DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos reminded me that this is Earth Week. With most of the snow gone from the roadsides and other traveled trails, it might be good to do a little litter picking to spruce up the area for visitors as they travel here. With record temperatures in the 80s in most parts of the state, the snow took it in the shorts almost everywhere. [The] ice in all the lakes is out, with Blue Mountain and Big Moose Lakes being the last to go out on Sunday [April 9]. Luckily, there was very little wind to move the shifting ice around where it would do damage to docks and boathouses around the lakes. Better catch what water you can now, as the snow runoff is about over and [then] it will take rainfall to fill the Fulton Chain. With the wacky weather, you never know if we are going to get a gully washer or sprinkles.
Down in the Fort Lauderdale area of Florida, I would say they got a gully washer…with 24 inches of rain in a 24-hour period Wednesday night [April 12]. Looking at pictures and seeing reports, there has been a lot of damage to homes and businesses. With the ground being nearly flat, 24 inches is just what it is until it runs off wherever it can. The airport is still not open as of Sunday night [April 9] and more thunderstorms [are] predicted in that area through Monday [April 17]…not good. The area hasn’t been declared a disaster area yet, so residents could get some aid for their losses. Federal officials are going to be in the area this week accessing the damages for relief aid.
Even though there is statewide ban on open burning until May 14, there have been several fires across the state. The snow is gone (and with these temperatures) surface conditions dry out very fast,
making almost anywhere a [place where a] fire can burn. The water temperatures are still very cold and anyone out on the water should be wearing a life vest. It is required to wear a vest in any craft under 21 feet. That doesn’t mean you have it in your boat, but [you need to] have it attached properly to your body. The [vests can be] hard enough to put on while on shore. In the water with temperatures being what they are, you [would] have very little time and may not get it on. Several people were lost last Spring by drowning, as they weren’t wearing their life vest this time of year and [their crafts] tipped over.
I was over at Harrisburg Lake this weekend, and I hadn’t been there since 1999 when my brother, Bob, invited me over to hunt at their deer camp. This weekend his children and friends put his ashes at [the] deer camp with a small plaque on a rock right next to our dad whose ashes have been there several years. This was a special place where he hunted for several years, and he wanted to be left there in the woods he loved. The group got a break with all this warm weather, which melted most of the snow that was there last weekend, but mostly gone on Saturday [April 15]. The wood frogs and peeper frogs were singing all around us, as were the many birds in the area. It was a beautiful day in the woods with his family and friends to say goodbye to Brother Bob, my best friend.
Coming out that afternoon crossing the causeway on the outlet of the lake, there was a painted turtle in the middle of the road. I stopped the truck and got out to move the pretty turtle, [and] the peeper chorus was deafening. I picked up the turtle and slid it back down into the water. When I bent over, my glasses and cell phone slid out of my shirt pocket [and] down the bank alongside the turtle. I slid down the bank and caught it just as it hit the water, the phone that is, as the turtle swam away. I gave my ankle some exercise on that trip down the steep bank, but [I] didn’t go swimming.
Many more birds moved north during that hot weather. A pair of Eastern Phoebes started building their nest under my porch, [and] the Osprey was on the Seventh Lake nest Friday and Saturday [April 14 and 15]. [I had my] first American Goldfinch at the feeder Friday and the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker has been tapping and singing for several days. There was a Barred Owl calling all around the house when I went to bed Saturday night…Bob saying goodbye again, thanks Bob.
My daffodils came out by the house and other wildflowers will be popping out of the leaves this week, but that’s another story. See ya.
Photo at top: Family at Memorial Rock. Photo by a family friend, provided by Gary Lee.