Monday, August 18, 2014

Puddling: Butterflies at the Bar

Puddle_of_butterflies(1)Toddlers aren’t the only ones fond of mud puddles. Butterflies and moths often gather at puddles in large groups. I witnessed about thirty tiger swallowtail butterflies around a puddle on a woods road one spring, their yellow, black-veined wings twitching slightly, contrasting with the brown mud. Another time I saw a crowd of swallowtails around a pile of damp wood ashes in my yard.

This curious behavior is known as “puddling.” Although butterflies and moths get most of their nutrition from flower nectar, puddling provides another way to obtain nutrients, and replenish fluids. The insects use their long tongues, called proboscises, to deliver the fluid or other material into their mouths. » Continue Reading.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Minerva Educator Ella Lynch Goes International

3aBooklessLessonsIn 1922, another of Ella Lynch’s titles was published: Bookless Lessons for the Teacher–Mother, offering more help to those parents wishing to effectively teach their children. On that front, big battles were brewing. Attempts were under way to legislate rural schools out of existence and force centralization.

Lynch said that because tax dollars were taken from the public, “It is right that the state should assist in educating children. It is not right that it should absolutely control that education in everything. It is not right that parents should be obliged to feed and clothe their children, and take care of them in sickness, and pay their doctor and dentist bills, and be compelled to send them to school and have no voice in the substance or methods of those children’s studies. Our authority is weak enough now, goodness knows. Let us be careful how we weaken it further.”

She fought vigorously for years against allowing city-school policies to permeate rural America. Among the high-profile organizations supporting her contentions was the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. After studying American schools, Carnegie’s findings, said Lynch, “Have jarred the educational world, for it says that our system of public education is becoming alarmingly superficial, is fostering ‘educational farces,’ and building up ‘delusive courses.’ ” » Continue Reading.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Flatwater Paddling On The Boreas River

Marty Plante on the Boreas RiverLike the Roman god Janus, the Boreas River has two faces. The lower part, from Lester Dam to its confluence with the Hudson, has some of the most exciting and difficult whitewater in the Adirondacks. During the spring runoff, when water levels are high, it provides a wild ride through Class 3 and 4 rapids while it makes its way to the Hudson.

But that’s not my destination for today. Instead, I’m headed for the Boreas’s other face: Lester Flow, the tranquil quietwater section that flows downstream of Cheney Pond. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sandra Hildreth: The Plein Air Phenomenon

N. Brossard in Saranac Lake. M. Kurtz photoAugust 21st through the 24th nearly 80 artists from Washington, DC to Maine, Quebec and Ontario, will be converging on Saranac Lake for the 6th Annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival.

Beautiful August weather (fingers crossed) and all the aspects of our region: mountains, lakes, bogs, waterfalls, woodland trails, panoramic views, rivers, farm land, “Great Camps”, historic sites and our small communities are all part of the attraction.

The other, if you haven’t noticed, is the growing popularity of plein air painting. The Festival concludes with a fantastic Show & Sale on Sunday,  Aug 24th, in the Town Hall in Saranac Lake from 12 – 3 pm. Over 200 wet paintings will be on display and available for purchase. » Continue Reading.



Friday, August 15, 2014

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights



Friday, August 15, 2014

Google Highlights Tupper Lake’s Wild Center

Wild+Center+LogoGoogle selected a single business from New York to profile in its annual Economic Impact Report. For 2013, the global internet company picked The Wild Center, in Tupper Lake, citing the Center’s innovative use of the internet to expand its reach. The Wild Center, designed by the firm that built the Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., opened in 2006, and is one of the Adirondack region’s most popular attractions.

Howard Fish, who heads communications at The Wild Center, got the call from the Silicon Valley headquarters of Google asking if the Center would be okay with being New York’s profiled business. “Google had called us a few times already, and had sent a crew up to map the inside of the Center, so the call was not completely out of the blue, but we were still surprised when they told us that from all the businesses in the state, including the ones in Silicon Alley, they picked a venture in the Adirondacks to profile.” » Continue Reading.



Friday, August 15, 2014

Tour And Reception Planned At White Pine Camp

Mist Rising on Osgood PoondOn Sunday, September 14th, Historic Saranac Lake will host “Welcome to the Summer White House!” The afternoon features a tour and reception at White Pine Camp, an Adirondack Great Camp built in 1907, where President Calvin Coolidge spent ten consecutive weeks during the summer of 1926.

Guests will take guided tours of the buildings and grounds from 2:00-3:30 pm followed by a wine reception featuring favorite foods of various U.S. Presidents. The reception will be held in an idyllic setting at the water’s edge in one of the Camp’s boathouses on Osgood Pond. Highlights of the tour will include the “Great Room,” Japanese tea house, rock garden, bowling alley, tennis house, guest cabins, and service buildings, as well as a display of historic memorabilia and video of President Coolidge’s visit. » Continue Reading.



Friday, August 15, 2014

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Roaring Brook Falls: Climbing A Classic

Great_rangeIn some respects, Roaring Brook Falls isn’t such a great climb. The rock can be loose, mossy, or wet. And there are places where you can’t find cracks to insert protective gear—cams or chocks that are clipped to the rope to catch a fall. In short, it can be slippery and dangerous.

Nevertheless, R.L. Stolz regards it as an Adirondack classic. Since the 1980s, he has climbed the lower part of the route maybe a hundred times and done the whole 520-foot route about twenty times. “This is a very pretty climb,” says Stolz, co-owner of Alpine Adventures in Keene. “It’s unique in that you’re climbing next to a waterfall. The downside is that it’s a little grungy in places.”

Not just any waterfall. Roaring Brook Falls is a landmark, one of the most well-known (and photographed) cascades in the Adirondacks. It plunges about three hundred feet in full view of passing motorists on Route 73. The base of the falls is reached by a short hike from the Giant Mountain trailhead in St. Huberts.

Since taking up rock climbing several years ago, I have been intrigued by the prospect of ascending the falls. This is not a new idea. In 1938, Jim Goodwin mentioned the climb in an article for the Adirondack Mountain Club. Roaring Brook Falls also was included in A Climber’s Guide to the Adirondacks, the region’s first rock-climbing guidebook, published in 1967. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Aug 14)

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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, August 14, 2014

Alexander Lamberton:
Old Forge Pioneer And Nature Preservationist

Alexander Lamberton Medallion B 100_2137Lamberton Street, among the shorter (and newer) streets in Old Forge which  connects Park Avenue to Fulton Street at the Fire Station, is named for one of Old Forge’s earliest historical figures, Alexander Byron Lamberton.

Unknown to most Fulton Chain residents, Lamberton is usually mentioned only as the family who sold the Forge House and Tract to Dr. Alexander Crosby and Samuel Garmon in 1888.  But if you go to the popular Lamberton Conservatory at Highland Park in Rochester, you will see his image memorialized in a large bronze medallion above its entrance.  The crest to the right of the medallion contains a cross, deer head, crest and scroll.

Lamberton’s single entry in the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Adirondack Bibliography is for an 1876 article about his adventures bringing salmon fry to the John Brown Tract.  His role in Fulton Chain and Adirondack history is largely unheralded, but more important than many realize.   » Continue Reading.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

NYCO Arguments Postponed Till Late October

plumley lot 8Arguments in State Supreme Court over NYCO Minerals’ plan to drill for wollastonite on Lot 8 in the Jay Mountain Wilderness have been postponed until October 24.

In July, Earthjustice obtained a temporary restraining order to block the test drilling. At the time, Justice Thomas Buchanan scheduled arguments for August 22 on whether the ban should remain in effect for the duration of a lawsuit filed against NYCO, the Adirondack Park Agency, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dan Crane: What’s So Wild About Wild Forest Areas?

ATV Trail Damage in the Black River Wild ForestLand classification battles are a common feature of new Forest Preserve acquisitions in the Adirondack Park these days, with the Essex Chain of Lakes property being a prime example. Typically, the disagreement boils down to Wild Forest versus Wilderness, the two most common land classifications in the Adirondacks. While Wilderness remains the more restrictive, Wild Forests are supposed to maintain a wild character despite the presence of dirt roads, snowmobile trails, etc. Unfortunately, this wild character seems to be slowly fading away in many cases, making room for increasing (and often illegal) human uses.

According to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, Wilderness are areas dominated by natural forces, where the Earth and its communities of life remain relatively untrammeled by man, while Wild Forests allow for a greater impact from humans, supposedly due to their lack of remoteness and ability to absorb the impact from such activity. The subjectivity of these definitions allows for a great deal of interpretation though. Often the classification of a new area appears mainly political, with the appeasement of certain user groups sublimating all other considerations.
» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Free Lake George Music Festival A Big Hit

LGMF pictureFor the fourth year the Lake George Music Festival is providing guests and residents live concerts, workshops and outreach events throughout the Lake George community this August 14-21.

According to Lake George Music Festival President Alexander Lombard there will be a variety of events over the August 14-21 festival. This year Lombard has brought in over 70 young professional musicians to participate in the open rehearsals, chamber concerts and workshops around Lake George. In addition there are new activities such as a formal collaboration at The Sembrich in Bolton Landing on August 16 and a late (9-11 pm) casual show at the Lake George Boathouse Restaurant on the 18th. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mountain Men Rendezvous At Adirondack Museum

AdirondackMuseum-MountainManAndVisitors-Aug15&16The American Mountain Men are traveling from throughout New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont to converge at the Adirondack Museum again for their annual Adirondack rendezvous, from 10 am to 5 pm on Friday, August 15, and Saturday, August 16.

During one of the museum’s most popular events, visitors have an opportunity to explore and discover how life was lived in the wilderness in the 1820s to 1840s.  The mountain men camp out in their tents and tipis throughout the museum campus and, dressed in historically accurate clothing, talk about early 19th century survival skills. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wild Blackberry Season In The Adirondacks

TOS_BerriesThe bank in front of our house is a dense tangle of arching canes and thorns as large as cat claws. I wriggle further in, lips pressed against the pain of scratches and fingers straining for that last, fattest, blackest berry. I brush it, and it falls into the gloom of leaves and grass, never to be retrieved. Disentangling myself, I take my bowl of berry plunder back to the house where my dad will make the best pie I know: wild blackberry.

Wild blackberries are delicious, grow like weeds, and ripen in August, just in time for my birthday. They belong to the rose family along with raspberries, strawberries, the stone fruits, and unexpectedly, almonds. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dave Gibson: The Challenges of ‘Wild Forest’ Areas

Paddling downstream of Canada Lake, with Kane Mountain framed in the backgroundThe other day some friends and I enjoyed a day in the Forest Preserve, paddling on the waters leading out of Canada Lake, eating our lunches at a primitive campsite along the shore, and walking down a trail into a vly or large wetland flow. We were in the Forest Preserve unit known as the Ferris Lake Wild Forest, one of several large Wild Forests in the southern Adirondack Park. Ferris Lake WF is 147,500 acres in size, spanning parts of four towns in three different counties.

As we arrived at Stewart’s Landing and dam holding back Sprite Creek, the outlet of Canada Lake, we noticed a number of all-terrain vehicles parked and ready to ride. As we put our canoes and kayaks in the water near the dam we noticed and appreciated this Forest Preserve reminder:  “Carry it in, Carry it Out.” This is a shared, public-private resource. One side of the flow is Forest Preserve, the other private Adirondack camps. Upstream, many kayakers and motor boaters were enjoying the Forest Preserve. With their motors turned off at their campsites, wildlife and their own awareness and appreciation of this beautiful wooded shore, held sway.  A minority raced their boats as fast they could, kicking up waves and making paddling difficult. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fourth Lake House Tour By Boat Planned

HouseTourByBoat_logoThis Saturday, August 16th, twenty pontoon boats will depart from the Old Forge Lakefront at 10 am and take passengers on a tour of some of the most fabulous camps on the Fulton Chain. The annual House Tour by Boat provides an inside look into the camps that boaters can only observe from the water.

This year the tour will visit six camps on Fourth Lake that include Mountain Phoenix, Evergreen House, Tall Pines Lodge, Ladair Camp, Morris Point, and the Murphy Camp. Owners from each property will be on site to assist with tours and answer questions, pontoon boats are provided by gracious volunteers. The tour has a limited availability to allow for enough time at each property. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Moonset Over The High Peaks

Moonset Big Slide

I headed up Big Slide this weekend to watch the Perseid meteor shower. The full moon washed out most of the night sky making viewing of the Perseids difficult. I saw a few meteors but was more surprised by the show the moon put on as it set over the high peaks. As the moon dipped behind Algonquin it left a faint red glow on the southern horizon. With the moon set the sky became sufficiently dark to allow for the capture of the stars above. The experience was rather surreal and made for a photograph that looks like a sunset or sunrise, but is actually the result of the moonset.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Minerva’s Ella Lynch: The Importance of Learning to Learn

2aEFLynch1925Ella Frances Lynch—well spoken, thoughtful, and passionate in defining the problems with America’s public school system—refused to back down from proposed reforms. She was right and she knew it. Newspapers featured Ella’s editorials regularly, but the biggest attention-getter was a series of articles she wrote for Ladies Home Journal beginning in 1912. The title: “Is the Public School a Failure? It Is; the Most Momentous Failure in Our American life Today.”

Said Lynch, “Can you imagine a more grossly stupid, a more genuinely asinine system tenaciously persisted in to the fearful detriment of over 17 million children, and at a cost to you of over $403 million each year—a system that not only is absolutely ineffective in its results, but also actually harmful in that it throws each year 93 out of every 100 children into the world of action absolutely unfitted for even the simplest tasks of life? … The public school system is not something to be proud of, but a system that is today the shame of America.” » Continue Reading.



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