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.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Adirondack Public Observatory Celebrating The Solar Eclipse

There has been a lot of information in the news, blogs, and websites about the upcoming August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. Though it will not reach totality (completely block out the sun) in the Adirondacks, it is still an interesting phenomenon that will not occur again until 2024. The partial solar eclipse will be visible in our area. With any event that garners such attention, there are safety precautions that need to be followed.

Whether attending a formal viewing party or a solitary event, plenty of people plan to take a few moments of their day to watch the moon pass in front of the sun. One place that can answer all solar eclipse questions is the Adirondack Public Observatory (APO) in Tupper Lake. Using solar telescopes and providing special view glasses, the APO is providing an free afternoon celebrating the sun and moon. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Annual Crown Point French and Indian War Re-enactment August 12-13

My family has always enjoyed going to one of the numerous historical re-enactments offered around the Adirondacks. It gives us an opportunity to be a part of history and to learn about the past. It’s a chance to experience a moment in time that helped shape our country. The annual Crown Point French and Indian War Reenactment is part of a two-day festival held at the Crown Point State Historic site on August 12-13 bringing visitors into a temporary 18th century encampment overlooking beautiful Lake Champlain.

French, British, and Native American reenactors will be setup around the Crown Point State Historic Site ruins. There are two historic fortifications at the Crown Point location, Fort Frederic and Crown Point. Fort Frederic was built by the French around 1734 and used as the main base to raid neighboring British settlements throughout New England. As a result, the British military spent years trying to overtake the fort. In 1759, the British troops were finally successful and began the building of their own fort, “His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point.” Though there was never just one battle at Crown Point, the area was the center for almost 20 skirmishes. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Lake George Music Festival Back For Seventh Season

Once again the Lake George Music Festival is back with a prestigious lineup of over 80 musicians from around the world.  The festival provides a buffet of musical options from orchestra and chamber music concerts, workshops to  free open rehearsals, rooftop chamber dinners or evening steamboat cruises.

President and CEO Alexander Lombard helped create the Lake George Music Festival in 2011 and continues to bring world-class chamber music to the southern Adirondacks. From August 11-24, musicians are scheduled to perform in intimate settings such as the St. James Episcopal and Sacred Heart churches, Lake George Club, The Marriott Rooftop, and Lake George Steamboat Company. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 28, 2017

BluMouLA BuFuRa Paddle Race in Blue Mountain Lake

For the third year, the Blue Mountain Lake Association will be hosting racers of the BluMouLA BuFuRa along the beautiful shores of Blue Mountain, Eagle, and Utowama lakes. This community event pulls together paddlers of all levels and abilities for three races of various lengths. The 14-mile, 7-mile, and a 1.5-mile courses direct participants throughout the bays and channels of the three bodies of water.

According to Blue Mountain Lake Association Race Organizer Andy Coney, the race is open to any canoes, kayaks, guideboats, SUPS and shells. There has even been a war canoe in past events. Registration begins at the Blue Mountain Fire Station on July 30 between 8:30- 10 am with a mass 10:30 am start across the street, at the Blue Mountain Lake town beach. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Adirondack Elements Inspire Rebecca Kelly Ballet

For over 30 years The New York City based Rebecca Kelly Ballet has made the Adirondacks its summer home, blending contemporary and classical dance with social and environmental commentary. In an ongoing series of works inspired by the environment, Rebecca Kelly Ballet is bringing parts of the Adirondack Elemental suite to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts for one show only.

“I have many ballets with an environmental theme, “says Rebecca Kelly Ballet founder and choreographer Rebecca Kelly. “This specific suite of shorter ballets takes a specific element in nature that we love about the Adirondacks. SNOW will premiere on Thursday at The Lake Placid Center for the Arts.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Loon Center Open House Coincides with WCS Loon Census

With its black and white markings, haunting call, and bright red eyes, the Common Loon is one the most recognizable animals in the Adirondacks. As a top aquatic predator, the loon is also an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. This year marks the 17th annual Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Loon Census, which has helped track environmental toxins, disease, climate change, and habitat loss by monitoring these iconic birds.

Though Saturday’s Loon Census is organized by WCS, the organization relies on volunteer citizen scientists to help with field work. Individuals are encouraged to sign up to monitor a specific lake by canoe or by foot to count the loons and chicks on July 15 between 8-9 am. This event, as with other Citizen Scientist projects, puts important data in front of scientists while allowing participants to learn more about loons. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Invasive Species Awareness Week July 9-15

So far this summer has been rain with just enough sun to grow everything I’ve planted and sprout other seeds I never knew existed. Since I like the weeds and wildflowers (Joe-pye weed, milkweed, bunchberry, and wild wintergreen), I just leave the unidentified plants alone.  I save wildflowers from the center of our yard by transplanting them into flowerbeds or alongside our house, fences, and roadside.

Since not all non-native plants are invasive, it’s important to find out what plants are causing harm to the environment and make sure I’m not contributing to the problem. I don’t want to bring anything into the yard that is considered an Adirondack invasive, I’ve always taken advantage of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension team of master gardeners to answer questions, look at samples, and provide a bevy of useful information. I want my garden to be a safe haven for any pollinators. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Best Fourth in the North: Five Days of Fun in Ticonderoga

According to Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mathew Courtright, Ticonderoga’s annual Best Fourth of the North celebration was originally organized by the Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department.  After Courtright polled his own family, he learned the event has been happening for over 65 years, maybe longer.

“Debbie Barber is the chairperson of the event,” says Courtright. “It has always been run by a dedicated group of volunteers. They add various aspects to the event each year. This year we have seven bands and even added a fifth day.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pollinator Project Passing Out 30,000 Wildflower Seed Packets

Adirondack Pollinator ProojectADKAction has spent the past three years helping spread the word out about the importance of milkweed. With the distribution of over 20,000 free seed packets now Adirondack roadsides, gardens, and community parks are thriving with the Monarch butterflies only food source.

According to ADK Action Executive Director Brittany Christenson, the organization began the Milkweed project at the time when the plight of the Monarchs was also receiving a lot of national press. At the time, some people couldn’t even recognize Monarchs, let alone understand that milkweed was the only plant where Monarchs laid eggs.

“The timing of the project was perfect,” says Christenson. “After talking with people we feel that we were able to help get the word out. People are aware of the Monarch’s issue and know what they can do to help. Now we are focusing our attention on a broader range of pollinators.” » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Lake George Steamboat Company Celebrating Bicentennial

Although commercial steam-boating began well over 200 years ago, it was in 1817 that Lake George began to utilize the service as a means to connect its small shoreline settlements. Now 200 years later, The Lake George Steamboat Company is still operating pleasure cruises along the shores of Lake George.

After the Civil War the steamboat company became part of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. This merger allowed passengers traveling between New York City to Canada to take the railroad from Glens Falls to Lake George and then cross the lake to Ticonderoga for the continuation of their train journey.

Through the Great Depression the business slowly declined until World War II brought the commercial side of the business to a close. The business was downsized and changed hands before landing with Captain Wilbur Dow. After renovating and rebuilding the traditional steamboats, the Lake George Steamboat Company passenger service was reinvented and is still owned and operated by members of the Dow family. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Film Forum Brings Cultural Themes to Programs

The 16th Lake Placid Film Forum takes place this week, bringing a blend of international films, screenings, workshops, and master class programs to the Olympic village. According to the Adirondack Film Society’s Operations Manager Fred Balzac, the June 7-11, 2017 event will kick off with a thank you to Lake Placid.

“We are presenting a free screening of the film ‘Eddie the Eagle’ on Wednesday,” says Balzac. “Eddie trained in Lake Placid and we want to celebrate the town’s Olympic roots. We have Larry Stone, a ski jumping coach, as a special guest. This free screening is supported by the town and village of Lake Placid.”

Around the year 2000, The Lake Placid Film Forum went through a restructuring phase with the loss of corporate funding and the nature of the economy. The organizing committee revamped the event into a monthly film series. Due to popular demand, the Film Forum was added back into the schedule and has been growing ever since. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Great Adirondack Birding Celebration Opens at Paul Smith’s VIC

Bird watching along with National Trails Day is a perfect combination and the Paul Smith’s VIC Great Adirondack Birding Celebration (GABC) has a schedule to please everyone from the most passionate to the novice birder.

The 3-day festival of birds for bird watchers offers full day workshops from as far afield as Champlain Valley to the St. Lawrence Valley. Other events and activities are organized closer to the base camp at Paul Smith’s VIC. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Day ‘Carry the Load’ Project

The importance of Memorial Day can be lost in the shuffle of a long holiday weekend, traffic jams, and parades. Though we may all don our red crepe poppy to honor family and veterans lost in service to our country, a Texas-based organization realized that all our nation’s heroes needed to be honored and one way to help was to Carry The Load.

Carry the Load co-founders Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley war veterans, came home feeling that their friends who had fallen in the line of duty had been forgotten amidst the fireworks and BBQs. To honor those friends and many others that had fallen, Bruce loaded one pound of weight in a backpack to symbolize each friend that he had lost and he conducted a standard military march. The mission spread and now a coast-to-coast relay, marches, and rallies take place across the United States. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Citizen Science: Project BudBurst

Participating in various Citizen Science projects allows my family to learn about our local landscape while contributing data to long-term science research. We’ve helped with FrogWatch USA, part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, to help familiarize us with our local wetlands through the identification of frog and toad calls. We contribute to Monarch Watch, which is currently focusing on the Spring First-of-Year Sightings. This year we started tracking various plants around our area.

Started in 2007, Project BudBurst is a Citizen Science project relying on volunteers across the United States to monitor native plants at various times throughout the seasons. Participants observe and record data based on leafing, flowering, and fruiting of various plants. Those stages are called the plant phenophases, the observable stages in the plant’s annual life cycle. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Adirondack Winery Tastings For Mother’s Day

I’ve been giving Mother’s Day a lot of thought. It’s taken me years to finally treat “the day” a bit like Christmas, though I’m not sure my family has taken any of my hints. I dog-ear catalogs, make lists, and toss around hints. One activity I’ve always wanted to revisit is an Adirondack wine tasting.

Since my children aren’t old enough to join me and my mother doesn’t drink, my husband is just going to have to take one for the team. » Continue Reading.


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