Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Unique Adirondack Heilman Photography Program at Chapman July 25th

the adirondacks season by seasonOn Tuesday, July 25, at 7 pm, the Chapman Museum will host a program and book signing with photographer Carl Heilman II, who will discuss his book The Adirondacks: Season by Season.

In 2015, for an Adirondack Life project, Carl Heilman photographed a single dramatic Adirondack scene throughout the entire year. Beginning with a pre-dawn hike on a brisk mid-January morning, and ending with a unique clouds motion sequence on Dec 30, he hiked the mile and a half, and 1,500 feet of elevation up the Giant Mountain Ridge trail 35 times to photograph the changes in each of the 12 months. Carl also shot video and time lapse sequences to convey the feeling of being there at this single location over a year’s time.  » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Climbing Moss Cliff In The Wilmington Notch

Don Mellor climb Nestlings, a variation of Touch of Class, on Moss Cliff Why would a climber want to visit something called Moss Cliff? Though the name conjures up some dank, low-angled slab wrapped in a living green carpet, the reality is quite different. This best of Adirondack cliffs is not so mossy. In fact, it’s among the cleanest, driest, most appealing rock walls in the Northeast — in my opinion, the most Adirondack of all Adirondack crags.

The name probably comes from a misreading of the 1953 USGS topographical map that put the unflattering label on a dirty slab about a mile to the west of the clean and elegantly sculpted wall that we now call Moss Cliff.

Moss Cliff isn’t hard to find. You’ve all seen it looming high above the Ausable River on the Sunrise Mountain shoulder of Whiteface. Zooming by at 55 mph, however, doesn’t give you the chance to pick out the climbers, the colorful little dots who have been playing out the evolution of climbing, out of sight, but in plain view if you ever stop to look. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wildlife Friendly Farming is Topic for CATS Summer Intern

coyote photographed by local trail camA research project examining wildlife friendly farming in the Champlain Valley is currently underway by Alex Caskey, graduate student at Tufts University. Caskey is a summer intern in a project sponsored by Champlain Area Trails (CATS), the Eddy Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Caskey is currently conducting interviews with local farmers about their interactions, positive and negative, with local wildlife. The results of his inquiry will create a baseline of current practices in wildlife friendly farming for future investigation and recommendations for wildlife friendly practices in agriculture. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kate Fish Joins NYSERDA Board Of Directors

Kate FishThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced that Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) Executive Director Kate Fish has joined its Board of Directors. Fish will serve six years on the NYSERDA board. Her new role coincides with the appointment of Alicia Barton as NYSERDA’s president and chief executive officer.

Kate Fish has served as Executive Director of ANCA since 2010. “Early in her tenure with the regional economic development nonprofit, she identified renewable energy as a critical path to more resilient local economies and focused ANCA’s strategies on creating stronger local economies, including a clean energy economy,” a statement to the press said. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pollinator Science Lectures Planned For Wild Center, View

pollinators programAdkAction will host Dr. Christina Grozinger, associate professor of entomology at Penn State University and the director of the Penn State Center for Pollinator Research at The Wild Center and View Arts on Wednesday and Thursday, July 19th and 20th for a lecture titled, “The Global Pollinator Crisis.”

Receptions will be held at 6 pm, and the lectures will begin at 7 pm. The Wild Center lecture requires an RSVP, both lectures are free and open to the public.

Grozinger will explain the importance of pollinators such as bees to agricultural production. She will also discuss the various reasons for the global declines in pollinator populations that have been documented in recent years, including pesticides, parasites, viruses, reduced genetic diversity, poor management practices of managed pollinator populations, and habitat destruction. She will highlight ongoing research at Penn State University, where scientists are seeking to better understand the impacts of these factors on pollinator health, and to find solutions that could be implemented locally, nationally, and globally. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Efforts Underway To Address Crowds In The High Peaks

hikers on Big Slide Mt on a prime autumn dayhikers on Big Slide Mt on a prime autumn day The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) owns land with trailheads for some of the most popular mountains in the High Peaks Wilderness, but you wouldn’t know that from their recent promotions on social media and traditional print publications. That’s because the club does not want to exacerbate overcrowding in the High Peaks.

Instead of encouraging people to climb Mount Marcy and Algonquin Peak, ADK is teaching people backcountry ethics, including Leave No Trace principles. “People are coming no matter what, so we don’t need to promote it, and what we need to promote is how to recreate responsibly,” said Julia Goren, ADK’s education director and summit-steward coordinator.

The education campaign is just one of several ways that ADK, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and other organizations are addressing the overcrowding issue. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 17, 2017

The Dirt On Adirondack Moles

star nosed moleMy dog watched intently as an area of soil in our backyard vibrated and formed a slight ridge. Suddenly he began digging, revealing a mole below ground. Before Cody could pounce, I grabbed his collar and pulled him away. This was not the first time I’d rescued a mole. When I lived on a country estate years ago, my landlord disliked the mounds and ridges on his lawn and set traps — the kind that spear moles. I would sneak outside at night and spring the traps. Moles are fascinating creatures specialized for underground living. Though they resemble rodents, they are insectivores, and are more closely related to shrews. Shaped like an Idaho potato, moles have a reduced pelvis and hind legs, enabling them to turn easily in narrow tunnels. Powerful shoulders and front legs and shovel-like feet with heavy claws and a sixth digit aid in digging. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Photo Contest: Show Us Views From Moderate Mountaintops

The Adirondack Explorer‘s next “Views of the Park” photo contest is focusing on everyone’s favorite type of photo: from the summit of a mountaintop.

And in light of the ongoing problem of overcrowding in the high peaks region, we’re asking you to post photos from the mountains you’ve hiked that are “Under 4,000” feet, or outside the forty-six high peaks.

Post your photos to Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #adkexplorerpix. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 17, 2017

A Very Pleasant Evening At Lake Pleasant Public Library

The folks at Lake Pleasant, New York, certainly lived up to the town’s name on our recent visit. The occasion was an event this past Thursday evening, July 13, at the Lake Pleasant Public Library, where I was invited to present the program, “Tracking Robert Garrow, the Adirondack Serial Killer,” as part of the Library Reading Series. The library hosted us in partnership with the Adirondack Center for Writing, as part of a series sponsored by the Lake Placid Education Foundation, which provided funding that can be very important to presenters, particularly when travel and other expenses are involved. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

DEC Commissioner Eyes Major Changes to Forest Preserve

Hamlet to Hut demonstration project in Long LakeEarlier this year I wrote two articles in the Adirondack Almanack (here and here) about how state agencies had switched their focus from a classification of the Boreas Ponds with various Wilderness-Wild Forest options to a new option that included some form of public lodging facilities. My purpose in writing these pieces was to convey the fears of many at the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and state government who were alarmed at these ideas cooked up by Governor Andrew Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. These articles in the Almanack triggered a round of press scrutiny and helped to inform the public about how state leaders had changed their focus on the Boreas classification (see some here, here, and here). These press reports also authenticated what I had written.

Last week, we saw an op-ed published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise by Commissioner Seggos making the case for building some kind of rental cabins, lodges, huts, or glamping-style tent platforms in the Forest Preserve. The op-ed talked about the possibility of “full service” and “self service” buildings. It was premised on the idea that the Forest Preserve needs to add a new and different type recreational amenity to facilitate broader public use. The Commissioner promoted the ideas of the hut-to-hut initiative from the Hamlets to Huts organization and listed the ways in which some kind of cabin on the Forest Preserve could provide different opportunities for public use. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Adirondack Experience To Honor Jefferson Project

jefferson project at lake georgeThe board of trustees of the Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake will honor The Jefferson Project at Lake George with the 2017 Harold K. Hochschild Award at its annual benefit gala on Saturday, July 29 from 6 to 9 pm.

The Jefferson Project – a collaboration between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research and The FUND for Lake George – plans to use technology and science to help protect Lake George.

The Jefferson Project recently collaborated with Adirondack Experience to install an interactive video tower highlighting the project in the museum’s newest exhibit, which officially opened July 1st. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Biting Midges: Part of Life in the Adirondacks

A screened-in porch is an ideal place to relax on a summer evening in the Adirondacks. The tight, wire mesh that covers the walls allows the enjoyment of nature’s unique fragrances and wildlife sounds without the harassment of mosquitoes and other flying nocturnal pests. However, during the early parts of summer, there is one bug that can detract from the backwoods ambiance of that peaceful Adirondack evening. Biting midges are small enough to pass through traditional screens, allowing them access to any individual wanting to enjoy the evening.

The biting midges form a large group of exceedingly small true flies that are roughly the size of a sand grain, and are known to many as punkies or no-see-ums. The latter common name comes from this bug’s ability to remain unseen in low light conditions, such as on a porch after sunset, even when one of these pests has started to chew into your skin. Despite their dark color, no-see-ums are still a challenge to see clearly, even when standing against a patch of light colored skin. On a person with a dark complexion, punkies can be impossible to spot, regardless of how good the light may happen to be. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Pete Nelson: Adirondack Experience Gets Diversity Right

adirondack experienceOn July 1st I attended the grand opening of the Adirondack Experience’s new multi-million-dollar exhibit Life in the Adirondacks.  Situated overlooking Blue Mountain Lake, The Adirondack Experience (formerly the Adirondack Museum) is a regional icon with an unparalleled collection of Adirondack historical artifacts.  Their new exhibit, intended to interactively place visitors in the context of the Adirondack Park in all its human dimensions, is located in the former Roads and Rails building.

Life in the Adirondacks is a dramatic change in approach and style for a museum renowned for its depiction of history through objects of every description from the last two centuries of human activity in the region.  I spoke with one of the staff who manages collections and she told me the count of items on display in this exhibit space was down from 3,000 to roughly 500.  Those who know the former exhibit will see a much cleaner, streamlined, modern presentation with a number of new “hands-on” interactive displays.  Life in the Adirondacks is bracketed by two video presentations.  The first is a visually striking short film in a small theater that introduces visitors to the spectrum of human passions concerning the Adirondack Park.  The second, near the exit, is an excellent collection of short interviews with various leaders and advocates in the Park, representing different sides of the difficult questions we debate here, from land use to preservation to local economies. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Tim Rowland’s Fourth Of July Adventure

view of Giant from High BankI am a firm believer in the celebrated “Ten Essentials” that every hiker should carry in his pack when he sallies forth into the bush — which for me generally amounts to a map, a compass and eight Advil. Of course the list of essentials includes a lot of other stuff, as well, and is readily searchable online.

It’s good to be aware of the list because you never know about weather, you never know about a bad step on a rock, you never know when you are going to need a little extra gas in the tank and, well, you just never know. It’s amazing to me how just a few steps off a well-beaten path can leave you feeling just as lost as Fred Noonan over the South Pacific.

But we all backslide a bit. I frequently fail to carry Essential #10, Emergency Shelter on a two-mile out-and- back to Baker Mountain. But within reason I’m pretty good about it, partly out of prudence, partly because I don’t want to get “that look” from other hikers on the trail, the one that says “Look Carol, he is wearing COTTON. To the STAKE with him.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Adirondack Phoebe: Summer House Guests

phoebesPerhaps the phoebe selected her nesting spot during the few days my family was away from home at the end of April. Otherwise, I can’t quite figure her decision to build a nest atop the back porch light, right next to a doorway used regularly by three children and a rambunctious puppy.

To protect the nest, we took to unloading the minivan on the other side of the house, avoiding the back door altogether, and moving into and out of the adjacent garage as quietly as possible. No doubt, we’re not alone in changing our habits for the sake of a resident phoebe family. » Continue Reading.


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