Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wild Foods: Cattails

TOS_CattailsLast winter I spent three months exploring East Africa, traveling through ten different countries and covering over 8,077 miles. I was continuously impressed with how much local guides knew about their surroundings, in particular the human uses of various plants. In some instances we could not walk more than ten feet without stopping to learn about another plant and all the ways it could save your life.

This experience made me curious about plants in my own backyard. A quick skim of foraging articles on the Internet revealed that cattails, with their various edible parts, are often referred to as “nature’s supermarket.” I was thrilled to learn that I had a 40-acre produce section right outside the back door. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Afflictions Of Late Summer Tree Leaves Only Skin Deep

330px-RhytismaAcerinumDetailUBeing an arborist, I’m of course very mindful of complexion. Things like bruises and blemishes catch my eye, in addition to scabs, cuts, and even those out-of-place whiskers that appear out of nowhere. It sounds like a description of my aging skin, but I’m talking about blotches, warts and cuts that accumulate on tree leaves over the summer.

I suppose if we had to stand outside day and night all season, our skin would develop issues too. Those who work or play much outdoors need to be concerned about skin spots that suddenly show up. With tree leaves, that’s not the case – even the ugliest “skin” condition is generally no cause for concern. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Silver Bay YMCA First To Seek LID Certification

Lake George from Silver bayThe leaders of Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George are the first to seek LID certification from the Lake George Waterkeeper.

LID is an acronym for Low Impact Development, and the projects that disturb landscapes the least and leave the lake’s water quality undiminished will be LID certified – much as green buildings are LEED certified. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Old Forest Roads In The Adirondack Backcountry

Negro Lake Jeep TrailBushwhacking is hard work. Trudging through dense forest, struggling with hobblebush thickets, climbing over downed trees, and dodging wetlands is no simple walk in the park; unless it’s the Adirondack Park.

An well-trod  path provides welcome relief from all this effort, whether it’s a herd path or a marked trail. Old forest roads offer another opportunity for respite, while still retaining that wilderness feel. In the Adirondack backcountry, these old roads are rather abundant.
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Catch Some Adirondack Theatre Before Summer Ends

Arcadia take threeIt has been a full summer and we have been lucky enough to have visitors from far and wide visiting with us. We’ve hiked mountains and paddled streams.

My family has danced during outdoor concerts, brought picnics to Shakespeare in the Adirondack Park and enjoyed community art walks.

There is plenty of summer time left, but the summer theatre season is winding down so here are a few opportunities to see professional and regional theatre in the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Imagine The Adirondacks Without Hemlocks

Hemlock CathySometime after four am I woke up and left the tent. Stepping into the beams of the full moon, I walked to the shore of Polliwog Pond. Dawn was just breaking above an old hemlock stand, mist swirled above still water, and the loons began to call their old, melancholic song. In those few moments in the light of the moon and the dawn and sound of the loons I was transported to an ancient place.

The day before, I had walked from the site where I was camped with colleagues and friends on a week-long Leave No Trace course, to an an old growth forest on a height of land. Most of the trees there, and at our campsite on the shore below, were hemlock. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Little Headline Humor from the Past

1944 HdlineGetGasIf you’re up for a few laughs, here are some more headlines taken from old North Country newspapers. See if you can figure out the real story behind each headline—and don’t be disappointed if you only go one-for-four.

The first one may have been an editor having a little fun with word play, but the headline in the Hammond Advertiser from spring 1944 does make sense in context. If you haven’t already guessed, the year provides a clue to the article topic. The answer: World War II was a time of shortages in America, and the article addressed limitations on the amount of gas available for pleasure craft in the Adirondack region. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

World Figure Championship & Figure Festival Gets Underway

11403452_891404890932228_1300046608197305656_n-2(1)The sport of Figure Skating has changed quite a bit in the past decades. Now, the inaugural World Figure Championship & Figure Festival from August 25-29 in Lake Placid is poised to create a new skating history.

Before 1990, figures were recognized as the essential component of figure skating in both training and competition. Figures are also known as school figures, or colloquially “patch”, to represent the patch of ice each skater was allotted to practice their figures. During practice, skaters would use “scribes”, metal devices that resemble a large protractor, to imprint into the ice the outline of a perfect circle. The skater would then follow the imprint on the ice by tracing the pattern with their blade. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 24, 2015

New Report: The Adirondack Park at a Crossroad

Crossroad ImageA new report by Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve concludes that “New York’s Adirondack Park faces serious threats due to the failure by State agencies in recent years to protect and preserve the Park’s wild forest character and natural resources. ”

The report, The Adirondack Park at a Crossroad: A Road Map for Action [pdf], argues that APA and DEC are failing to fulfill their legal obligations to protect and preserve the Adirondack Park.  The report outlines what the organization considers “a pattern of state agencies straying from their historical mission of science-based conservation and resource protection.”  » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Lake Champlain Bridge History Tour Planned

Crown Point Bridge Lake Champlain by John WarrenOn Sunday, August 30, 2015, at 1 pm, history and views from the Lake Champlain Bridge will be the highlights of a guided bridge walk offered by the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison, Vermont, and Crown Point State Historic Site in Crown Point, New York.  Site manager Elsa Gilbertson (VT) and historian Tom Hughes (NY) will lead the tour.

Participants should meet at the Chimney Point State Historic Site museum on the Vermont end of the bridge to start.  Allow two hours to walk back and forth across the bridge during the tour that explores the 9,000 years of human habitation at this important location on Lake Champlain.  » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wolf, Coyote, or Coywolf? New Science On Wolf Hybrids

eastern wolfUnlike Little Red Riding Hood, most of us can tell the difference between a wolf and Grandmother. But beyond that: our wolf identification skills are probably not as good as we think.

Consider the names bandied about the popular media today: gray wolf, red wolf, coyote, coywolf, coydog. Which of these are species? What is the real deal with hybrids? What does it mean for conservation? » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Raquette Lake Mystery: An Albany Mayor’s Secret Irish Family

George Thacher SrOne mystery remains which my research into the early cabins on Raquette Lake’s Indian Point has never fully solved. Why did the last two generations of our family have no knowledge of the original Thacher cabin on Indian Point from 1878-1886? Why are there no photos or drawings? Why was it abandoned?

Today, my family is proud of its Irish heritage thanks to the courage of my grandfather Kenelm R. Thacher in marrying Catherine Callahan.  Family lore has it that after the marriage Kenelm Thacher was labeled the black sheep of the family, the result of the bigotry toward Catholics by members of my Protestant family.  My aunt spoke of certain Thacher family members who crossed the street in downtown Albany, rather than converse with her parents.  It turns out however, that my grandfather was not the first Thacher to marry a Catholic, to the chagrin of some of his family. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 21, 2015

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights


Friday, August 21, 2015

Ticonderoga’s Largest Revolutionary War Event of The Year

IMG_0227 - CopyFort Ticonderoga and more than 700 re-enactors will play host to a two-day battle re-enactment highlighting Brown’s Raid of 1777, an attack led by patriot Colonel John Brown to take the British troops garrisoned at the fort by surprise 238 years ago.

The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13, from 9:30 am until 5 pm.  Historic interpreters and re-enactors from across the northeast will bring to life the little-known 1777 action with special programs in the British held Fort and the American camps throughout the weekend. The Brown’s Raid battle re-enactment will take place each day at 1 pm when the raiders will attack the British held lines overlooking Fort Ticonderoga. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 21, 2015

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


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