Sometimes you just get lucky. Waking up at 2 am to hike Algonquin Peak to watch the sunrise is always a bit of gamble. I’ve done it on several occasions and more than once I arrived on the summit only to find the entire view obscured in clouds. Weather forecasts are only reliable to a certain extent in the mountains. On this particular day the view was clear, except for distance clouds on the eastern horizon. This had the effect of filtering much of the sunlight, allowing one to observe the sun in great detail. I was glad I had brought a short telephoto lens with me this morning as the composition with the hills in the foreground was much more compelling than a wide angle view.
During ex-President Benjamin Harrison’s first summer stay in 1895 at Dodd’s Camp, he gave a rare public address commemorating the raising of a new 112 foot flagstaff holding an 18 x 24 foot flag. This address, given on a rainy July 27, 1895 afternoon, was later printed in the Lowville Journal & Republican. Though the language is somewhat dated, its sentiments are just as inspirational today when we consider the struggles our diverse republic faces as a free nation.
Place yourself on the Old Forge dock facing, perhaps in the Forge Motel direction, and imagine a rainy day (not too difficult), a large flag and a former President with a long historical family tradition. Listen as Benjamin Harrison rises to speak…Oh, an interruption as Riley Parsons gets the crowd to give a “tiger” cheer. Then Harrison speaks, without the benefits of a wireless microphone… » Continue Reading.
Last week, as a part of a larger effort to document the aftermath of Proposition 5 – the so-called NYCO Amendment – I wrote a column comparing claims made about NYCO in support of the amendment to the factual record.
I listed the following five claims we’ve heard repeatedly (remember, not all claims are NYCO’s responsibility; some claims were made by others):
Claim One: NYCO is a local company headquartered in Willsboro. It has been there for more than fifty years and employs about a hundred people. » Continue Reading.
The day began with a mosquito attacking me before I got out of bed, and it went downhill from there. Cheer yourself up by listening to my tale of woe about a long day during the Adirondack bug season, when mosquitoes provide the wake-up call, blackflies and deerflies assault you for hours, and no-see-ums gnaw you to sleep in this week’s edition of All Things Natural with Ed Kanze.
Lake Placid Lacrosse is hosting more than 245 teams playing in 18 divisions of competition during the 25th Annual Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic, August 4-10 at the North Elba Show Grounds. More than 5,000 people are expected at the event. The film “America’s First Game”, followed by a lacrosse symposium, will be shown at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts on Tuesday night, Aug. 5, at 7:30 pm.
Lacrosse is a Native American contact sport, originally played with large teams (100 to 1,000 or more) over a third of a mile field from sunup to sundown for days. Lacrosse was part of ceremonial ritual first described in writing in 1637 by Jean de Brébeuf, a French Jesuit missionary among the Mohawk in present day New York. Today it is a widely popular sport with of teams of 12, especially in the Eastern United States and Canada. » Continue Reading.
During summer, both residents and visitors of the Adirondacks should be required to spend time on the water, preferably in a canoe, kayak or guideboat in order to experience the serenity and magnificence of slowly and silently moving across our fresh water environments. However, traveling over the surface of most waterways in a small, open, human-powered craft from July through mid August does have its cost, as people in such boats are occasionally subject to the harassment of a small, fast-moving fly inclined to bite on the upper part of the foot, or the lower section of an uncovered leg, particularly around the ankle. This unwelcome pest is most likely a species of stable fly (Stomoxys), a genus of flies belonging to the same family as the common house fly.
Stable flies are slightly more robust, yet smaller than the house fly, and are a little lighter in color. Additionally, stable flies are far more wary, as they are quick to burst into flight when something approaches them. Hitting one with a fly swatter is a far greater challenge than smacking the more sluggish house fly with the same long-handled instrument. And lacking a fly swatter in a boat can lead to great frustration, as it is impossible to kill these pests with any other object, other than the spray from a can of highly potent pesticide. » Continue Reading.
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.
The Chateau On The Lake, one of Bolton Landing’s newest fine dining restaurants, has simply fantastic food, on point service, a beautiful view, and a great atmosphere. Originally a boathouse on the lake, the building was moved up hill and converted into the home of Hugh Allen Wilson, a talented musician. After Wilson’s death in 2010, the house was purchased by Ed and Jennifer Foy who converted it into The Chateau and brought in Chefs Shaun Hazlitt, Tyren Crain and Bert R. Soto.
The culinary creations change frequently throughout the seasons, but one item that has become an instant favorite is the Cheese and Charcuterie Board for Two. The Board consist of a variety of five cheeses and five meats such as Stilton, Manchango, Montchevre Goat, a triple crème imported brie, Prosciutto di Parma, Australian Speck, Soppressata and hot Italian Capicolla. The board is garnished with tear drop peppers, green pitta queen & Kalamata olives, toasted Pistachios, a garlic rubbed Crostini, and heirloom tomato jam. » Continue Reading.
Noted cabaret vocalist Andrea Marcovicci will be visiting Great Camp Sagamore to perform a special program celebrating the noted American Songbook composers who stayed at Sagamore Lodge: Richard Rogers, Jerome Kern and Hoagy Carmichael.
Marcovicci’s performance will be part of the camp’s 2014 benefit for historic preservation. Proceeds from the benefit help with the ongoing restoration of the Sagamore’s 27 National Historic Landmark structures. The benefit will be on Saturday, August 2nd and will include cocktails and a silent auction at the camp’s play house, followed by Andrea Marcovvici’s performance and a catered sit down dinner and live auction. The evening will be capped with cigars, port, and a camp fire. » Continue Reading.
Since the 1970s, scientists and officials have been aware that the Lake George Waste Water Treatment plant has been discharging unacceptably high levels of nitrates through ground water, into West Brook and ultimately, into Lake George.
“Nitrates are probably the single, biggest influence on the water quality in the West Brook watershed, and the treatment plant is the single largest source of nitrates,” says Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky.
According to Navitsky, excessive levels of nitrate stimulate the growth of weeds and algae and can endanger fish life, the quality of drinking water, recreation and even human health. “Fortunately, we haven’t reached that level yet,” he said, adding that after Lake George Village completes the second phase of improvements to its waste water treatment plant, which it has committed itself to undertaking after being cited by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, we won’t. » Continue Reading.
Washington County launched a wonderful interactive webmap a couple months ago.
Created for the county by Jimapco in Round Lake, NY, the map is user friendly and playful, and includes amenities such as dining, lodging and services as well as attractions like covered bridges, agri-tourism and arts. It also includes several ‘tours’ in and around the county, including fiber, maple, beverage (aka wine and beer!) and walking and bike tours for selected locations. This map has several other nice features like dropdown lists for each layer that allow you to quickly zoom to attractions and information packed popups that will even give you driving directions. » Continue Reading.
The Board of Trustees of the Adirondack Museum has announced its selection of Frances Beinecke as recipient of the 2014 Harold K. Hochschild Award. The Adirondack Museum will formally present the award to her during its Wilderness Elegance Benefit Gala, to be held on the museum campus from 6 to 9 p.m. this Saturday, July 26.
The Harold K. Hochschild Award is dedicated to the memory of the museum’s founder, whose passion for the Adirondacks, its people, and environment inspired the creation of the Adirondack Museum and the establishment of the Adirondack Park Agency. Since 1990, the museum has presented the award to a wide range of intellectual and community leaders throughout the Adirondack Park, highlighting their contributions to the region’s culture and quality of life. » Continue Reading.
During the summer triathlon season my family spend a lot of time watching for athletes on local roads. It makes for great people watching. My children are trained to look for weaving bicyclists around sharp corners. Though participating in a triathlon isn’t for everyone, spectating and cheering on the athletes that do, is a sport in itself.
We have volunteered at one Lake Placid Ironman, passed out water at a Tupper Lake Tinman and managed to cheer on a few friends dedicated to finishing both courses. While some Adirondack triathlons have concluded, the 2nd oldest Ironman Triathlon in North America is gearing up to be held once again in Lake Placid on July 27th. » Continue Reading.
Biodiversity Research Institute’s (BRI’s) Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has announced a new campaign on Adirondack Gives, www.adirondackgives.org, the crowdfunding site for Adirondack region nonprofits.
The campaign will provide support for the placement of trail cameras near approximately 30 Common Loon nest sites in the Adirondack Park to document nesting behaviors, clutch size, and hatch dates for Adirondack loons, and to assess the primary factors (e.g., predation, human disturbance) impacting the birds during incubation.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) provided the cameras for this project. Support from this campaign, which is seeking to raise $1,100 over the next two months, will cover the cost of the lithium-ion batteries and high capacity SD cards used in the cameras. » Continue Reading.
The Village Improvement Society (VIS) and Historic Saranac Lake are hosting a free public walking tour of VIS-owned parks on July 26, 10 am – 11:30 am. The tour will include Vest Pocket Park, Triangle Park and Denny Park.
During the tour, VIS volunteers will discuss the history of Saranac Lake’s parks. The park system was designed by the firm of the Olmsted Brothers, the same landscape architects who designed Central Park in New York City. Their plan for open space protection in Saranac Lake was submitted in 1907, but the Village Board decided it was too expensive. In 1910, a group of 10 Saranac Lake women banded together to form the Village Improvement Society with the goal of implementing the plan. VIS now owns and maintains seven parks in Saranac Lake: Vest Pocket Park, Triangle Park, the Herb Garden, Denny Park, Dorsey Park, Beaver Park and the Sunset Arboretum. » Continue Reading.
When the results for Proposition 5 came in last November, I decided I must visit Lot 8 in the Jay Mountain Wilderness. Since the voters of New York State made this area yet another sacrificial lamb at the altar of greed and profitability, I knew it would only be a matter of time before the chainsaws, bulldozers and explosives moved in and converted a living and breathing forest into something akin to a war zone.
It soon became evident this juggernaut of “progress” was unstoppable, as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) relinquished their roles of protecting the environment and the Adirondack Park. Instead, these governmental organizations engaged in the complete evisceration of nearly every environmental protection law on the books in an attempt to ensure NYCO Minerals, Inc. destroyed Lot 8 as soon as possible.
This left me little choice but to put hastily together a 6-day bushwhacking trip through the Jay Mountain Wilderness, with an entire day allocated to exploring the condemned Lot 8 in all its natural glory before its destruction. I felt it would ease my conscience somewhat for not doing enough to prevent its impending demise in the first place. Unfortunately, despite getting up-close and personal with Lot 8, I only ended-up feeling worse. In between the joy and wonder of experiencing this property for myself firsthand, was a sense of deep sorrow, bordering on moroseness, as the fate of everything I saw, smelled and heard was never far from my mind.
» Continue Reading.
The New York Bicycling Coalition has kept a low profile in the debate over the future of the Adirondack rail corridor, but its proposal for the 119-mile corridor is similar to the one set forth by the state.
Last September, the coalition’s executive director, Josh Wilson, wrote the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to call for removing the tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake to create a trail for biking and other non-motorized activities in spring, summer, and fall.
“NYBC believes that such a trail would be unparalleled in New York State and the Northeast,” Wilson wrote Raymond Hessinger, director of DOT’s Freight and Passenger Rail Bureau. “A trail on this segment of the Corridor would serve to connect three ‘hub’ communities of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Tupper Lake with multiple other access points in between.” » Continue Reading.
The public is invited to a special presentation by acclaimed cartoonist Sabrina Jones brought to you by John Brown Lives! and BluSeed Studios: “Race to Incarcerate: Creating Comics for Social Justice” on Thursday, July 31st at 7:30 pm at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake.
Jones will discuss her recent book, Race To Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling and using comics to confront social issues. Jones’ 2013 book is a graphic adaptation of Marc Mauer’s 1999 Race to Incarcerate, a classic examination of the cultural and political history of prisons in the United States. (Mauer is Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, a criminal justice reform organization in Washington.) This presentation is part of The Correction, a John Brown Lives! program to inform the public about prison issues in the North Country. » Continue Reading.