Monday, May 19, 2014

DEC Plans To Adopt Ski Trails Near Tupper

Bog River skierA few years ago I spent several hours skiing some informal trails in the Forest Preserve along the Bog River in Tupper Lake. I liked the trails so much that I wrote an article describing the experience.

I got some heat for the article, because after it was published the state Department of Environmental Conservation removed the trails’ home-made markers and signs. I also wrote an article for the Adirondack Almanack that can be read here.

But there may be a happy ending to the story: DEC is proposing to adopt and maintain the trails.

» Continue Reading.



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Nessmuk Visits Indian Point, Raquette Lake

Nessmuk photoWhenever and wherever the original Thacher cabin was built on Indian Point is my research holy grail.  Delving into the details of the few literary mentions of the cabin might yield clues.

The famous wilderness writer George Washington Sears, pen name Nessmuk, wrote of meeting my great great grandfather George Hornell Thacher at his cabin on Indian Point.

“There are enthusiastic anglers, however, whose specialty is trolling for lake trout. A gentleman by the name of Thatcher (sic), who has a fine residence on Raquette Lake – which he calls a camp – makes this his leading sport, and keeps a log of his fishing, putting nothing on record of less than ten pounds weight.”

This visit by Nessmuk was published in his 1884 book titled Woodcraft; however, it makes no mention of when the encounter actually occurred.  » Continue Reading.



Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Book: Journey with the Loon

Journey with the LoonThe Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) has announced the publication of Journey with the Loon. Authors David Evers and Kate Taylor detail the story of the Common Loon, told from the perspective of first-hand, in-depth study.

Images by nature photographers Ginger and Daniel Poleschook capture the loon’s cycle of life through the seasons. In his Foreword, award-winning author and field biologist Jeff Fair recounts tales of “the simple joy in understanding such a wild spirit.” Published by Willow Creek Press, the 144-page hardcover book includes a companion DVD. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, May 17, 2014

What Back Country Behavior Do We Hate The Most?

IMG_0013I’ll never forget the last few yards of my five-day fiftieth birthday mega-hike in late May of 2011. I had just come through the worst conditions I have ever experienced: six to seven feet of snow above Slant Rock on the way out and a nearly impossible slog up to the Four Corners on the loop back, with torrents of water rushing beneath unconsolidated snow, post-holing up to my armpits, my boots getting sucked and dragged down slope; and in between, three days of rain, drizzle, fog, frost and slush… in short, a brutal trek over a massive Adirondack dome of deteriorating snow pack the likes of which I’d never seen. And on top of the snow? Black files, hovering and swarming. Of course. » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 16, 2014

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights


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Friday, May 16, 2014

Ed Kanze: Birds Come, Birds Go, Birds Come Again

ed_kanze_eastern_phoebeMigratory songbirds rack up enormous numbers of frequent flier miles as they wing north and south and north again, all without tickets or boarding passes. The bobolink, for example, lives a life of perpetual summer, spending part of the year in sunny fields in our neck of the woods and the other part in the faraway reaches of Brazil and beyond.

Listen here as I ponder the whys and wherefores of fair weather birds in this weeks edition of All Things Natural with Ed Kanze. » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 16, 2014

Spring In The Adirondacks: Fiddlehead

FiddleheadSpring is an exciting time of year. The forest seems to abound with new life, radiating with new sights, sounds, and smells. I recently went for a walk to photograph the early spring wildflowers in bloom around Heart Lake and Mount Jo. Heavy winds made photographing the flowers difficult. The fiddleheads on the other hand were more stable and offered the opportunity to capture the brilliant detail found in the young leaves just starting to emerge from the coil of the fiddlehead. » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 16, 2014

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (May 15)

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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 15, 2014

Bushwhacking for Boreal Birds

Bog south of Crooked LakeSpending time in the backcountry provides many benefits, from the physical exertion of traveling through a harsh terrain to the spiritual rejuvenation that only the sounds and smells of nature can provide. One important benefit for me personally is the pleasure of being intimately immersed in the sounds of bird life, some unique to the Adirondack region.

Unfortunately, this enjoyment appears to be in jeopardy as some of the most precious Adirondack bird species are in a deadly struggle for life and death. Some of the most iconic species of the north woods appear to be losing.
» Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fishing For Adirondack Walleye

Walleye_paintingThe late spring that the Adirondacks has experienced this year delayed the “ice-out” time on our lakes and ponds by several weeks. This pushed back some of the events in the lives of the numerous aquatic animals that reside in these bodies of water. Among the largest creatures to occur in many of our sizeable lakes, noted for spawning shortly after the ice breaks up, is a meaty fish sought after by anglers for its flavorful taste.

The walleye is a cold-tolerant creature common to various lakes across the Park, and a fish that attracts those sportsmen that enjoy the challenge of fishing at a time when the water is only a few degrees above freezing, the wind can be bone chilling, and heavy overcast skies can completely obscure the scenery and create a mood of gloom and foreboding to the surroundings. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dan Berggren: ‘Bucket o’ Smudge’

Dan BerggrenWhen my parents would plant the garden they’d usually have a smudge burning. They’d stand near this fire of grass and green leaves and let the smoke infiltrate their clothes, hoping it would deter the black flies. And when I worked with DEC forest ranger Lawrence West, he had a novel approach to the smudge: making it in a metal fire bucket so we could carry it around as we worked in a particular area.

The tune “Bucket o’ Smudge” is in memory of Lawrence, my folks, and all who battle the bugs with smoke.

You can listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/berggrenfolk/bucket-o-smudge



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 are. This mini survey helped narrow down my options and helped me focus on my quest. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Climbing: A Rock-fall At Shipton’s Arete

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe other day my neighbor Tim Peartree and I went to Shipton’s Arete overlooking Chapel Pond for some early-season climbing. When we got there we found mud, stones, and a few broken trees at the base. It was the debris from a huge rock-fall that wiped out much of the wooded area above the cliff.

We moved a tree and several branches from the base before beginning to climb. I climbed a 120-foot route called Shipton’s Voyage with the intention of setting up a top rope. Upon reaching the top, I discovered that the rock-fall had damaged the cedar tree used as a belay and rappel anchor. The tree had three trunks, and one of them had been sheared off, leaving a jagged stump. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nelson Mandela Tribute Concert On Saturday

SK_website2Sharon Katz and The Peace Train, a four-piece band from South Africa, will perform at The Grange in Whallonsburg on Saturday, May 17 with their Afro-pop sound in a special tribute to the late South African leader Nelson Mandela who died in December.

Growing up under apartheid, Sharon Katz formed a multicultural, multilingual group in 1993. After Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and as the apartheid regime disintegrated, Katz set off by rail across the country with 150 performers, including the legendary group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  Called “The Peace Train,” they gave concerts at every stop, promoting an end to violence and a peaceful transition to democracy.  In 1994, she was commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission to write songs in many of South Africa’s languages to support the first free election in the new nation. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Birds: The Buzzy Song of Blackpolls

Blackpoll_warblerAs I have sailed past the half-century mark, I’ve begun to take note – usually with displeasure – of those activities that remind me that I’m getting older. Reading in dim lighting conditions is a near impossibility these days, and I avoid wearing socks as often as possible so I don’t have to acknowledge the difficulties of bending over to put them on.

Sadly, the aging process has also affected my ability to hear birdsong during spring migration. The blackpoll warbler has become especially challenging to hear. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

History of the Sagamore Hotel Talk Thursday

Sagamore Hotel drawingOn Thursday, May 15, at 7 pm, Lake George steamboat captain and local history author Bill Gates will present the program, “History of the Sagamore Hotel,” at Crandall Public Library, 251 Glen Street, Glens Falls.

Gates’ illustrated program, which will feature all three Sagamore hotels on that site, is presented by the Chapman Museum and the Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library in conjunction with their corresponding new exhibits At the Lake and Collecting Lake George: Maps, Prints, Postcards & Other Memorabilia. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lake George Community Garden Club’s Perennial Plant Sale

Shepard Park Sale Photo 5 14The Lake George Community Garden Club’s Annual Perennial Plant Sale will be held in Shepard Park, Lake George Village, this Saturday, May 17th, from 9 am to 2 pm.

The Perennial Plant Sale is one of the largest plant sale in the area, and the Garden Club’s major fundraiser for the year. The sale offers hundreds of high-quality perennial plants grown and dug from their member’s zone 4 and 5 gardens. Garden club members will be available to share planting instructions, tips for successful gardening, and other information. Special features of the sale include a Tag Sale of good quality, gently-used items and a collection of hand-made garden art objects and tempting creations by talented Garden Club Members. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Short History Of The Northville-Placid Trail

Northville Placid TrailThe Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the completion of the Northville-Placid Trail (N-P Trail) this year. The N-P Trail, originally called The Long Trail is a north-south foot path that traverses through the heart of the Adirondacks from Northville to Lake Placid. This 135-mile, long distance hiking trail has captured the hearts of many throughout the years.

The N-P Trail was the first major project that ADK sponsored after the organization’s formation in 1922. One of the objectives as a newly formed organization was “to open, develop, extend and maintain trails for walkers and mountain climbers in the Adirondack Mountains,” as stated in the certificate of incorporation. What better way to do that than to build a trail that runs the length of the Adirondacks? Why pick Northville to Lake Placid though? Why not Lake George to Keene Valley? » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Timothy Duffy Named DEC Law Enforcement Director

DEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the appointment of Timothy A. Duffy to the position of director of the Division of Law Enforcement.  As the new director, Duffy will oversee more than 330 sworn members of DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement.

The division focuses on enforcing the Environmental Conservation Law although they are empowered to enforce all laws of the state. Their mission encompasses two broad enforcement areas: fish and wildlife and environmental quality. » Continue Reading.



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