Daybreak to Twilight by Gary Lee

Upcoming View program to provide abundant Loon facts

There was not much rain this past week, if any at all. I only had a couple sprinkles fall on me one day so it’s getting pretty dry.

I saw where a couple of campers had built fires right on the duff and left them burning when they departed.

I put water on them with my lunch bucket so they didn’t burn into the ground and become a fire a week later.

Old habits never die. I can smell a duff fire a mile away when the wind is blowing in my direction.

If New York state charged for every car that went in the Moose River Plains Area to see the Moose at Helldiver Pond, the proceeds could have paid for some of the road repairs.

Before I retired I had included the suggestion with my annual report on the area. I suggested it again when the UMP was put together a couple years ago, but that didn’t go anywhere either.

With the state scrambling for money, this would work. It might not pay for all the repairs to the road but it sure would help.

At the time of my retirement the average number of vehicles that signed in annually was 8,000, and that did not count snowmobiles.

At $5 a car, that’s big bucks. But what do I know.

The Moose showed up the first part of last week but took off for the hot days. He probably came during the night when no one was looking for him.

In the fog last Tuesday a couple kayaks and a canoe were out on the pond when he showed up. All we could hear was splashing as the Moose moved from feeding area to feeding area.

They were out of our view until the Moose came around the pond. When we finally saw the occupants of the kayaks—with their cameras in hand—we knew the Moose was nearby.

Then we saw him appear and disappear in the fog.

I took a lady out with me in my canoe and we got a few shots before he ambled off into the dark woods.

On Thursday there were about ten of us watching. Among the crowd was a family who was camping at Red River and a couple from Utica who came up for their anniversary.

They had visited a week earlier and were told they had missed the Moose by five minutes.

I took a young lad out in the canoe to get some pictures with his little camera. He was all smiles, as was I.

Then I took out the lady from Utica and we got some great pictures of the Moose as he grazed on the pond lilies.

The campers went back to camp and got more of their family to come see the beautiful animal. The heat of last Thursday night might have changed his schedule as he was a no-show on Friday and Saturday mornings.

It was a beautiful sunrise coming up over the Plains and the bugs weren’t all that bad at the pond.

We heard some boreal birds on Friday: Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and tapping of a Black-backed Woodpecker, but no splashing from the Moose.

More Loon chicks hatched this week from second nests. Their first nests were lost earlier in the season to high waters. Some pairs never renested but those that did, did so in a secret place.

Many of the shallower lakes freeze earlier and these Loons know if they don’t get off an early nest they won’t be able to renest and the juveniles will get frozen in during the fall.

Karen and I saw one of the Loon chick snatchers, a Bald Eagle, on Woodhull Lake yesterday. He was eating a fish while perched on a log near shore.

It gave me an opportunity to get some nice shots of it before he flew away.

On Friday, August 5 at 7 p.m., Dr. Jim Paruk will be give a program at View’s Gould Hall titled “Loon Conservation in North America: from North to South and West to East”.

He will provide an overview of current Loon conservation and research efforts in North America, and explore issues affecting all five species of North American Loons, from Yellow-billed Loons in Alaska’s North Slope to Common Loons breeding in New York’s Adirondack Park.

He will also discuss exciting new findings about Loon migration and other research conducted by Biodiversity Institute and its collaborators, in the Adirondacks and beyond.

I’m sure I’ll even learn some new facts about Loons that I didn’t know before.

More little Orchids keep popping up, but that’s another story.

See ya.


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