Friday, October 7, 2016

Adirondack Loon Center Open House Sunday

loonBiodiversity Research Institute’s (BRI’s) Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has invited the public to attend an Open House from 4-6 pm on Sunday, October 9, at the new Adirondack Loon Center at 47 Main St. in Saranac Lake. The Open House will be an opportunity for people to meet the staff of the Loon Center, and ask their most compelling loon questions. Refreshments will be served.

The Center houses a gift shop focused on loon-related items, from comical rubber loons to beautiful artwork and jewelry by Adirondack artisans. It also provides office space for the Center’s growing staff, including Audrey Hyson, store manager; Mike Lynch, communications specialist; Tim Flannery, store assistant; intern Kevin Williams; as well as Nina Schoch, the Loon Center’s coordinator and Martha Van der Voort, its education/outreach coordinator. » Continue Reading.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Wild Center Debuts New Baby Animals This Weekend

otterThe Wild Center family is expanding this fall and visitors have the chance to meet the newest members over Columbus Day Weekend.  An otter, porcupine, black rat snake and rare, albino wood turtle are all calling The Wild Center their new home.

There will be animal encounters with the new residents throughout the weekend, a baby-themed golden otter quest and visitors have the chance to make their own baby animal to take home. Born to be Wild! is on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, October 8–10, from 10 am until 5 pm. The Wild Center is located at 45 Museum Drive in Tupper Lake. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Presentation On Old Growth Forests Friday

Dr. Joan MaloofDr. Joan Maloof, founder and executive director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, will lead a discussion about old-growth forests, what they are, where they’re located, and how they can be conserved.

Maloof will talk about the current status of the earth’s forests, particularly, the ancient forests in the Adirondacks and eastern United State. She will also share the Old-Growth Forest Network’s vision for protecting the remaining and future old-growth forests. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Ecological Impact Of The Current Drought

wood frogScenes from the West’s five-year drought are striking – the cracked mud at the bottom of a dry reservoir, forests in flames. Wonder what a drought would look like in the Northern Forest? Just look out the window.

This is the first time that any part of New Hampshire has been in an “extreme drought” since the federal government began publishing a drought index in 2000, said Mary Lemcke-Stampone, the state’s climatologist. “Using state records, you have to go back to the early ‘80s to get the extreme dryness we’ve been seeing in southeastern New Hampshire.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Adirondack Wildlife: Fall Peepers?

spring peeperWe like to think that everything in nature has its own particular time and place. But nature is fond of throwing us curves. As a naturalist, a common question I’m asked during foliage season is, “why are spring peepers calling in my woods at this time of year?”

Even ardent students of nature can be stumped by the plaintive, autumnal notes of peepers; sounds that we easily recognize in the spring can seem alien when they appear out of context. Jim Andrews, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Rubenstein School at the University of Vermont, and Vermont’s go-to expert on all things herpetological, described how autumn peepers have fooled birders. “They were trying to locate the birds that made these noises in the fall, of course, with no success.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Poisonous Caterpillars Of Northern New York

hickory tussock mothWhen I was a kid I was fascinated by caterpillars, but had trouble with the word. To me, the sweet little woolly-bear traversing my hand was a “calipitter.” It was only years later I learned that a calipitter is an instrument used to measure the diameter of a caterpillar to the nearest micron.

Caterpillars continue to interest me, although I no longer find them universally cute. Imagine the letdown and loss of innocence following the discovery that some of these fuzzy, fascinating, gentle creatures that tickled their way across my hand were venomous. This revelation was akin to finding out Bambi was a dangerous carnivore, which in fact is a fear that haunts me to this day. » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Great Adirondack Moose Festival This Weekend

mooseThe 7th Annual Great Adirondack Moose Festival will take place this weekend, September 24th and 25th, in Indian Lake. Moose-themed family fun activities will be the main attraction during the weekend.

Visitors to Indian Lake can enjoy programs, games, contests, exhibitions – all in the name of the elusive and majestic moose. The half-ton mammal has made a come-back in the Adirondacks, and one may even spot a moose during the Festival weekend. The Annual Great Adirondack Moose Festival (GAMF) is sponsored by the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce and a host of regional and local business sponsors. » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Whallonsburg Grange Lyceum Series Begins Tuesday

grange lyceum seriesThe Fall 2016 Lyceum lecture series at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall will focus on how people have shaped the landscape through work, recreation, conflict and experiences.

“Living on This Land” features six presentations that will look at different aspects of how humans – through our lives and actions – impact and change where we live. The lectures are on Tuesday nights at 7:30 and a $5 donation is requested (students free). » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Threatened Northern Sunfish Discovered In Clinton County

northern sunfish

In early September, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Rare Fish Unit Biologist Doug Carlson and technician Eric Maxwell identified nearly a dozen threatened northern sunfish in the Great Chazy River in the village of Champlain, Clinton County

Also known as the longear sunfish, the northern sunfish is a small, thin, deep-bodied fish that averages three to four inches in length. It is sometimes a colorful fish with an olive to rusty-brown back, bright orange belly, and blue-green bars on the side of the head. The northern sunfish has short, round pectoral fins and an upward-slanting gill cover flap that has a white and red flexible edge. It is often mistaken for a pumpkinseed sunfish. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

On Sighting My First Black-Crowned Night-Heron

I’ve canoed all over the Adirondacks without ever seeing a black-crowned night-heron. Last weekend, I finally got to see one. On the Bronx River.

We saw other birds as well, including great blue herons, mallards, gulls, and (I think) cormorants. This being the Bronx, we also saw a lot of trash: plastic bags, soda bottles, an electric fan, a sunken tire.

But the river is much cleaner and more loved than in the past, thanks to a nonprofit organization called the Bronx River Alliance.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tobacco Hornworms: Big, Green, and in the Garden

tobacco-hornwormThe big, meaty green caterpillars that many of us have been fighting to eradicate from our gardens this summer make plenty of people squirm. In part it’s because they are among the largest caterpillars in the region, sometimes reaching close to three inches in length, with reddish horns on their ends that look like stingers (but aren’t). They also have voracious appetites and a preference for consuming our tomato, potato, eggplant and pepper plants.

Despite their alien appearance, tobacco hornworms are native insects that contribute to local food chains and eventually transform into beautiful Carolina sphinx moths. These large-bodied moths have five-inch, coffee-colored wings that enable them to hover over flowers like hummingbirds. According to Sam Jaffe, founder of The Caterpillar Lab in Keene, New Hampshire, Carolina sphinx moths have the longest proboscis of any insect in New England, which allow them to probe the deepest flowers. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Underground Dirt On Tree Roots

tos tree rootsYou can pretty much count on a tree to stay in one place, at least in the real world. Not so in fiction. Remember the walking, talking Ents in the Lord of the Rings movies? Or Groot, the tree-like alien in the science fiction film Guardians of the Galaxy?

Roots anchor a tree, of course, allowing it to stand up to much of what nature can throw at it; they also provide life-giving nutrients. Tree roots are a marvel of evolution: part of a whole-tree plumbing system that makes the one in your house seem primitive. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 12, 2016

The Dry Weather And Adirondack Fall Foliage

DSCN4905It turns out that, in terms of fall foliage, the color of too dry is officially known as “blah.” This would undoubtedly be the least popular color selection if it was included in a jumbo pack of Crayolas. Basically, it is a jumble of faded hues with a mottled brown patina throughout. This year’s dry summer could mean that “blah” may feature prominently in Mother Nature’s fall hardwood forest palette.

Why would a prolonged lack of moisture affect autumn color? Let’s look at what makes leaves colorful in the first place. Among the things we learned — and probably forgot right away — in Junior High Biology is that leaves are green because of chlorophyll, the amazing molecule that converts light, water and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen. Its intense green tends to mask colors such as orange and yellow that are present in leaves in lower concentrations. When chlorophyll dies off in the fall, those “weaker” colors are revealed. » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Master Naturalist Training Set For Malone

Cornell Cooperative Extension LogoAre you interested in learning more about the habitats, plants, and animals of New York State? Are you a citizen, landowner, teacher, park naturalist, land trust employee, conservation planning board member or natural resource professional looking to increase your knowledge of the natural environment? Cornell Cooperative Extension will offer a Master Naturalist Training at 4-H Camp Overlook in Malone, NY from September 23-25, 2016. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Non-Biting Midges In The Adirondacks

male midge tosClouds of tiny insects, rising and falling hypnotically along lake shores, contribute to the ambiance of warm summer evenings. My recent bike ride was interrupted by a lungful of this ambiance.

If you find yourself in a similar predicament, you might wonder what these miniscule flies were doing before being swallowed, where they came from, whether they bite, and whether we need these interrupters of peaceful lakeside jaunts. We’ll get to these questions, but first, let me say that as an ecologist, I find these insects to be among the most fascinating and important freshwater invertebrates. » Continue Reading.


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