Great day finding loons

Hi all,
Sally reports the loons at Goshen Dam were on and off the raft while she watched yesterday but she could see no eggs yet. She also reported a near collision with a bear near the hatchery on her way home last night.
I’ve had no loon reports from Silver Lake recently so if you get up there, please take a good look around and pass the news along.

Here’s a grosbeak giving a woodpecker the evil eye as it waited for its chance at the suet.

I was lucky enough to catch the woodpecker leaving but it was at its own time.

Here’s a sunset from Bill P, taken on Saturday night.

Rosie, Sally and I floated for a couple hours last evening and were lucky enough to have the loons come by. They have not nested on the island yet and seem to be exploring other opportunities. The sun broke out under the clouds just before sunset and offered some lighting for my best shots so far this year.

I ended up taking well over a hundred pictures and wish I could share them all.

Maybe more another day but

this is a good sample. You can see why I kept shooting and shooting.

As we finally left them near the south end, we headed home into a wonderful pre-sunset. What a great evening. Mike

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Bears, loons, and…

Hi all, Shelagh S. reports a bear on the south end of Hooker Rd. Monday night, it turned over their compost bin and rooted through the findings.

We finally have some loons activity in our corner. Below are a couple shots of a single that was feeding just outside our raft yesterday. Today, Rosie and I floated for about a half hour with a pair as they preened out front. When they finished, they started north and we blinked and lost them. We later rode around the island hoping to see them again but no luck.

Over the past 3-4 nights, we’ve lost 6 saplings between the camp and the lake. This one was the largest at about 3” across, and was one too many for me. If anyone has any suggestions for beaver control that don’t involve sitting up all night, I’d like to hear them.

Here’s my son’s contribution to the critter list, about a 5 footer in a field he was working in outside Tampa. He says he got the shot from the safety of the truck. It makes beavers seem very unexciting, the bear still gets the heart pumping though.

Here’s a follow up from neighbor Richard Hopkins, after Bill P’s land sale clipping. Thanks Richard. Mike

Camp 213 in 1939
We have the second and third lots from the north end of the Columbus Smith subdivision — now known as 289 Winding Way, for a long time before that known as Camp 213. The northernmost lot (now the Schneider camp) was bought in the original sale by Mr. Gaskill, whose daughter Margaret had her boathouse there, as well as the farmhouse over the ridge, until she died about 15-20 years ago (at over 100 years old). My grandfather Allen Hazen bought the second and third lots, partly out of friendship with Mr. Gaskill, who was a business friend of his. Gaskill was the chief forester for the state of New Jersey; Allen Hazen was a prominent water supply engineer in New York City. They had mutual interests in watershed protection. The idea was that if Allen Hazen bought the lake lots next to Gaskill, Gaskill would have a friendly neighbor on that side. Hazen also bought several acres on the west side of the lane leading to his and Gaskill’s camp sites, which we still own.

Our camp was built in 1939, a few years after Allen Hazen died, by three of his six children, one of them my mother. So the camp has been in the family since the original purchase of the land in the early 1920s. Currently the fourth generation are in the process of assuming control of its destiny.

The attached photo, which I found just the other day, shows our camp under construction in 1939. It is very little changed today from the original, except that one room was damaged in a wind storm in the early 1980s and had to be rebuilt.

The shrubs and trees between the camp building and the lake have grown up so much in the intervening 78 years that the camp is almost invisible from the lake, though we can still see out.

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Loons plus, and Fern Lake picture wanted

Hi all,
Fern Lakers, a good picture is needed for the FDFLA directory coming out this summer. I can go take one from the access but it would really be nice to get a different view. If anyone has one, let me know and I’ll get it moving in the right direction.

Loon lovers, Sue W. reports a loon on the nest on Kent Pond, the season has begun.
Sally B. went to Goshen yesterday and reports “2 herons and 2 goslings with their parents on the shore just behind the loon nest. The loons were hanging just off the shore to the left of the raft as I was standing on the shore by the beaver lodge. They floated to the raft. The female started to climb on, but slipped off. It looked like she was having trouble hiking herself up. The male floated around the raft for a few minutes and then fairly easily got on the raft, settled in and started nest building. They split up for a while then the female started nest building at the tip of the little peninsula where people hang out. A terrible spot to nest. Then they drifted to the left, had a nice bout of copulation and then headed back towards the raft area, but never got there. I hope they don’t try to shore line nest….But at least copulation is happening! Yay!”
Re Goshen for the folks new to the list, a shoreline nest will not work there because the normal water level fluctuation is up to 3 feet. The loons can only tolerate a very few inches because their nest will either flood or end up too far from the water’s edge.
Back here on Dunmore, several folks again reported one or two loons various places north of the island. Rosie and I will take advantage of the sunshine and go looking this afternoon.

Here’s Sue W. trying to stare down a grouse, very territorial because of a nearby nest.

Here is our neighborhood cottontail in a patch of clover at our place. I think this is the same one who first showed up last summer, it has the same habits anyway.

It’s very wary which probably accounts for it surviving this long. Shorty after this shot it was gone. Enjoy, Mike

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Around the lake catch up

Hi all,
From Robin P. we get a couple shots of the great sunset we had a few nights ago.

No picture to go with the report but Kathy H. reports a ruckus at the island was caused by a crow, a loon, and a goose with goslings, all upset by an eagle in the dead tree there.
From Jennifer S, we have proof that the loons do come to the south end of the lake. Apparently I’m just not looking (or listening) at the correct time. On a ride up past the island this evening, we did have a great blue heron fly by.

Back with Jennifer S. again, the more exciting part of their paddle this morning was encountering a squirrel that was exhausted from swimming and was unable to climb up their paddle.

They rescued it with the help of a hoodie and ultimately released it on shore where it took refuge in a tree.

Next we have 2 found sailboats. This Sunfish drifted in this spring and

they’ve been holding this Snark since last fall. When you realize your sailboat is missing, you can call Amy or Kelly at 352-4266 to retrieve it.

Last but not least, Rosco went missing from his home on the east side this morning. If you’ve seen him, please call Liza or Derric at 247-9309 or 802-558-6944. Mike


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Bill Powers talk

Hi all,
Rosie and I floated from Mountain View to south of the island over a couple hours today and didn’t see a single bird of any kind. On our trip around the lake last evening all we saw was one cormorant fly over. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so few water birds, they’ve got to be here somewhere.

If you’ve never been to a Bill Power’s talk, now is your chance. Come to the Brandon Town Hall this Saturday for this bit of local musical history.

Here’s another taste of local history from Bill. The property in the article runs from the Schneider camp at the end of Winding Way south to the old Brebeuf Camp where the lake first meets Hooker Rd. If Mr. Cloyes thought all the attractive lots were gone in 1922, one can only imagine what he would think now. I believe we are the fourth owners of our lot, having been here since 1981. The 2 lots north of us are probably the second families and those just south of us are probably second or third owners too. Turnover in this corner is pretty slow. Mike

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Off the lake, and on.

Hi all,
Summer has arrived on and around Lake Dunmore. Dede S, and John D. went in for their first swim today but I was unable to download the picture. John was in with their dogs and Dede says she was in with a merganser and a lot of mosquitoes. I’ve had reports from both sides of the lake that today was the day the skeeters became intolerable in many places. A couple of us have called already but all who think it’s time for help in their neighborhood should call the BLSG and request a spray truck. 247-6779. Better write it down for further reference. Last spring they got on them right away and we only had a very few bad days.

Below are some gray foxes just outside their den, you don’t see them nearly as often as the red variety. I used to regularly see one crossing West Shore Rd. by Songa but not lately. Of course I’m not out at night much lately either.

A painted trillium sent in by Allon W. He says there are plenty on the walk in to Silver Lake.

This was a few minutes ago on our way home after a wonderful dinner cruise around the lake with Robin and Kiwi P. Great weather, great food, and great company. Who could ask for anything more. We did have to keep moving though. When the breeze died, the mosquitoes came out in force. We would have liked to float a while longer but there was no way. Mike

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No birds this time

Hi all,
I guess we’ll start with the not so good news and get it overt with. If you haven’t seen it on the news, ticks are supposed to be numerous this year and along with the usual are now bringing a new potential problem.

Rare virus gives Vermonters another reason to avoid ticks

Thanks to Bob & Kathy H. for sending that along.
Thankfully no mosquitoes yet this spring but I’ve been told the BLSG crew have been spending a lot of time applying larvaecide in the swamps. Do we dare hope for a third easy year?

Good news is that the loons here are finally spending a little time in our corner. We saw them feeding and preening late yesterday and again just a few minutes ago.
Sally reports that the Goshen Dam loons were spending time near the raft again today but moved away when an eagle started circling.

The next few pictures are from Ashley’s point of view and we thank her for them all. Below is her fairly new companion Rufus, here in his king of the lake pose.

Fringed polygala she says, and I’ll take her word for that.

A garter snake is something I’m more familiar with.

A toad would have to be a foot long for me to notice it in that setting. All are wonderful signs of spring.

Thanks to Rosie for hollering at me to look out the window a few minutes ago. The rainbow was so crisp that the picture doesn’t do it justice.

And it looks like the pot of gold goes to Kate W. Her house is right there in that patch of trees.
Enjoy, Mike

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