Moose at Helldiver Pond mixes up feeding schedule

It’s been a very good week weatherwise with nice sunny days and cool nights for sleeping. We did have a couple gully washers over the weekend and I got caught in one of them.

I was doing the Loon Census on Saturday, July 20th. I started by biking into Upper Mitchell Pond where there was a single loon.

I walked over to the lower pond and found a pair. I got them talking to each other and there was a fine chorus at eight in the morning. _MG_3178

Five pink water lillies

Five pink water lillies

Three guys from New Jersey were camping there and sharing the mosquitoes that were out in full force.

From there I went into Beaver Lake on my bike and found a pair of loons and one chick before 9 a.m.

From there I took the old trail to Squaw Lake and saw a pair of loons and two chicks at the far end of the lake.

There was an osprey chick in the nest at the far end of the lake also.

I got a tad damp coming out of there when a small shower went through. I walked over to Little Indian Lake and took out my canoe which I had left there two days ago.

No loons were present on the lake but I found where the pair had nested and lost their nest in the high water.

On the way over to Indian I stopped at Muskrat Pond. I didn’t see any loons there but there was a family of seven ring-necked ducks.

I hauled my canoe on my cart all the way out and just before I got to the truck the gully washer hit.

I stayed dry when I was carrying the canoe to the truck as I was under it, but when I put it on the rack I got soaked. It must have rained over an inch in ten minutes.

Even with rain gear on I still got wet when I put my bike and canoe cart into the truck.

The rains were good for my pink water lilies. They produced five blooms at one time which brighten up the shoreline of my pond.

I chased after the moose at Helldiver Pond a few mornings this week and saw him twice.

One of the mornings I saw a fella who I met there twice last year who was also looking for the moose.

This was his eleventh trip from Canastota to look for the moose in the last two years. He said he had to get up at 2 a.m. to get here at 5 a.m.

Well, that morning was the charm as we had the moose to ourselves for about two hours.

He was still shaking from the excitement when we got back to shore. He told me that this was one of the best experiences he had ever had in nature.

And he had the pictures to prove it, with 360 or more taken.

Another morning as I walked out to the platform at the end of the trail there was a couple sitting in lawn chairs.

They told me to be quiet as the moose was out.

I got my canoe and took the gentleman out a little closer for some neat shots.

The lady said she was the late Al and Dorthy Smith’s niece and that they had been here a few times but not seen the moose.

When she gave me her e-mail address I noticed that she worked for Cornell University.

A couple mornings that the moose was a no-show there were over twenty people on the platform looking for him in the fog and a few out in kayaks and canoes on the pond. I heard today (7/22) that he was out around 10 a.m., not his normal appearance time of 5 a.m.

There are still a lot of lily pads in the pond so I think he will be coming for a couple more weeks. However there is no guarantee on the time of day.

The Shadbushes are full of fruit and the birds and bears are just loving them.

Some people used to come in the Plains and pick these to make jams and jellies. They have big seeds in them but they do taste good.

There are a few blueberries out also.

With all the sunshine this week and abundance of milkweed flowers the butterflies have been out and about. There are lots of white and red admirals, great spangled fritillaries and a few northern pearly eyes.

Missing in action are the monarchs who must have run into a problem while coming back across the country from Mexico.

The only one I have seen is the one I saw on the 4th of July. The milkweeds are just waiting for caterpillars to eat on them and grow into beautiful butterflies.

I will be leading a butterfly hike from View on Friday, August 2 at 10 a.m. where we hope to find a few of these beautiful creatures.

Mystery of the missing monarchs, but that’s another story. See ya.

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