It was a great weekend to get outside and roam, and it seems our region's wildlife enjoyed it as much as we did.
Within a few minutes Friday night I got messages from friends about a bear swimming in Lake George, and a moose running along Old Bend Road in Moreau.
Both got pictures, though some claim the bear sighting was a hoax.
The Old Bend Road moose drew a bit of a crowd before disappearing in the woods. There is a lot of good moose territory nearby in Moreau Lake State Park and Finch Paper woodlands, and the Lake Desolation area of central Saratoga County is one of the state's moose population centers.
The bear swim was quite unusual, as apparently it was in the water near Waters Edge Marina and The Sagamore Resort for a period of time during its swim. Where it went from there was unknown, but that is a congested area for a bear to try to navigate. (Some claim it was a bear head buoy placed as a hoax, so I can't vouch for its veracity. It does look a little too brown to be a black bear, though. Maybe it's a mountain lion?)
This is among the times of year when wildlife is most on the move, as young moose, bears, deer and other creatures are leaving mama's care and looking for their own territory. On a ride back from a sunset hike the other night, we saw deer everywhere along Route 9L along the lake, including a number of small fawns.
It's also shaping up to be a bad year for ticks. In this business, we often write about year-to-year trends, and with ticks it is tough to gauge. But so far this spring I have pulled three off me, two of them in the last four days. My daughter also had one attach to her.
One was on my leg after a night of fishing in chest waders, my guess is it got in my car from the waders as I drove from one spot to another, then latched on when I took them off for the ride home. The other attached as we were hiking Crane Mountain on Sunday.
I load up on Deet and a number of other repellents whenever I am outside, and it seems they have been finding those inevitably untreated spots. I can't remember a spring where I have had that many in a short period of time.
-- Don Lehman