Saturday, October 1, 2022

Leaf-peeping, fringed gentians, and lobster dinners

The leaves are changing, and may peak this week if they aren’t all put on the ground with the wind and rain. I watched from my window as many leaves fell on the pond most of the day today, September 25. That was better than the snow that fell on Friday morning [September 23]. Some say that Blue Mountain wasn’t blue, but white on top, that morning as were several of the High Peaks. About this time of  year, Karen and I go on a leaf-peeping trip through Vermont and New Hampshire into Maine to get a lobster dinner.

We planned a trip up Mt. Washington, but the road was closed because of a snowstorm followed by fog or a cloud just sitting on the mountain top. Later in the day they opened the road, and we went up, but you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. If Karen got more than five feet away, I could not see her for a picture. There was a mighty cold wind blowing up there also, so we didn’t stay long and followed a park truck back off until we were out of the fog. The steamed clams and lobster were good that night on the Maine coast.


I’m sure the winds were very strong up there last week when Hurricane Fiona passed by, headed for Canada. The lowest barometric pressure ever recorded of a storm hitting Canada came when that storm hit causing major damage to seaside homes and businesses, many of which were washed away by the storm surge. A lot of the interior Boreal forest was leveled from the 100 MPH winds. Looking ahead this week, Tropical Storm Ian is headed for the West Coast of Florida, where it will build to a category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall on Thursday [September 29]. Much of the state will be impacted by wind and rain on the right side of the storm, but the west coastline will certainly see a storm surge as it hits and goes over land.


Locally, it looks like more rain is on tap for several days this week. So far, the forests have been soaking it up as my little intermittent stream is just barely running. We got over four inches of rain during the week and another half-inch today [Sunday, Sept. 25]. I hiked into Rockdam on the South Branch of the Moose River on Saturday [Sept. 24] for the Indian Lake Moose Festival. We didn’t see any Moose, but there were signs that they had been around. [We saw] some big bull tracks in the old snowmobile trail that were made sometime this week, and there was one seen along this trail a week ago…which could have been him.

Fringed gentians. Photo by Gary Lee.

Along the trail, there are many big black cherry trees and most of the fruit has fallen. It nearly covers the ground under these trees, so there is plenty to eat for the wildlife in that area. Deer, bear, marten, fisher, fox, coyotes, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, grouse, turkeys and raccoons will eat these berries. The bears will get up in the top of these trees and eat up there before the berries fall. Sometimes, they will make a nest-like structure from the branches as they clean the berries off, and this becomes a platform for them to work off. They will do this in beech trees as well when there is a good beech nut crop. I’ve caught them up in these trees a few times. It doesn’t take them very long to slide down the trunk, get on the ground, and get out of the area. Sometimes, they have the whole family up there having lunch. We did see bear poop along the trail that day filled with cherry seeds.


The fringed gentians are in bloom in the open area behind the dry hydrant between Inlet and Eagle Bay. Some of the bigger plants will have ten to fifteen blooms on one plant, many of the new second-year plants only have a single bloom. The flowers only open on sunny days, and close at night to keep warm. They will be blooming until the snow flies, and beyond. The Inlet Adirondack Kids Day is today, Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is sponsored by Kiwanis of the Central Adirondacks. For a full schedule of events, visit I’ll be on the fishing platform on Fifth Lake baiting hooks during the kids’ fishing derby.


The Adirondack Center of Loon Conservation will be holding their annual Loon Celebration at the Paul Smith’s VIC from 1 to 4:30 p.m., with a loon calling contest, music, BBQ available onsite, children’s games, a silent auction and drawing for the Hornbeck canoe raffle, and more. Go to their website for complete information www.ADKLOON.Org.


Better get some pretty leaf pictures before they are all gone, but that’s another story. See ya.


Photo at top: Rockdam, where the Red River meets the South Branch of the Moose River. Photo by Gary Lee.

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Gary lives with his wife, Karen, at Eight Acre Wood in Inlet where he was the Forest Ranger for 35 years, working in the Moose River Wild Forest Recreation Area and West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area. Now retired, Gary works summers for the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, observing, catching and banding loons. The author of a column Daybreak to Twilight in local papers from 1986 to 2019, he now writes his Outdoor Adventures a weekly blog. In 2008, Gary coauthored a book with John M.C. “Mike” Peterson, "Adirondack Birding- 60 Great Places to Find Birds."

One Response

  1. John M. Glowa, Sr. says:

    Please boycott lobster due to the threat to right whales and the refusal of the Maine lobster industry to cooperate with the federal government.

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