ACW will host their first Writer Residency program at Twitchell Lake from October 4-11, 2014. This residency will offer quiet space to work on writing and share that space with other writers. ACW has plans to extend the residency to two weeks in coming years.
The residency was provided by the estate of Anne LaBastille, who wrote books like Woodswoman and Beyond Black Bear Lake from her cabin on Twitchell Lake. Participants in the residency program will paddle out to visit her cabin at least once during the week. » Continue Reading.
Late one June afternoon in the Year of Our Lord 1995 I checked into the Lake Placid Econo Lodge with my brother, spent a comfortable night and left in the morning. I have not been back since (through no fault of Econo Lodge). It’s just as well – if Econo Lodge has any sort of institutional memory I will never again get another room.
In the summer of 1995 I took a long –and long awaited – backpacking trip with my nephew Michael. Michael and I are roughly the same age and we are close, so “brother” serves us as a more proper salutation. By the mid 1990’s I was an experienced backpacker but Michael was a novice. Like me he had been going to the Adirondacks all his life and adored them, but he was relatively new to the High Peaks region and its glories. We planned a six day trip in order to really take it in.
Michael remembers the details for the trip much better than I do, so I will liberally quote from the reminiscences he recently shared with me. » Continue Reading.
The farmer-led Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted a new report on establishing New York’s first Juneberry research nursery. The planting at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm in Willsboro, NY, will be one of the largest nurseries of its kind for studying this ‘superfruit.’
Juneberry, scientifically known as Amelanchier, has the potential to be a major novel fruit crop in northern New York, and perhaps the Northeast, say researchers Michael H. Davis, Cornell Willsboro Research Farm Manager, and botanist Michael B. Burgess of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. » Continue Reading.
This is a good time to review recently enacted laws and regulations about boating, particularly those related to boat operators and aquatic invasive species. » Continue Reading.
First, state agencies are trying to rush approvals for NYCO to begin “mineral exploration” on 200 acres of Forest Preserve in the Jay Mountain Wilderness, known as Lot 8, an action that was narrowly approved in a Constitutional Amendment last fall.
Second, NYCO is also seeking a massive expansion of its Lewis Mine, which abuts Lot 8 and the Jay Mountain Wilderness. » Continue Reading.
Photographs of the Herreshoff Manor that stood in today’s Thendara depict what could easily pass for a haunted house. It seems that the building, which stood on an elevation of land not present today, overlooking then (1892) newly built Fulton Chain Station, would collapse with the next stiff breeze.
The story of this structure cannot be told without telling of the trials of its occupants: Herreshoff, Foster, Waters, Grant, Arnold, Short and Sperry. Tragedy would be the common thread among those connected with this building. » Continue Reading.
My daughter recently turned eleven and in lieu of gifts, once again asked her friends to give money to the organization of her choice. We have always encouraged our children to choose ways to give back to our community whether it’s volunteering or raising funds. This year the non-profit of her choice was the Dewey Mountain Lodge campaign.
Oddly enough my daughter isn’t our child that skis as part of the Dewey program. We tried her in the Nordic program, but she just enjoyed skiing the trails at her own pace. (I think it is more likely that the racing and games cut into her time on the nearby playground.) I do know she really enjoys warming up at Pisgah’s Ski Lodge so it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to believe she has visions of watching her brother race next winter from the inside of the new Dewey Lodge. » Continue Reading.
Spring seems to be painfully slow in returning to the Adirondacks this year. Substantial amounts of snow still linger in most places, and ice continues to cover the surface of nearly all stationary bodies of water throughout the Park. Despite the reluctance of winter to yield to spring, scattered patches of land devoid of ice and snow always develop in late March and early April, signaling the coming change in seasons.
These places of bare ground and open water inevitably attract birds that have returned northward in the weeks around the vernal equinox in their attempt to reach their breeding grounds early and lay claim to a prime mating territory. » Continue Reading.
My family began vacationing at Raquette Lake sometime in the mid-1970s, attracted by what is arguably the most beautiful lake in the Adirondacks. As the family grew, I began to look for a larger home and contacted a realtor who sent me a write up on North Point, considered one of the Great Camps and the former summer home of Lucy Carnegie.
I had seen the home while boating and, my curiosity piqued, looked it up in Harvey Kaiser’s book Great Camps of the Adirondacks (2003). I was interested to see who had designed this Swiss chalet style home, so unusual in design compared to the other camps in the area. Kaiser stated that, “The building plans and execution of interior details suggest influences beyond the techniques of local craftsmen, although no record of the architect exists.” » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Folk School has announced its second ADK Fiber Experience Getaway Weekend event scheduled from Thursday night, April 24, 2014 through Sunday, April 27, 2014. The event will be held at two sites: the Adirondack Folk School and the Fort William Henry Hotel & Conference Center in Lake George. This year’s ADK Fiber Experience includes fiber arts classes during the day Friday and Saturday, fun events at night on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and free farm tours scheduled for Sunday in conjunction with the Washington County Fiber Tour.
Participants can knit and spin with Donna Kay, a master fiber artist from New Hampshire, do felting work with local artist Robin Blakney-Carlson and Carol Ingram, a felter from Connecticut, and weave with Tegan Frisino. There are classes planned in rug hooking, making stitch markers, knitted wire jewelry, wheat weaving, and more. » Continue Reading.
Beware! Pictured here are your adversaries—the official enemies of the state. Don’t be distracted by the pretty colors, lovely feathers, or furry critters. These are vermin, and citizens are urged to kill them at every opportunity. The poster, by the way, represents only the top nine targets from a group of notorious killers, presented here alphabetically: bobcat, Cooper’s hawk, crow, English sparrow, goshawk, gray fox, great gray owl, great horned owl, house rat, “hunting” house cat, lynx, porcupine, red fox, red squirrel, sharp-shinned hawk, snowy owl, starling, weasel, and woodchuck. Kingfishers and a number of snakes were later added, and osprey were fair game as well.
While some of the phrases used above—“official enemies … kill them at every opportunity … new job requirement”—might sound like exaggerations, they were, in fact, official conservation policies of New York State a century ago.
It was all part of a Conservation Commission campaign in the early 1900s to eradicate undesirables (their word, not mine) from the food chain. The above-named animals were deemed undesirable in the realms of farming and hunting. They were just doing what comes natural—killing to eat, or gathering food—but those foods included barnyard animals, garden and field crops, and the vaguely defined “sporting” game that hunters treasured, particularly grouse, pheasant, and rabbits. Lest you think eradicate is too strong a word, the actual order in one state pamphlet was, “Destroy the Vermin.” » Continue Reading.
Governor Al Smith helped block the construction of a highway along the shore of Tongue Mountain, but it was Franklin D. Roosevelt who was instrumental in protecting the east shore of Lake George, documents in the Apperson-Schaefer collection at the Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College in Schenectady suggest.
With funding from the bond acts of 1916 and 1926, much of Tongue Mountain and many of the islands in the Narrows were now protected, permanently, as parts of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
But by 1926, John Apperson, the General Electric engineer who dedicated much of his life to the protection of Lake George, had become concerned about the future of the east side. » Continue Reading.
This is a revival of a column I wrote a few years ago about community gardens. I couldn’t resist digging it out of the mothballs because, like other local food and gardening efforts it’s gaining momentum with wide interest.
When I last encouraged folks to look into community gardens there were just a handful in the North Country. Last summer, when Adirondack Harvest published its annual local food guide, we listed 21 community and school gardens, just in Essex County!
My introduction to community gardens took place 25 years ago when my husband and I, devout gardeners and homesteaders, abruptly moved from the rural green of Vermont to Minneapolis and St. Paul (yes, we started out in one city and a year later moved to the other one).
While we adored the Twin Cities, there were no backyard gardens for us. And so there entered a new concept in my life: community gardens. We discovered that plots of land had been cordoned off in, among other places, parks and vacant lots. Each area was divided into many 20’ by 20’ plots with water access. For a small fee, we were able to secure a space, tilled for us at the beginning of the season. » Continue Reading.
Volunteers are being sought to help excavate at Wiawaka Holiday House at the southern end of Lake George to help document the early years of the Holiday House by looking at the materials the visitors, staff, and organizers left behind. Wiawaka Holiday House was founded in 1903 to provide affordable vacations for the working women in the factories of Troy and Cohoes, New York. The work is being directed by Megan Springate, a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland working on her dissertation looking at the intersections of class and gender in the early twentieth century.
No previous archaeological experience is necessary. Participants will learn archaeological techniques hands-on at the site. All equipment will be provided. Accommodation and meals are available at Wiawaka Holiday House for a fee.* There is no charge to volunteer. Those without previous archaeological experience are asked to volunteer for three or more days. You must be 18 years of age or older. Excavation Dates: Monday to Friday, June 16 through July 11, 2014 » Continue Reading.