Almanack Contributor Diane Chase

Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Learning To Keep Our Distance From Nesting Loons

2003-WFS Turtle Pd loon-7+t300There is a loon on Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake that seems almost tame. Sometimes when my family and I are out canoeing it seems to follow us. It is that very familiarity and comfortableness with nature that causes a conflict between humans and nesting loons.

Though Dr. Nina Schoch, Wildlife Veterinarian with the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) assures me that particular loon isn’t nesting if it’s in the center of the lake and not issue warning signs. According to Schoch there are specific ways for humans to tell if they are distressing loons.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

‘Here One Day’ Movie Screening at LPCA and The Grange

Though most of us don’t talk about experiences regarding suicide, Producer and Film Director Kathy Leichter is bringing her film, Here One Day to Lake Placid and Whallonsburg. She hopes that her own family’s personal tragedy about her bipolar mother’s suicide will help end the stigma of mental illness and suicide.

The film Here One Day is told through the intimate, emotional audiotapes left by a bipolar Nina Leichter (the filmmaker’s mother) after her suicide. This raw film unearths the effects of mental illness, family relationships and the indelible mark that suicide leaves on those left behind.

According to Director/Producer Kathy Leichter the Here One Day screenings are combined with community education nights to » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Adirondack Independence Day Fireworks

fireworks_newThere is certainly a lot to do in the Adirondacks around Independence Day and a lot of choices to make on how you will spend your time. One activity that is a constant when celebrating July 4th is the evening fireworks display.

My family likes to keep things simple. We browse Farmers’ Markets and enjoy the fireworks from the lake.  Many towns around the Adirondacks have full day celebrations with face painting, live music and even barbeques. Some towns have live music preceding the firework display while others have parades to celebrate our heroes of war.


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Free Fishing Weekend Around New York State

fishing_inlet_newNew York State Free Fishing Days will take place this weekend, June 28-29 allowing anyone to fish in NYS waters without a license. This annual event started in 1991 to encourage people to try fishing. Since my husband already has his fishing license and my children aren’t required to have one, we use the annual Free Fishing Days as an opportunity to introduce visitors or our non-fishing friends to the sport.

Annually the Department of Environmental Education holds a series of free fishing clinics that not only allow all ages to experience fishing, but also participate in workshops that assist with fish identification, equipment, techniques, angling ethics and aquatic ecology.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stand-Up Paddling Festival in Saranac Lake This Weekend

Modern stand-up paddling (SUP) has become one of the fastest growing water sports. This weekend Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters is giving everyone an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about June 20-21 at the Lake Colby beach in Saranac Lake.

The history of SUP is long and convoluted with references found thousands of years ago of ancient cultures using boards and sticks to propel themselves through the water to fish or travel. The modern stand-up version is most often attributed to surfing because of the similar board shape. Around the Adirondacks, SUP is becoming a popular alternative to canoeing and kayaking.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Celebrating Father’s Day In The Adirondacks

d8318bd2-ce67-275d-7a457cecb603a4e6Celebrating Father’s Day is easy in the Adirondacks.  My children  plan on honoring their father with a day highlighting his  favorite things. With numerous mountains to climb and streams to fish, the ability to have fun is around every corner.

It’s nice that my children don’t have to opt for the stereotypical new tie or coffee mug to show their appreciate to the man who gave them life. That doesn’t mean my husband won’t get another hand-painted mug and a few crazy ties. Whatever my husband is gifted I know he will appreciate , but he would rather be outside and active.

Here are a couple of events happening this weekend that are all about spending quality » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Celebrate The Northville-Placid Trail On National Trails Day

On the first Saturday of June the American Hiking Society celebrates National Trails Day. Now commemorating its 22nd year, National Trails Day continues to bring attention to the extensive network of outdoor trails across the Unites States as well as the wide array of activities those trails provide.

This year the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) has designated the historic Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) trail as its main volunteer project this Saturday, June 7. Paired with the Northville Merchants Association and Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber, ADK will have over 100 volunteers installing rock steps, retaining walls and rerouting the Northville section to a new archway at Northville’s Waterfront Park.

According to » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Trade In Adirondack Invasives for Native Plants

My backyard has a mixture of wildflowers and cultivated plants with an eye toward native perennials. I gently move the spring foamflowers, bunchberries and bluets that always manage to pop up in the middle of my kids’ baseball field. I protect the trillium from the puppy and neighborhood kids while making sure nothing invasive has traveled perhaps by squirrel, bird or child. Yes, my child.

I’ve had to educate my daughter that picking roadside plants, (which sometimes includes the roots, which is not a good way of keeping our garden and property safe from Adirondack invasives). Since she is also a fan of gardening, I’ve limited her transplanting to items already located to » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Opening Weekend for the Adirondack Museum

The Adirondack Museum will be opening for its 57th season this Friday, May 23, at its home in Blue Mountain Lake. After a calm winter of Cabin Fever Lectures and special programs, the museum is bringing back favorite exhibits and hosting specials exhibitions for the 2014 season.

Though all the new exhibits sound exciting, one in particular that I’m looking forward to celebrates Arto Monaco’s whimsical art and the Land of Makebelieve. A few years ago my family and I had been able to visit and help the Arto Monaco Historical Society on a few of its work weekends in Upper Jay. The organization was doing its best to resurrect parts of » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Adirondack Paddlefest and Kayak Demos

With springtime finally here in the Adirondacks, it is time to think about water sports. My family is in the market for a few kayaks, but our pocketbook doesn’t always match our expectations. I do what research I can, test friends’ kayaks and ask question upon question.

This past weekend I was fortunate to be able to go to Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters Kayak and Canoe Free Demo Days at the Lake Flower boat launch in Saranac Lake. Though most of the kayaks were out of our budget, it was with welcome relief when a representative started by asking very specific questions regarding my family’s supposed usage and what my expectations » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Third Annual Newcomb Loon Race

DSC_0105One of the first programs my family attended at the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) was a Leopold Bench workshop. The day was devoted to learning  about Aldo Leopold, listening to a reading from A Sand County Almanac and walking the AIC trails. It was a full day of activity that my children still speak about fondly.

Though the agenda for the 3rd annual Loons and Logs Day on May 24th doesn’t include making a Leopold Bench, there is a full schedule of events that includes an  Adirondack chair workshop.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Adirondack Adventure Festival in North Creek

 Adirondack Adventure Festival 2011 562There are so many times that I wish I could be in two places at the same time. Though my family is committed and looking forward to hiking The Grand Hike from Westport to Essex on May 3rd, the Adirondack Adventure Festival in North Creek is taking place around the same time.

 

According to Director of Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce Lisa Salamon this year’s Adirondack Adventure Festival will be hosting even more family-friendly activities on May 3-4, 2014. The event is bringing back its popular children’s trout fishing tournament along with more games, face painting and Adirondack crafts.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Champlain Area Trails’ Grand Hike May 3

steven_hike_map_lowThough both my children are enthusiastic hikers, not much can easily pry my teenager out of bed for an early start. Nothing that is, except the promise of a second breakfast that doesn’t require him to cook or clean up. He compares the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) 14-mile Westport Inn to Essex Inn hike to a sandwich. I’m guessing that the bread is breakfast at the beginning of the walk and the block party dinner at the end, while the meat in the middle is hiking with our puppy.

According to CATS Board Chairperson Katharine Preston leashed dogs are always welcome on CAT trails. The May 3rd Inn to Inn event will be » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Springtime Adirondack Nature Programs for Children

NewcombVICspring_newApril is a tricky time of year to be accessing Adirondack paths and trails, though not impossible.  Some places still have snow enough for skiing while other trails are already knee-deep in mud. Staying off trails during mud season is always the best option as it allows trails to rejuvenate, alleviates trail erosion and protects native plant life.

There are options available so families can choose to still get out in nature without damaging trails or harming themselves. Spring is the perfect time to try the low trails and have a different experience looking for spring wildflowers or migrating birds.  I understand “wanting to get” that elusive 46er, but please make sure that springtime trail » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dewey Mountain’s New Lodge Funraising Campaign

photo-3My daughter recently turned eleven and in lieu of gifts, once again asked her friends to give money to the organization of her choice. We have always encouraged our children to choose ways to give back to our community whether it’s volunteering or raising funds. This year the non-profit of her choice was the Dewey Mountain Lodge campaign.

Oddly enough my daughter isn’t our child that skis as part of the Dewey program. We tried her in the Nordic program, but she just enjoyed skiing the trails at her own pace. (I think it is more likely that the racing and games cut into her time on the nearby playground.) I do know » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Double H Ranch’s Annual Eggstravaganza

DoubleHRanchEggsThis Sunday Lake Luzerne’s Double H Ranch will be attempting to gesture in spring with its 7th annual Eggstravaganza on April 6.

A day at the Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Waterpark may not seem like true spring, but with 5 ft. of snow still covering my yard and the promise of a springtime theme, this may be the closest I get to swimming for awhile, without developing hypothermia.



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Raising Local Food: Ward Lumber’s Poultry Day

2014 poultry dayI’ve considered raising chickens for many reasons, and not just because of the recent popularity of the backyard chicken movement. Raising my own chickens would be more than the bucolic setting where my children skip (they must skip) out the backdoor to the chicken coop to collect eggs. (If the scene is to be complete, my daughter is most likely wearing gingham and some sort of bonnet.)

The reality is less picturesque. The fewer miles my food needs to travel, the better off my family is.  With constant food recalls and salmonella poisoning as just a few reasons to be wary, finding a local source for eggs, dairy and meat is one step, in » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Diane Chase: On The Prowl For Owls

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 2.19.54 PMMy children seem to attract wildlife like iron to a magnet. It is not because they are good trackers or particularly quiet, as neither attribute is consistently true. It seems that they are observant and often at the right place at the right time.

Quite consistently when they accompany me on a hike we seem to view more wildlife, though eagles and snowy owls have evaded me to date. Opportunities to come across such majestic creatures come down to timing, organization and just luck.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Puppet People to Perform The Firebird in Long Lake

 woods2There is something so hypnotic about watching a puppet show. The simplicity and artistry combined, as an avenue for storytelling, is timeless. The variety of puppets seem to be endless from shadow or hand to a more complex marionette. I enjoy how the stage designs spark the imagination where a scrap of fabric becomes a dress, body of water or backdrop. It is all about where your mind can take you. Around our house a simple sock with some buttons sewn on provided hours of entertainment when my children were young. Now, of course, more complex puppets are in the works.

For the second time Long Lake Public Library is bringing the talents of » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Reason2Smile World Music Fest in Lake Placid

R2S-28For the second year the not-for-profit organization Reason2Smileis hosting an all day music festival with workshops and children’s camp on March 8 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.  The festival focus is to introduce the Lake Placid and surrounding areas to an eclectic group of artisans sharing their love of music, art and movement.

According to Reason2Smile Founder and Executive Director Keela Grimmette the event has grown since its first year, with groups coming to hold classes and perform from as far afield as Plattsburgh and Watertown. She would like workshop participants to walk away from the Reason2Smile World Festival with an understanding of all the diverse groups » Continue Reading.



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