Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Around The Campfire With Old Mountain Phelps

Orsen PhelpsOrson Schofield “Old Mountain” Phelps (1816-1905) was the archetypical Adirondack guide.

Guide historian Chuck Brumley attributed this to the wide literary attention Phelps received from early city visitors to the High Peaks, including Verplanck Colvin and Charles Dudley Warner. Phelps was painted by Winslow Homer. He became a stock character in the guidebooks of E.R. Wallace and S.R. Stoddard.

Phelps certainly had the requisite outdoor skills to be a well-known Adirondack guide, and he cut many High Peaks trails still in use, as well as naming a number of high peaks. But it was his personality and aphorisms that caught the imagination of many of the “city men” he guided. He amused and impressed his clients with rustic humor and philosophy.

It is this aspect of Phelps that is apparent in a previously unknown collection of papers recently acquired by the Adirondack Research Library of the Kelly Adirondack Center of Union College. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How Do Cowbirds Get To Be Cowbirds

TOS cowbirdsUnlike the majority of birds, brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) do not start life surrounded by their own kind. The females do not build nests, but instead add their eggs to the clutches of other birds—usually one per nest, but sometimes several. Host birds generally do not recognize the dumped egg and will tend to it and the hatchling as one of their own. This means that all baby cowbirds spend the first weeks of their lives in the company of warblers or cardinals or any one of the many species whose nests are parasitized.

So why don’t they end up singing like cardinals? Or eating like warblers? Why doesn’t the forest become their home if that is where they were hatched and fledged? In other words, how does a cowbird learn to be a cowbird? » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Adirondack Forest Pest Summit Planned For Monday

Hemlock woolly adelgidThe Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) are co-hosting an Adirondack Forest Pest Summit, a free conference meant to help raise awareness about invasive insects negatively affecting New York forests. The event will take place at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday, July 11th.

Forest pests such as hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer, and Asian long-horned beetle have the potential to cause major environmental and economic damage to the Adirondack region. These forest invaders are often spread by accidental transfer of firewood or nursery stock from an infested area. Prevention, early detection, and rapid response are critical to successfully combating any invasive species. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Commentary: A Vision For A ‘High Peaks South’ Gateway

Paddling on Boreas Ponds as guest of The Nature ConservancyOne of the biggest Adirondack issues of the year will be the debate over how to classify the Boreas Ponds Tract.  Anyone who has paid attention to land-use squabbles in the Adirondacks for the last fifty years can describe the lineups on either side just as well as I can: recreation, access and the welfare of local communities on one side and wilderness preservation, aesthetics, non-mechanized travel and ecological protection on the other.

But what if this debate is false, predicated on outdated ideas and a fading history?  What if adherence to this old narrative is detrimental to the natural world and to the residents of the Adirondacks in equal measure?   Suppose instead that Wilderness protection and the welfare of local communities is in fact a synergy ripe with opportunity?  Lots of evidence from across the country tells us what ought to make sense looking at how Lake Placid, Keene and Keene Valley thrive: proximity to grand wilderness is an economic asset, and the grander and better protected it is, the more valuable the asset. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Why We Celebrate the Fourth the Way We Do

1876 ODJ4thJulyFRFourth of July celebrations across the Adirondacks and foothills are rooted in regional and national traditions. The principal components — parades, social gatherings, feasts, and fireworks — have endured since the early 1800s. They’re actually based on suggestions by one of our Founding Fathers.

During the first century of the nation’s existence, memories of the revolution remained strong, spawning several customs that have since disappeared. Besides parades, food, and fireworks, it was common during that time to skewer King George in a variety of ways. Some towns presented plays with characters from the revolution, generating boos and hisses when the king’s character appeared on stage. All events of those days featured speeches that were widely anticipated, including at least one mocking King George for his treatment of the colonies. Another highlight in every city, town, and village celebration was a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Each July, newspapers recounted the festivities held in communities large and small, from Albany and Troy to Plattsburgh, Ogdensburg, Watertown, and scores of small villages. Reading of the Declaration of Independence at each location was a revered tradition and truly the heart of every celebration. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Honey Bee Swarm, Fort Edward, Washington County

Temporary hive with the swarm of honeybees insideOn Wednesday, June 15, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Conservation Officer Stephen Gonyeau responded to a report of a large swarm of bees that had formed on a tree in a yard in Fort Edward.

According to DEC, ECO Gonyeau identified the swarm as honeybees and was aware that at this time of the year, hives often split due to overcrowding. A local bee keeper, retired DEC Division of Law Enforcement Lt. Bob Henke, was contacted to collect the bees and provide a suitable home for them. The swarm was estimated to contain between 10,000 and 15,000 bees. The large swarm was placed in a temporary hive and left for the worker bees to return to. It was later removed after the bees had returned to the hive after dark. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Adirondack Boat Inspectors Find 284 Invasives In First Month

DataMonikaLaPlanteLakeGeo3005In its first month of operation, the 2016 Adirondack Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Program intercepted 284 invasives while inspecting nearly 8,450 trailered boats at over 50 locations throughout the Adirondack region.

Some of these “close calls” took place on lakes that are not currently invaded by the species found. For example, zebra mussels and curly-leaf pondweed were found on boats attempting to launch into Long Lake and Upper Saranac Lake. Both Long Lake and Upper Saranac Lake have existing infestations of other AIS which lake associations and partner organizations have been spending millions of dollars to try and manage. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Saranac Laboratory Museum Free Admission Days for Residents

Petrova Elementary 4th graders on a recent field trip to the Saranac Laboratory MuseumHistoric Saranac Lake has announced a monthly free admission day for residents of the Saranac Lake School District. On the last Saturday of every month, through September, the Saranac Laboratory Museum will be free of charge for all local residents. Admission to the Museum is normally $5 for adults, and children are always free of charge. Admission is also free for Members of Historic Saranac Lake. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Life With Horses, And Hunting Parties

Ranger Bowback Cover - Adirondack FarmThe Ranger’s brother Charlie did most of the horseshoeing and set many a shoe. Uncle Charlie was a little harsh. He expected obedience and may not have believed in ”horse lib,” but he could make and train a horse.

Nellie and Topsy were young horses Papa bought from his brother Wilber, who had a mare name Mabel and had raised these colts, a beautiful pair. Prince was a lovely horse Papa liked very much. We were a large family, and many times cash was not plentiful. Papa would get his supplies on credit at the Frank Thissell store in the village of Bakers Mills. Papa wanted to get the bill paid and made some arrangement for paying them $100 and the horse Prince. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 1, 2016

The Adirondacks Around The Web This Week


Friday, July 1, 2016

The Future of Schroon Lake Panel Discussion

schroon lake sunsetThe Schroon Lake Association will host a panel discussion on the future of Schroon Lake, including a discussion of the threats of invasive species and water quality facing Schroon and Paradox lakes.  Founded in 1911, the Schroon Lake Association is one of the oldest conservation organizations within the Blue Line of the Adirondack Park.

All are welcome. Admission is free. There will be opportunity for questions and discussion with the audience. The discussion will take place on July 8, 2016 at 7:30 pm at the Schroon Lake Central School Auditorium, 1125 US Route 9, Schroon Lake.

Panelists include: » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Free Museum Board Training Being Held

MANY LogoThe Museum Association of New York (MANY) has announced a lineup of free Board Development Workshops, sponsored by the New York State Office of Cultural Education. In partnership with the New York Council on Nonprofits, MANY aims to raise the professionalism and leadership of cultural institutions by providing quality board training for museums.

Below are dates and addresses for regional events scheduled in Albany and Utica: » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 1, 2016

The Big Adirondack News Stories This Week


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Goose Drive at Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area

Geese - Diane Chase PhotoFor the past 50 years the New York State Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) Region 6 has been gathering a team of volunteers and staff to collect data on the resident Canada Geese population. According to Regional Habitat Manager Christopher J. Balk, the data collected helps manage the flock and provide pertinent information to tailor bag limits during hunting season. This June 30, 8 am – 2 pm, is another opportunity to corral and handle some geese.

“The volunteers get to reach over the top of the enclosure and help hand the goose to a staff member,” says Balk. “We are usually banding at least 400-500 geese at this event and use the information to primarily report on the bird’s location at two points of time.”

These geese are resident, not migratory, Canada Geese so the distance between their wintering and summering habitat is usually only a few hundred miles. Hunters report the band numbers when they harvest the birds in the fall. The data allows Balk and his colleagues to track to see if a flock is intermingling or not, track growth and movements of the resident population and and to establish annual hunting regulations. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Outdoor Conditions in the Adirondacks (June 30)

CompassThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is issued each Thursday afternoon and can be heard at North Country Public Radio on Friday mornings.

Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 5:17 am; sunset at 8:43 pm, providing 15 hours and 24 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 3:49 am Saturday morning and set at 6:47 pm. The Moon will be Waning Crescent, 5% illuminated. There will be a New Moon on Monday, July 4th – expect dark, almost moonless nights this weekend. Late Sunday night should be excellent for stargazing.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.


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