Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Anatomy of Bird Feet

raptor footAs spring’s crescendo of birdsong mellows now to a steadier summer trill, I listen for melodies I don’t recognize and try to figure out which birds are singing. I look through binoculars at their feathers, the color variations along head and chest, the size of their beaks, the shape of their wings, and the tilt of their tails in my flailing attempts to distinguish one species from another. Rarely have I considered feet in my casual observations, although this part of a bird’s anatomy can be highly specialized for various uses.

“When you look at the foot of a bird, they’re not all the same,” said Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “All the birds basically started off with three toes forward, one back. From that, they’ve evolved in a number of different ways for various reasons.”

Birds walk on those toes – not the entire foot. The backward-bending joint we may consider a knee is actually the birds’ ankle. The feet consist mainly of bones and tendons, with very little muscle and few blood vessels. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

PROTECT Statement On End Of 2017 Legislative Session

NYS CapitolWhat follows is a statement issued by PROTECT. 

The 2017 New York State Legislative session ended on June 21st as both houses adjourned and left Albany. It remains unclear at this time if the two houses will return to complete unfinished business. The two houses were deadlocked over issues of “Mayoral Control” of New York City schools and extensions for local taxation districts across the state. Both of these issues are important for New York City and state residents and may require further action.

There was unfinished business for the Adirondacks as well. The two houses were close to reaching an agreement in the last hours of the session on enabling legislation for the proposed “Health and Safety Land Accounts” amendment to Article XIV, Section 1, the “forever wild” provision of the State Constitution. This amendment would provide access to 250 acres of Forest Preserve lands for maintenance of local highways in the Adirondacks bordered by Forest Preserve, and lands for municipal water wells, as well as authorize burial and colocation of utility lines and bike paths in state and local highway corridors. The “enabling legislation” sets in law the process for the implementation and administration of the amendment. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

DEC Seeks Volunteers for Trail Maintenance in Adirondacks

DEC is seeking volunteers to maintain trails in the towns of Peru and Black Brook in Clinton County and town of Chesterfield in Essex County.

You can be part of a one-day work group, a three-day once a year effort, or a few hours on numerous days throughout the year – during the week or on weekends – whatever works best for you. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Garden Blight: Better Never Than Late

It’s not too early to start thinking about late blight. No relation to early blight, with which it shares a last name, late blight has become a perennial disease since infected tomato plants were shipped from southern greenhouses to the Northeast in May 2009. Prior to that, late blight was uncommon, but now we seem to be able to bank on its arrival each August. The fact that it is a seasonal immigrant is worth noting, since most garden diseases (such as early blight) are already here in the soil.

Gardeners and produce growers make a fuss about late blight because it has the potential to kill acres of tomatoes and potatoes in a matter of days; its fearsome reputation is well-deserved. Given the botanical name Phytophthora infestans, “highly contagious plant destroyer,” it is what laid waste to the Irish potato crop from 1844 to 1846, leading to a devastating famine. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 23, 2017

John Sheehan: Land Bank Constitutional Amendment Not Finished, Yet

NYS CapitolA bi-partisan team of NYS Legislators reached a tentative agreement on an amendment to the “Forever Wild” clause of the State Constitution Wednesday night, but were unable to get the final bills approved before members of both houses returned to their districts.

Sponsors were hopeful today that the final agreement could be approved by both houses before the legislative session ends for the year. Neither house had declared its session to be formally ended when both houses sent their members home shortly before midnight Wednesday. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 23, 2017

The Adirondacks Around The Web This Week


Friday, June 23, 2017

CATS Hike Opens High Point Trail in Willsboro Sunday

high point rock wallChamplain Area Trails will formally open the newest addition to the CATS trail network on Sunday, June 25 in Willsboro, with a hike starting at 1 pm. All are invited to celebrate the grand opening of the “High Point Trail” which goes to the highest point on Willsboro Point.

The High Point Trail is on the property of Marsha and Bill Harbison, who developed the trail and have opened it to the public for hiking. CATS completed trail work, marked the trail, and created a small parking area trailhead. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 23, 2017

North Country Premiere of Andrzej Wajda’s Final Film

AfterimageThe Sembrich summer film series will begin on Monday, June 26th at 7:30 pm at the Bolton Free Library with the North Country premiere of Afterimage, the final film by Polish director Andrzej Wajda, who passed away in 2016 at age 90. The screening is free and open to the public.

Afterimage will be introduced by Radka Franczak, a film-maker in her own right who studied at the Wadja School in Poland under the mentorship of Wajda.

In addition to introducing the Wajda film, Franczak will present a brief preview of her own work-in-progress, a film documentary on the life of Marcella Sembrich entitled Lost Voice. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 23, 2017

The Big Adirondack News Stories This Week


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Jack Drury Responds To Boreas Ponds Hut-to-Hut Concerns

Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his State of the State Message in January, indicated that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) “…will construct infrastructure at Boreas Ponds in the Adirondacks and build trails as part of the ‘hut-to-hut’ system that links state lands to community amenities. DEC is committed to expanding recreational opportunities for hikers, bikers, skiers, paddlers, horseback riders, hunters, anglers and others. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skills and abilities will be able to enjoy, for the first time, the most significant addition in the history of the Adirondack Forest Preserve,” according to the statement.

As one of the architects of the Adirondack Park “hut-to-hut” initiative working with the DEC and the NYS Department of State (DOS) I would like to address some of the misconceptions surrounding the governor’s announcement, which has raised red flags among some environmentalists and wilderness preservationists. I believe my record on supporting wilderness in the park over the last forty-five years stands for itself. I have trained a generation of outdoor leaders with a strong environmental ethic, a love for wilderness, and an understanding for the need to provide a range of recreational opportunities. I have written or contributed to half a dozen books on the topic.

The “Hut-to-hut” initiative I have been part of aims to support wellness, sustainable communities, and conservation by, among other ways, expanding the constituency that loves and wants to protect our wild lands. Our discussions with dozens of lodging owners across the Park appear to indicate a broad base of support for a system that utilizes existing lodging to the greatest degree possible. A survey by Paul Smith’s College hospitality students of nearly 100 existing lodging owners had 90% of them wanting to learn more about the possibilities of being part of a hut-to-hut system. Respondents cited the greatest benefits of such a system as increased promotion of their community, increased revenue, and increased occupancy.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Conditions Report (June 22)

CompassThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon.

Contribute Your Knowledge: Send observations, corrections, updates, and suggestions to adkalmanack@gmail.com.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND
» Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Neil Litchfield, Lewis County’s Master Comedian (Part 2)

By 1893, Neil and his wife Hattie had resumed touring with other companies that billed Neil as “The Man of Many Faces.” After spending the year with the Vivian De Monto Company, they joined the Reno and Ford Company for the first half of 1894. In August they began touring the eastern and midwestern states with the Prima Donna Company, during which time Neil began to stand out noticeably from his fellow performers. Reviews in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania agreed with the Syracuse Evening Herald’s assessment that, despite great work by the show’s star, Eva Mecusker, “The most enjoyable thing of the evening was the recitation work of Neil Litchfield, whose ability as a comedian is large and could be employed more than it is with advantage.” A reporter for the Youngstown Daily Telegram wrote, “Neil Litchfield, as the ruralist, was the star of the show. His work was clever, and the reception he got was deserved.”

Late in the year, he performed with James B. Mackie’s company, The Side Show, and received rave reviews. As a budding star, he no longer needed to jump at the next offer, and instead began advertising his services to the highest bidder. In 1895, Litchfield announced his availability in major trade magazines and the entertainment sections of New York City newspapers. That summer, he toured coast to coast with Heywood’s Celebrities company, which provided ample opportunity to test new characters and refine other bits. A few months later, he joined another group, the Alhambra Vaudevilles. As reported in the New York Dramatic Mirror, “Carter, the magician, and Neil Litchfield, the character impersonator, are the leading people in the company.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Saranac Lake ArtWorks Celebrates 10 Years of Studio Tours

Printmaking at Bluseed StudioSaranac Lake artists are opening their workspaces to the public for additional weekends this year in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Saranac Lake ArtWorks’ popular Studio Tours.

The tours are an opportunity to learn about each artist; see works in progress; and watch artists demonstrate their techniques in a wide variety of styles, subjects, and media including painting, pastel, ceramics, printmaking, woodcarving, fused glass, photography, fiber arts, and more.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wanted: Grassroots Independent Candidates for Local Office

Photo by John Warren.A regionally based organizing committee is seeking those interested in campaigning for local office this fall and open to the idea of running on a slate with other like-minded “grassroots independent” candidates using the same independent, non-established-political-party ballot line.

The project is an outgrowth of the massive women’s march that took place in Washington, DC, this past January and the concurrent march in Lewis, NY, that drew more than 400 participants.

So far, this electoral approach involves concerned citizens from Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rangers Find Boy Missing Overnight Near Schroon Lake

Forest Rangers found a 10-year-old Sunday morning in good health after he went missing overnight in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness.

Forest Ranger James Waters said he found the boy (who forest rangers wouldn’t identify because of his age) about a mile off the Short Swing Trail.

Waters had been on the way to meet up with another forest ranger near Gooseneck Pond when he took a break atop a boulder field. While taking a break, Waters yelled out, hoping the boy would hear him, which is standard during search-and-rescue missions. » Continue Reading.


Page 1 of 61812345...102030...Last »