Thursday, April 12, 2012

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (April 12)

This weekly Adirondack conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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 Adirondack Almanack also publishes weekly Adirondack Hunting and Fishing Report.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND
» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Protecting Your Home and Camp Against Wildfire

Although there has been some considerable snow in the High Peaks this week, and rain, sleet, and snow across the North-Central and Northern Adirondacks, the fire danger remains elevated. Continued abnormally dry conditions and drier weather this weekend could raise the fire danger from MODERATE to HIGH. More than 20 wildfires have been reported so far this year in the Adirondack region, including 17 in DEC Region 5, which have burned nearly 60 acres.
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Smartphone Birding App Allows Field Entry

Using BirdLog, a data entry app for iPhone and Android smartphones, bird watchers can now use their smartphones to instantly report the birds they see, from wherever they see them. With one click, sightings go straight to the eBird citizen-science program run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. eBird takes in more than a million bird reports each month from anywhere in the world. These reports are used by a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. BirdLog was developed by Birds In The Hand, creators of the popular BirdsEye bird-finding app, which is also based on eBird reports.

“Bird watchers have waited for in-the-field data entry for years,” says eBird leader Marshall Iliff. “BirdLog’s simple interface not only makes it easy; it maximizes the usefulness of sightings for birding, science, and conservation.”

Fully integrated with the eBird online reporting system, BirdLog allows users to select from thousands of existing eBird Hotspots and personal bird-watching locations, or to use the built-in GPS services of the phone to allow easy and accurate creation of new locations. Users can create lists in BirdLog even if there is no cell coverage at their location.

BirdLog North America and BirdLog Worldwide are available via the iTunes app store or at the Google Play app store for Android devices. A portion of the proceeds goes to fund research and conservation work at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Pub on 9, Bolton

Having only been open since January of 2012, the Pub on 9 is the youngest pub we have had the privilege to review. So far, they seem to be doing everything right. Located south of the village of Bolton Landing, the Pub on 9 is on Route 9N, or Lake Shore Drive, between Diamond Point and Bolton. Operating as the Wooden Barrel in past years, new owners Bob and Noelle Schwab eagerly wait to see what their first summer will bring. Set back a comfortable distance from Route 9N, with plenty of parking, a large deck offering sunshine or the shade of table umbrellas, the pub is a perfect spot for entertainment, indoors or out.

The bartender, Jon, is an enthusiastic, attentive, personable (and did we mention very handsome) guy with tireless energy and humor. His animated nature and quick wit kept us amused as he exchanged barbs with another patron, who asked that we not divulge his affiliation with the aforementioned bartender. He also told us a little about his participation in the Fire Tower Challenge, suggesting it as a theme for out next book. Hmm… The Firewater Challenge? We chatted with Noelle, who took a break from her daily chores to talk about the pub’s future plans.

Currently open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m., the Pub on 9 will add Wednesday and Sunday this summer, and plan to continue with Sunday operation through football season. This year they closed for the month of March and anticipate closing on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The generous dance floor rocks with musical entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, and Noelle hopes to add a Karaoke Night on Wednesday nights for the summer, as well as live music on the deck when weather permits. The deck currently offers picnic table seating, but will have patio tables in the summer season. Suggesting that the cook probably doesn’t have much of a social life, the kitchen usually stays open until just before the bar closes, so don’t be afraid to stop in for a late-night snack. The restaurant will also be offering delivery to nearby motels this summer, something that is sure to boost their notoriety.

The Pub on 9’s huge (by our standards) three-sided bar seats 24 and is stocked with all of the necessities: an abundant draft beer selection (10 flavors!), coolers full of bottled beers, and much more than the basics on the liquor shelves. Pine predominates, from walls to ceiling. The spacious floor plan flows seamlessly from bar to dining to a large game room, creating separate but inclusive spaces throughout. Three TVs suspended stadium style above the bar allow viewing from all sides and there’s another in the game room. The 70-inch monster flat screen may be best viewed from a comfortable club chair in the dining area, but can be seen from pretty much everywhere. The atmosphere is simple, clean and spacious. Decoration mostly consists of mirrored beer advertisements and a neon Welcome to Bolton sign (which Jon took pains to point out, so we felt we should mention it). Happy Hour is from 5 to 6 p.m. daily with $1.00 PBR drafts, $1 off well drinks and 1/2 off appetizer pricing.

Already known for the hand cut fries and homemade soups, the menu also features signature specialties, the 9 Burger and the 9 Dog. Plenty of options are available on the menu and range from $7.99 to $12.99, but they already expect to expand their summer menu. Hopefully they’ll be breaking out the blenders too for margaritas and daiquiris on the deck. Pam suggested adding a nine-shot cocktail (the 9 on 9?) as a signature bar offering.

It’s difficult to describe a bar based merely on having had a good time. From Jon’s greeting as soon as we walked in, to introductions to anyone else who entered or passed through, we were made to feel like invited guests and familiar friends. As the conversation turned to the mild weather and early emergence of mint and rhubarb, we swapped drink recipes (our Rhubarb Margarita) with celebrity bartender Kate (her Summer Squeeze). Kate, of Frederick’s in Bolton Landing, offered her endorsement of the Pub on 9 as a keeper, and a definite contender for the top 46. It’s places like this, where drink recipes are exchanged and rhubarb plants are procured, that remind us that the Adirondack region is just one big neighborhood.

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.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

John Warren: The Problems of Journalism Today

North Country Public Radio‘s Ellen Rocco recently posted a discussion item on their station’s blog pointing to a Slate.com story by David Sirota that “makes the case that we are on the verge of having journalism-free news and media industries.” Sirota writes that “the real crisis presented by journalism-free news media is the now-imminent potential for a total information vacuum devoid of any authentic journalism outlet. If that happens, we will be deprived of an ability to make informed, preemptive decisions about our world.” To be fair, he lays much of the blame on the corporate news media.

Regular readers probably already know I’m a believer in the idea that journalists are mostly people who get between what actually happened or what someone actually said, and the person who wasn’t there to see or hear it. One problem is reporters pretend to be unbiased observers, which anyone who has studied psychology, sociology, anthropology or history knows is nonsense. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy 150th, Charles Evans Hughes

Maury Thompson at the Glens Falls Post-Star alerted us to a significant and pretty thoroughly overlooked anniversary. Wednesday April 11, 2012 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Evans Hughes: Glens Falls native, Governor of New York State, Associate United States Supreme Court Justice, GOP presidential candidate, United States Secretary of State, and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

To that resume let us also add: Adirondack vacationer.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: The Adirondack Folk School

The weather in April can be a bit finicky, to say the least. Just as in any other season in the Adirondacks, there are inside options for entertaining ourselves.

The Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne has finalized its 2012 schedule of over 200 classes focusing on the traditional folk arts and crafts of the Adirondacks.

Executive Assistant Mary Stevens says,” We do have some nice classes going on this month with the majority of our programs ranging from a few hours to a few days. Currently we have courses such as ‘How to carve an Adirondack Loon,’ with Walt LeClair, and ‘Making Gourd Art’ as well as the popular ‘Stick and a Hike.’”

Stevens says that planning ahead is essential, as classes do tend to fill up. Classes at the Adirondack Folk School are geared toward individual attention, so attendance is intentionally kept low.

We are a small, non-profit,” says Stevens. “We are always open to having people interested in volunteering to come and fill out a registration form. Up until this year, 2012, the Adirondack Folk School was completely run by volunteers. We have 25 new instructors at the school this year for a total of 75. We are very excited to have them and all that they are offering.”

Stevens says, “Our whole goal is to promote the arts, crafts and culture of the Adirondacks. We aren’t looking for students with previous skills. We want people to able to walk out of class with a nice piece of art or something functional.”

“We have a number of classes for children,” says Stevens. “What we call ‘A Stick and a Hike’ is very popular. An adult comes with the child and they learn to carve their own hiking stick. During the morning the students learn about trail etiquette and what to take on a hike. Later they can enjoy the trails. It is a nice day to share for anyone ages 8 to 80.”

Other classes geared toward children are Nature Photography, Tinsmithing for Young People, Basic Blacksmithing, Fly-Casting Basics for the Young as well as Creative Clay Construction for Kids.

On April 21 the Adirondack Folk School will be hosting a free event called “Song and Story Swap” with singer and musician Colleen Cleveland. People are encouraged to share songs, stories or poems in a round robin, focusing on a specific theme. The Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY) will be there with plans to record and present the evening of music on their website.

“We also have a new open air bread oven and will be teaching a series of cooking classes we didn’t have in 2011,” says Stevens. “We will be teaching a class on ancient grains and baking in a wood-fired oven. In the fall, we will be having a Colonial Fest and students will be using colonial cookbook recipes to make food by traditional methods, such as cast iron Dutch ovens.”

The Adirondack Folk School opened its doors in 2010, offering 90 classes to almost 300 students in that first year. Housed in the former Town of Lake Luzerne town hall building, the school hosts inside or outside classrooms in fiber arts, basketry, woodworking, ceramics, woodcarving, felting, quilting, blacksmithing, boatbuilding and more.

Photo provided by the Adirondack Folk School.

Diane Chase is the author of Adirondack Family Time: Lake Placid and the High Peaks, Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities. Her second family guidebook will be in stores summer 2012.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dave Gibson: Remembering Harold Jerry

A columnist from the Old Forge area, Mart Allen, recently wrote for the Adirondack Express about the late Harold A. Jerry, Jr., and he inspired me to do the same. Judging from his experiences with Harold along a trap line during the winter in Herkimer County, Mart Allen concluded that Harold Jerry displayed a depth and integrity of character that should be the measure we take of all our fellow human beings, but often isn’t. That observation about Harold rang very true for me. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Small Business Basics Offered in Hamilton County

The Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Indian Lake Community Planning Committee and Indian Lake Central School to host three upcoming seminars to assist local small businesses and entrepreneurs in either expanding a current business or starting a new one.

Each session will address a different aspect of a business: feasibility, knowledge and skills for running a successful business, and financing available for starting or expanding a business. The seminars are geared toward anyone who would like to start their own business, or wants to improve their existing business practices.

“Small Business Basics”, or what to do before putting up your ‘Open for Business Sign,’ will be held on Tuesday, April 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participants will learn how to determine if a business idea is feasible, and if it would be profitable.

Karen Stehlin, Regional Director, North Country Small Business Development Center, SUNY Plattsburgh, will lead attendees in an understanding of the rewards, opportunities and challenges of being a business owner. The program will be held at Indian Lake Central School. Pre-registration is required; call the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce at (518) 648-5112.

Additional business planning and financial sessions will be held in May and June. Visit www.indian-lake.com for additional information.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Adirondack Wildlife: The Belted Kingfisher

The early break up of ice on ponds, lakes and marshes, along with a very healthy flow of water in streams and rivers, has made conditions far better for fishing this April than in recent years. Humans, however, are not the only creatures that prowl the banks of remote streams, or visit the shores of backcountry ponds, in an attempt to snag a small brook trout. Throughout the Adirondacks, there are numerous forms of life that are well adapted for catching fish, and among the most colorful and noisy is the belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon).

With its large head, long, thick bill, jagged crest, and white band around its neck, the kingfisher provides a silhouette that is easily recognized. However, it is not the unique appearance of this stout bird that initially draws attention to its presence. Most anglers and individuals that simply spend time outdoors commonly become aware that a kingfisher is in the immediate area by noting its distinct rattling call. » Continue Reading.


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