. It’s going to take a while for all that snow to melt, and they may even get more at that elevation.
The trailing arbutus along the railroad bed by Browns Tract Stream may have already bloomed. You need to catch that early but it’s a neat plant and the flower is very aromatic. Since it’s about the only plant blooming at that time is maybe why it smells so nice to attract what few pollinators are around in the cold and wet times. I found a nice patch on the point at Queer Lake a couple years ago and got some nice photos.
I haven’t seen anything of my blood root, yet which sends up the flower first follow by the leaves. That is planted right with some of my white trilliums and there is a lot of leaf cover to push through this spring. Many of my daffodils grew right through the leaves they were hiding under.
 
My daphne bushes were nearly laid flat by all the snow but have since recovered and they were in bloom when we came home from Florida. These bushes are deer resistant and after blooming they carry some nice big red berries all summer into the fall. I saw where a couple had strayed and were just growing wild along the Big Moose Road this week. The county mower trims them back each summer, but they still survive. I grew my first ones from seeds I collected along Rt 28 between Eagle Bay and Old Forge. Those plants bit the dust when the new highway was built. If anyone wants some bushes, I have plenty to share and lots of babies.
The birds have been piling into the feeders this week. There have been almost as many purple finch and goldfinch as there were evening grosbeaks during the winter. A mob of over 30 blue jays dropped in one day so I baited the potter traps and now over twenty are wearing bands. I didn’t even open the bird net as I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with that many birds in the net. I did put it up a couple days later and banded several jays, purple finch, goldfinch, chickadees and siskins. I didn’t catch the rose breasted grosbeaks and there were five males and one female at the feeder one morning. The jays didn’t let them get on the ground or even near the potter traps which had all four compartments full of jays several times.
Diane Bowes just sent me an e-mail about a fall out of warblers she had at her place today feeding along the lake shore, hopefully eating blackflies she said.  I’ll be at the Crown Point Banding Station for two weeks and it looks like the first week will be a wet one but that’s another story. See ya. 
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  • Kraig Armstrong 16/05/2019 1:45pm (4 months ago)

    We love that you brought Gary Lees' column back.
    Thank you!!!

  • Kraig Armstrong 16/05/2019 1:43pm (4 months ago)

    We love it that you brought back Gary Lees' column.
    Thank you!!!

  • kevin roberts 16/05/2019 1:43pm (4 months ago)

    So glad that you are publishing Gary Lee's Column...it was always the first thing I read in the Adirondack. Lady slippers in bloom in about a month - can't wait.

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