Saturday, May 31, 2014

Goodbye Wildflowers – Hello, Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard flowersEver since humans invented agriculture and started moving from continent to continent, they have taken plants with them. In most cases imported, non-native plants do not spread much beyond the bounds of horticulture. But the exceptions are increasingly worrisome to biologists. Removed from the pests and diseases that kept them in check in their natural habitats, some plants multiply explosively. They can smother native ecosystems in a matter of a few years.

Some of these invasive plants, such as bush honeysuckle, Japanese knotweed, phragmites reed, and purple loosestrife, are all too familiar in our region. As if that’s not enough, we must now add a new menace to the list. The latest member of this rogues’ gallery is garlic mustard, a pungent herb in the cabbage family. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Visit To Liquids and Solids in Lake Placid

Liquids and Solids ExteriorStick with this review, kids: Liquids and Solids is something else.

A couple of weeks ago I took a whirlwind weekend trip with my in-laws from Wisconsin to the Adirondacks to look at a house we’re considering. We rose at 3:30 AM on a Friday and drove straight to Lake Placid, arriving late.  We were tired in that road-weary way that invites impatience along with fatigue.

We desired a good late dinner without any more driving, so I suggested the always-reliable Lisa G’s right down the block.  Unfortunately it was closed for cleaning. But I remembered that on a recent visit to Lisa G’s the waitperson had recommended Liquids and Solids across the street. “Their stuff’s really good,” she had said. So we made our way to the other side of Station Street in hopes of being rewarded with decent food. » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 30, 2014

Kiwassa Lake During the Blue Hours

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You may have heard of the “Golden Hours” in terms of landscape photography. This is the period of time just after sunrise and just before sunset. You will find warmer colors and greater contrast across a landscape scene during this time. There is also the “Blue Hours,” which occur just before sunrise and just after sunset. During this time the colors get cooler across the landscape, shadows decrease, and there is less contrast. The Blue Hours are in some respects more difficult to shoot but can give a lot of mood to a scene.



Friday, May 30, 2014

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights


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Friday, May 30, 2014

History Exhibit Highlights The Lake George Mirror

1898 Lake George Mirror coverAmong the new exhibits at the Lake George Historical Association Museum this summer is “The Lake George Mirror: The History of a Newspaper, the Story of a Community.”   Established in 1880 , the Lake George Mirror became a medium to promote Lake George as a summer resort in the 1890s. Published to this day, the Mirror is America’s oldest resort newspaper.

The exhibit includes reproductions of covers from 1880 to the present, artifacts such as the burgee from the small steamboat in which the editor gathered news in the 1890s, books and brochures promoting Lake George and its businesses which were printed by the publishers in the 1940s and 50s and the stories of those who have owned and edited the newspaper. Tony Hall, editor of the Lake George Mirror will give a talk at the Museum on Wed July 9, at 7pm, when the Association will host a reception for this exhibit. » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 30, 2014

Laurie Davis: Connecting Local Farms And Schools

School to Farm InitativeMany North Country schools are exploring the various scenarios of incorporating locally grown food into their menus.

Can you remember what your favorite school cafeteria meal was? Maybe you didn’t have a favorite meal. Maybe you dreaded finding out what was going to turn up on the steam table each day. It’s a common story, complaining about institution food, and the barbs are often undeservedly thrown at the cafeteria staff.

Fact is it is only in recent history that schools have started to realize the importance of not only good nutrition for kids, but food that is fresh, local, tasty, and visually appealing. Seems like a no-brainer, right? That sort of food is what we all want and deserve to eat. Our farmers are looking for local sales outlets, too. So why isn’t this just happening everywhere? The challenges are numerous, but not completely prohibitive. » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 30, 2014

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Phil Brown Paddles The Hudson River Gorge In A Ducky

phil_raft-600x388From time to time I’ve played with the idea of putting together a list of quintessential Adirondack adventures. It would include, for example, climbing the Trap Dike on Mount Colden, skiing Mount Marcy on a bluebird day, and scaling the eight-hundred-foot cliff on Wallface.

Last summer, I ticked off another adventure on my bucket list: rafting the Hudson Gorge.

My friend Mike got me into this one. He arranged a trip with North Creek Rafting Company with the intention of writing an article for the Associated Press. I readily agreed to shoot some photos and video.

Our Hudson Gorge outing differed from most in one important respect: instead of riding in rafts, we piloted inflatable kayaks, known as duckies. These vessels are open, like canoes, but as in a kayak, you maneuver with a double-bladed paddle and sit with your legs stretched out.

“It’ll be like going down the river in a lawn chair,” remarked Nate Pelton, the thirty-eight-year-old owner of North Creek Rafting.

Sure … if the lawn happens to be experiencing a 6.0 earthquake. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (May 29)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

Get The Weekly Outdoor Conditions Podcast

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. A narrative version of this report can be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Report Analyzes Adirondack Aquatic Invasives Science

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA new report—Boat Inspection and Decontamination for Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention: Recommendations for the Adirondack Region—is now available to help guide decisions on where to prioritize actions to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic invasive species (AIS).

This first-time analysis for the Adirondack region summarizes the best available science, analyzes current AIS distribution and boater use patterns and recommends initial locations to consider integrating boat inspection and decontamination to prevent landscape level spread of AIS. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

This Summer At The Wild Center in Tupper Lake

Adirondack Wild CenterThe Wild Center, a world-class natural history museum encompassing a 31-acre campus in Tupper Lake has a wide variety of programs, trips and activities planned for this  summer.

To register or for more information on any of these events, visit www.wildcenter.org/calendar or contact Sally Gross at 518-359-7800 ext.116 or sgross@wildcenter.org. If the event is full, they will add you to a waiting list. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Connecting A Rail Trail With The Northville-Placid Trail

Rail Trail With Northville Placid Trail Connection MapA reader of my recent blog post “A Proposal For Rail AND Trail” asked the question, “Is it feasible to connect the Northville-Lake Placid Trail to a trail alongside the railroad tracks?”

I took a look at the map and sure enough it would be quite easy to extend the Northville-Lake Placid Trail 1.25 miles across the Averyville Road through the Saranac Lake Wild Forest and have it join the rail corridor. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dan Crane On Backcountry Litter

Milky Way wrapper near Middle Branch Oswegatchie RiverThis scenario is familiar to any backcountry enthusiast, regardless of whether they prefer the well-worn trails of a popular area or the trailless expanses that see more moose and black bear than they do people. Surrounded by forest, a multitude of birds singing in the canopy, a frog’s occasional throaty call emerging from a nearby wetland, it is as if there is not another living soul within miles around, and there may not be. Just as this feeling of remoteness engulfs the mind completely, the unnatural color of something on the ground assaults your senses, dispelling any fanciful notion of being in the only person in an unbroken wilderness.

Whether it is a candy bar wrapper, an old glass bottle, or a Mylar balloon, it does not matter. It does not belong here. It is not natural. It is litter. And it just shattered a finely-honed illusion of wilderness.

What is litter anyway? Why does it anger many backcountry enthusiasts so?
» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Adirondack Farm To School Festival Friday

Saranac Lake students snack on kale while on a field trip to Fledging Crow FarmThe Adirondack Farm to School Initiative has announced its second Farm to School Festival, to be held at the Lake Placid High School and Olympic Oval on Friday, May 30, 2014 from 4-7 pm.  From 4 pm – 6 pm the event will feature area farmers, organizations, dinner with fresh local ingredients, live music from Big Slyde, student environmental groups from the Tri-Lakes, educational booths and activities.  The event concludes with a special presentation by Mark and Kristin Kimball from Essex Farm from 6-7 pm in the Lake Placid High School Auditorium.

The Adirondack Farm to School Initiative is working with schools and communities to rebuild a healthy food system in the Adirondacks and create connections between classrooms, cafeterias, communities, and local farms. » 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 our property. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New State Lands: Paddling the Upper Hudson River

Marty Plante on Ord Falls, Hudson RiverMount Marcy to the left;  NY City to the right.

As I entered the upper Hudson from the outlet of Lake Harris, the sign was more utilitarian than it appeared at first glance.  The coffee colored water was completely still, with no discernible current, and boaters exiting the lake could easily become confused about which way to go.

I had wanted to paddle this section of the Hudson ever since I read in the Adirondack Explorer last year that the adjacent land had been acquired by the State.  Starting at Lake Harris in Newcomb, two trips are now possible.  The shorter one ends near the Hudson’s confluence with the Goodnow River, the other near the confluence with the Indian.  My attempt to round up a group of paddling buddies last autumn was thwarted by low water levels.  This year’s snowmelt and April showers raised the level, but the access roads to the two take-outs had been closed by the DEC due to muddy conditions.  A fortuitous combination of events finally gave me the opportunity I sought:  the access road for the shorter trip was opened, the water level was just right, there was a one-day break in the rain, and my darling wife consented to spending four hours in the car shuttling my boat and me on her day off from work. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: A Campfire Between Storms

Campfire between stormsThe sky was full of drama Saturday night. The Pharaoh Lake Wilderness is a good choice for anything from a one night trip to a full week in the woods. Pharaoh Lake itself has several camping spots and lean-to’s. This is looking towards the eastern part of the lake.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Family Life Of Adirondack Black Bears

Black Bear NYS Museum Camera TrapPriorities! Just like humans, some forms of wildlife are faced with the dilemma of not having enough time during the day to deal with all the issues that confront them. Over the course of the next several weeks, many black bears in the Adirondacks temporarily elect to put their nagging appetite on hold and channel the vast majority of their time and energy into finding a mate and winning the affection of a potential breeding partner.

In winter, the black bear experiences a profound state of dormancy in which many individuals lose from 15% to 20%, or more, of their autumn body weight. Once they emerge from their den in spring, the intake of food becomes a primary priority. As fiddleheads push upward from the forest floor, invertebrate activity begins to surge and populations of amphibians are moving to and from seasonal pools of water, this massive mammal attempts to regain a portion of its lost weight. However, despite the abundance of tender greenery, bugs and small ground critters, many black bears put their desire to eat on pause following the Memorial Day weekend, as a developing drive to mate overtakes this animal’s urge to eat. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Some History Of The Old Forge Dam

264d_OF_DamThe historical publications Old Forge: Gateway to the Adirondacks and The Story of a Wilderness inform us that George Deis & Son operated a large lumber mill near the Old Forge dam until 1900 when they relocated to Thendara.

Adirondack Lakes by Thomas Gates shows a picture of the Ben and Ira Parsons’ boat shop at its second location on the knoll now occupied by Water’s Edge Motel.  Their dad Riley, along with John Sprague and Theodore Seeber, built Fulton Chain steamers and guideboats at a location next to the Deis sawmill during the 1890s, then they relocated in 1902.  In 1901, the Fulton Navigation Company sued to prevent competitors’ steamers from soliciting customers and landing at their dock and train depot area in front of the Forge House.

This series of events seemed unrelated until I found articles dating from midsummer 1900 when V. K. Kellogg, the attorney for the state’s Forest, Fish & Game Commission, and Herkimer County Sheriff Daniel Strobel served notice on the owners of businesses occupying state lands adjacent to the Old Forge dam.  » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lawrence Gooley: A New Service for Local Authors

Books Image JWThe company that my wife (Jill Jones) and I operate, Bloated Toe Enterprises, recently launched an extensive, time-consuming effort towards improving the lot of authors across the region. Note that there was no mention of “we.” Jill saw the need, had the know-how, planned the design, and wrote the programming code for our new venture, the North Country Authors website. There is no cost to anyone. Authors who supply basic information will be featured there, including photographs, biographies, books, news, and book-related events. The site will be kept up-to-date at all times.

The group North Country Authors was actually formed several years ago. Although we had a vision of where it should go, time was lacking. But after attending regional book events during the past decade, Jill recognized the need for organization. With that in mind, she went to work. The current configuration of NCA is easy to navigate and provides loads of information. » Continue Reading.


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