The Northern Lights, fishing submarines, and the lone muskrat –

The Northern Lights, fishing submarines, and the lone muskrat –

Northern lights over Indian Lake

Here we are in the third week of November and there is no snow on the ground. Temperatures dropped the last two nights (18 (degrees) on the first night, November 12, and 12 (degrees) on November 13) putting a layer of ice on the pond. There is the only muskrat in the pond. (He’s) going to be looking for the Get Out of the Pond card soon because he doesn’t have any plants left to eat, since you pulled them all out. On the night of November 6, there was a spectacular display of the northern lights. Some folks at Indian Lake had a great photo sent to me by some friends.

Locally, some people have seen it (the northern lights) over 7th Lake, but no photos have been taken (that I’ve seen). Given the forecast (on) Saturday night (November 11), there was another show expected and my grandson. Nathan and I were ready to go out and get some shots. (Unfortunately,) that didn’t happen because the clouds never dispersed. It was (expected) to reach its peak just after dark, but clouds remained overhead throughout the night.

A pair of roaming moose were seen (and photographed) along Big Moose Road last week. There have also been some reports of cars hitting deer, as bucks begin their season searching for items.
If you see one crossing the road, (watch) for the other to cross. Given the hurricane forecast, there is still a potential tropical depression that could develop in the Caribbean Sea later this week. Even though it’s November, with all the changing weather conditions, these changes can still happen…so stay tuned.

The elf at Tony Harper’s diner watches the entrance until the snowmobiles arrive. With this crazy weather, we can’t tell when that will be. Normally by the end of the big game season (when the trails are open) there is enough snow to run snowmobiles…but (this has not been the case) the past couple of years. (Instead) they get six feet (of snow) in the Buffalo area and no flakes here. I know they had to do a lot of work on the Old Forge trails after the floods this summer. I didn’t hear the washed-out railroad tracks running over the Woods Lake station. I’ve seen where they pull it, but this is a big project.

Swimming mascara

Swimming mascara. Photography by Gary Lee.

We lost one of our ranged aircraft located on Dart Lake. The male (banded in 2007) was found dead on the lake shore. Predators have eaten a lot of it, but it still has its stripes. The body has been collected and will be tested to see if we can determine the cause of her death. The couple gave birth to a chick this year, which was still alive in the lake. This week I saw a Loon fishing at Lake 5 and a pair of this year’s Loon chicks fishing together at Lake Limekiln. Other people still heard them calling at Fourth Lake. Some larger lakes, such as Lake George and Lake Champlain, do not freeze until late in the winter.

The Loons feel safe when there’s still open water, and then they explode! We got a deep freeze, and they’re in a little hole in the middle of the lake. They can’t get out…or they freeze on the ice and try to fly away. This has happened in the last couple of years and some of these creatures have been caught and taken to open water. Adult Loons molt during the winter, and these creatures remain for a very long time. (As) their flight feathers have fallen out, they are unable to fly and cannot go out anyway. They can survive when transported to open water, just as if they were in the ocean. They have not fully adapted to climate change yet.

I didn’t see snow geese, but many of the smaller birds moved to my feeders, so I banded almost every day. The white bird I tied a few weeks ago is now
Still hanging here. Last winter, I spent a White-throated Sparrow all winter fighting an Evening Grosbeak for some seeds. A herd of Pine Siskins arrived with a few
Dozens of American goldfinches. When we got home after eating out on Friday night (November 10) there was a barred owl feeding around the feeders…on mice, I’m sure.

Getting some work done before the snow comes, but that’s another story. I’ll see you later.

Image above: Northern lights over Indian Lake. Photography by Donna Spring.

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