Sunday, July 6, 2008

Moose Crossings and Other Musings

No...I still haven't seen a moose, but apparently they are on the move, for reports of sightings are trickling in.

Where to Go to See a Moose
There are several regions in the Park that are moose hot spots (although no guarantees are made): the Moose River Plains over near Old Forge, the Indian Lake region, along the Blue Ridge Road between Newcomb and the NorthWay (Interstate 87), and the Paul Smiths region.

The Latest Sightings
Rumor has it that there are three (3) moose (a bull, a cow and a calf) hanging around Long Lake. They've been seen at Shaw Pond and out to the Lake Eaton Campground. A report just came in, too, of moose tracks over at the County Line Road and along the County Line Flow (this is between Newcomb and Long Lake).

Other Stuff
The summer flowers are starting to come into their own now: brown-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia serotina), St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), meadowsweet (Spirea latifolia), fleabane (either daisy or common...I haven't looked that closely yet). Still blooming in great profusion are the ox-eye daisies, the birdsfoot trefoil, hop clover, red clover, bedstraw, wild parsnip, yarrow, chickory, stitchwort (commonly mistaken for chickweed, but the stem and leaves are different). Coming soon (because I saw it blooming "down below" en route to Glens Falls): fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) and Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota). I also heard a cicada chirring away down below on Friday. If this warm weather keeps up, we should hear them soon in Newcomb, too.

Isn't it interesting that many (if not most) of the "wild" flowers that we consider to be the indicators of summer are all non-native plants that have naturalized over the centuries since the colonists brought them here? Did they, like the non-natives that worry us so today, act as invasives and push out the native flora? If so, what native plants would've been the harbingers of summer in these parts? Hm. I see a research project in this.

On the bird front, one of "my" sets of bluebirds will be fledging any day now, if all goes well. Another has only just hatched, and the batch in my yard are about midway between the other two in timing.

Yesterday morning I watched a crow chase a sharpshin hawk out of a yard as Toby and I went for our stroll. I heard a ruckus and looked up to see the hawk streak away about six feet overhead, the crow stopping in a maple tree, probably figuring he had chased the interloper far enough.

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