Spending time outdoors in the Adirondacks during spring is a rewarding experience, as the sounds that emanate from our forests, especially in the early morning, are sure to delight. While the musical calls produced by most birds are relatively short and composed of only a handful of notes, there are a few songs that are considerably longer and more complex.
The lengthiest and most intricate song that commonly graces our woodlands is one heard in patches of mixed forests where dense clusters of undergrowth or ground debris exist on the forest floor. This fast tempo melody is quite loud, yet comes from one of the smallest birds to nest in the Adirondacks – the winter wren. » Continue Reading.
Big fat flakes of snow are blowing around outside. They seems to hover just before hitting the ground, then linger there for a few moments until they are just a plain old drop of water or two on a blade of brown grass.
Its nights like last night that make me wish I had a better camera. The sliver of moon was visible in short glimpses through dark and gray, wispy clouds. The kind of shot that your eye can see, but that my cheap digital camera would capture as a small blurry light in an otherwise black screen. No hint of clouds, no depth to the picture, and most importantly, no sense of the natural beauty that my own eyes can see. I don’t get upset when I can’t get these shots with my camera. Most of the time it’s enough just to witness the scene, but I do desire to share some of these moments. » Continue Reading.
This morning I am going to be taking a little detour from my usual subject matter, that being Lost Brook Tract and the Adirondack wilderness. This detour was prompted by the reaction to last week’s Dispatch about trailblazing.
The comments on that Dispatch included a couple of entries that a good friend of the Almanack described to me in a private email as “vitriolic.” A number of other regular Dispatch readers also weighed in with concerns about the comments and their author. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Almanack provides this weekly Hunting and Fishing Report each Thursday evening, year round. The Almanack also provides weekly backcountry recreation conditions reports for those headed into the woods or onto the waters.
Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.
The fishing season for many popular warmwater sportfish, including walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger muskellunge, opens Saturday, May 5 and with this, most of New York’s sportfish seasons will be open. This includes catch and release fishing for black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass). Muskellunge fishing season and the regular (harvest) season for black bass open on the 3rd Saturday in June (June 16). Bass anglers should check the New York State Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide to ensure that the water they desire to fish is open to catch and release angling. » Continue Reading.
Conservation Partnership Program grants totaling $1.4 million were awarded to 53 nonprofit land trusts across the state according to a statement by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance. The grants, funded through New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will be matched by a total of $1.2 million in private and local funding.
The purpose of the grants is to increase the pace, improve the quality and ensure the permanence of voluntary conservation of private lands, which is expected to result in environmental and economic benefits for communities throughout New York. » Continue Reading.
Those interested in joining statewide efforts to track invasive species can attend an iMapInvasives online mapping tool training session. Anyone can help keep the New York map up-to-date and accurate by reporting invasive species locations.
Volunteers, citizen scientists and educational groups will find the simple reporting interface easy to use for local projects, and conservation professionals can use the advanced interface to manage detailed information about infestations, surveys and treatments in a standardized format. Training is required to enter data, and then users can enter observations of invasive plants, aquatic invasive species, forest pests and agricultural pests. » Continue Reading.
The “Cocktails” sign on the side of the North Country Club Restaurant sign was a harbinger of the retro-style tavern we were about to enter in Keeseville. The windows on the interior walls as we entered the vestibule foreshadowed a repurposed building. Slate floors, a combination of wood panel and brick walls, and a green formica topped bar counter, all in good condition, confirmed our first speculation. Our first impression was one of familiarity, comfort and welcome.
Behind the bar, signs promoting the Bikini Martini and Catalina Margarita (no Rob Roys and Whisky Sours here) spoke of more contemporary times. The bartender, Shannon, young, energetic, smiling and soon joking, did too. The large, rectangular bar offered seats at least 15 patrons in sturdy captain’s chairs. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres were put out in a corner with chips, dips, crackers and cheese spread. Quick Draw and a few televisions offered entertainment, but we found the bartenders, first Shannon, then Josh, to be enough entertainment for us.
Owned by Michael and Tonia Finnegan for the past four years, the North Country Club Restaurant has been in business for at least the past 40 years. One of the waitresses, Gladys, came to Keeseville in the 1950s, and was able to fill us in on some history. The building was originally a train station, located elsewhere, but moved to make room for the highway. Once moved, it was reappointed as a restaurant and has been serving local families and tourists ever since. Gladys apparently came with the building. The North Country Club is renowned for its gourmet style pizza, and claims to serve the best pizza from Montreal to Miami. Entirely homemade, it is reputed to have been Fed-Exed to Utah and Florida. Supposedly they deliver anywhere.
Serving a variety of bottled beers, Land Shark and Budweiser are currently offered at a mere $2.00 a bottle. Several beers are available on tap, both domestic and micro, including, Yuengling, Bud, Coors, and Long Trail Blackberry Wheat. The liquor selection is typical, with several flavored vodkas and a few premium distillations. Several varieties of wine are served as well.
The North Country Club is open seven days a week all year, from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and Noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Closing time is extended one hour every day when summer hours begin Memorial Day weekend. They close only for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Happy Hour is featured daily with $1.00 draft beer, $2.00 domestic bottles and $.50 off well drinks. Cocktail specials like the Bikini Martini are available for $5.00 and change weekly, depending on bartender creativity. Maybe someday they will feature one of Happy Hour in the High Peaks signature drinks. Bring your favorite recipe and Shannon and Josh will set you up. Cell phone service is available, and access to wifi is on request. They occasionally offer live music on a small scale.
Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.
Hikers’ sweaty feet are one of my favorite things. Especially, when their hiking boots do not fit correctly or are not properly broken in. Their soft, damp skin rubs against the sides of unyielding boots, giving birth to my nascent self. Layers of skin separate, and the space between these layers fills with liquid. This is when I take control.
I am a blister. And I want nothing more than to ruin your outdoor experience.
Let’s face it, blisters suck. There is just no getting around this fact. Anyone who has ever suffered through a long hike with one or more on their heel or toe knows this all too well. Once they begin to form there is almost nothing that can be done to reverse the process, short of several weeks of rest and an absolute absence of rubbing. These conditions are nearly impossible to be had in the middle of the Adirondack backcountry, days from the nearest trailhead. » Continue Reading.
Since I have taken up the business of growing, canning, and preparing all kinds of food from scratch, I have found that life becomes hectic at certain times of the year. Summertime is just mayhem, with berries and summer fruits demanding attention, as well as the garden crops coming in.
In the fall there is pork and venison sausage making, and apples – we spend several weeks brewing hard cider every year. That’s followed by the fermented goods (sauerkraut, kimchi, and the like).
Then the holiday season comes, with its cookies, pies and feasting, followed shortly thereafter by citrus fruits which just scream “I need to be a marmalade!”. » Continue Reading.
Please join us in welcoming our newest contributor here at the Almanack, Shannon Houlihan. Shannon’s family was among the first settlers of a wide stretch of the Adirondacks from Warrensburg through Brant Lake and Bolton, and across Lake George to Hulett’s Landing. Shannon grew-up a city girl in Schenectady, but over the past 20 years she’s been exploring foods from all over the world. Her return to the Adirondacks 10 years ago sparked a new interest in raising and eating local foods from local gardens, forests, and waters.
Anyone who knows Shannon will tell you she’s an amazing kitchen raconteur and culinarian. I will tell you, (and I should know, Shannon and I have been together for 18 years) that she’s also an inventive cook without the pretense so common in today’s foodies. Her stock and trade is locally sourced foods using fresh ingredients, made from scratch. She makes the kind of food we all eat, but with an astoundingly fresh creativity, and an abiding interest in easily found local foods. Shannon is also a Warren County long-term care visiting nurse whose work brings her into contact with the food traditions of the old-timers she cares for – she’ll also be sharing some of those.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
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