Monday, December 26, 2016

Loon Rescue at Follensby Clear Pond

Gary Lee during a Loon rescue on Follensby Clear Pond in December 2016 photo by Mike LynchOn Wednesday, December 21, volunteers and staff from BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation rescued a loon that had become iced-in on a pond in the northern Adirondacks.

The roughly three-year-old bird was contained in a small area of open water on Follensby Clear Pond near Upper Saranac Lake. The ice was an estimated five inches thick, and the bird had become trapped while it waited for its winter flight feathers to grow in. The bird had kept the water open through its movements. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Back Country Skiing Presentation in North Creek

Outdoor adventure enthusiast and expert back country skier Steve Ovitt will speak on Tuesday, December 27th at 7 pm on “Getting Into Back Country Skiing.” Ovitt’s talk at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek will give attendees the info and confidence to go off trail under their own power and enjoy the Adirondack back-country in winter.

Included in Ovitt’s presentation will be anecdotes from his extensive back-country experience; info on making the transition from traditional Nordic or Alpine skiing; advice on what equipment (including safety equipment) is needed; plus he will highlights some of the best back country places to ski in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Summer of 2016 Was Bad News For Bears

black bear Jean Belanger was starting a climb at the Beer Walls in Chapel Pond Canyon when his girlfriend, Isabel Rodriguez, yelled up to him to come down right away. “That usually means I have a spider on my back,” Belanger said.

But there was no spider this time. Instead Rodriguez had spotted an approaching mother bear and its cub. After quickly descending, Belanger walked a short distance away from the bears and started yelling and clapping. “They didn’t make any aggressive moves toward me at all,” he said. “It was really the packs they were walking toward.”

Bear experts recommend that people do what Belanger did when they encounter a black bear in the woods: make a lot of noise to scare the animal away. Black bears are generally fearful of humans, unless they have come to associate people with food. In these cases, the bears can become bold but will still usually run from people. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Trees of Christmas

christmas treeYou picked it out, maybe cut it down, brought it home, watered it, and decorated it. But do you know what species of tree that is surrounded by presents in your living room?

If you purchased your Christmas tree rather than cutting it out of the woods, chances are it’s either a balsam fir (Abies balsamea) or a fraser fir (Abies fraseri) – these are the two species most commonly grown on Christmas tree farms in northern New England. Balsam fir is found naturally everywhere, from Alberta to Pennsylvania, and has the largest range of any North American fir species. It’s perhaps best known for its aroma – when people say they want a tree that smells like Christmas, they’re talking about a balsam. Fraser fir, native to the Appalachian Mountains, doesn’t have the same trademark scent, but it does have a little more visual flourish in the form of elegant blue-green needles with silvery-white undersides. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Christmas Yule Log Tradition

yule logsApparently, the ceremonial burning of a large chunk of wood on or near the winter solstice (Yule to the old Germanic peoples) may have begun as a Nordic custom in the 6th century, possibly earlier. Known as a Yule clog, Yule block, Christmas log and other variants, the Yule log was purported to bring good luck in the new year if it burned all day long without being fully consumed. A remnant was always saved, and used to light the following year’s log. Though the tradition is much less common today, it has not been completely extinguished (so to speak).

Given the climate there, it is no surprise that the hardy folks in northern Europe thought the best way to observe a winter holiday was to light a tree trunk on fire and gather round it. That’s probably what I would have done, too. The French, on the other hand, put a whole new twist on the thing, inventing a delicious Yule log cake that they never burn, at least not intentionally. It took them a dozen or so centuries to come up with the recipe, but let’s not complain. You don’t have to go to France to check out a bûche de Noël — in Quebec you can find Yule log pastries that are works of art in addition to being delectable. (In an ironic twist, the bûche glacée de Noel, or frozen Christmas log, is gaining popularity in France and its territories.) » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Letters to Santa from a Simpler Time

pa1922-xmasadChildren’s Christmas wishes and expectations years ago were much different from what they are today. I was so struck by this—the simplicity and innocence of children hoping to receive some sort of gift—that while researching a book back in 2010, I included a chapter entitled Letters to Santa (in History of Churubusco). The sample letters below are excerpted from that book, and were published in North Country newspapers between 1920 and 1940. They reveal a sharp contrast to the modern holiday, where expensive gifts have become the disproportionate norm.

Like hundreds of other small villages and towns in the early twentieth century, Churubusco (in northwest Clinton County) was a farming community. Families were often self-sufficient, and everyone, including small children, had daily chores. This fostered teamwork, family unity, and gave children a firsthand understanding of the value of goods, services, and hard work. Those lessons were conveyed in their missives to Santa. And some of the comments in the letters are just plain cute. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 23, 2016

The Adirondacks Around The Web This Week


Friday, December 23, 2016

Adirondack Explorer Names New Publisher

Tracy Ormsbee, a senior editor at the Albany Times Union, has been named publisher of the Adirondack Explorer, effective March 1, 2017.  Ormsbee will succeed Publisher Thomas Woodman, who announced earlier this year that he planned to retire in 2017.

Ormsbee currently serves as Senior Editor/Features and Sports at the Times Union as well as Executive Editor of Times Union Magazines. She leads a team that creates the newspaper’s features and sports content and two magazines. She also acts as the lead editor for the Sunday newspaper. Ormsbee heads the Time Union’s Women@Work magazine and professional network and manages the Women@Work Executive Board, which consists of top businesswomen in the Albany area. Long active in state and national journalism organizations, she serves as president of the board of the New York State Associated Press Association. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 23, 2016

The Big Adirondack News Stories This Week


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Beloved, Photogenic Keene Barn Comes Down

For amateur photographer Nick Palmieri, the structure known as the “Keene barn” was always a welcome sight as he arrived in the High Peaks region.

“I’ve always called it the gateway to the High Peaks,” said Palmieri, who lives in New Jersey and runs the Save the Keene New York Barn Facebook page. “From an artists’ point of view that barn just sits in the perfect spot, just to make the scene perfectly beautiful.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Adirondack Conditions, Including Lake Ice Report

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 7:30 am; sunset at 4:22 pm, providing 8 hours and 52 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 2:54 am Saturday and set at 1:46 pm; it will be Waning Crescent, 18% illuminated.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Visiting the North Pole’s Village of Lights

It’s always with great excitement that my family gets to tell visitors that we live near the North Pole. I have photos of Rudolph on my phone and my Christmas cards are all postmarked with the North Pole seal. There are not many places in the Adirondacks that celebrate Christmas all year long.

Since 1949, Santa’s Workshop has been keeping the Christmas spirit alive year-round. Designed by Arto Monaco (Land of Make Believe) Santa’s Workshop, near Wilmington NY, provides us with a direct portal to “the jolly o’ elf.” Though Friday, December  23rd, from 4:30- 8 pm, Santa’s Workshop Village of Lights is open to the public for those last visits to Santa and his friends. The buildings are covered in twinkle lights while holiday music surrounds the tiny village. Elves, large and small, prepare the sleigh and reindeer for their annual Christmas ride. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Adirondack Foundation Announces 2017 Grant Cycle

erin-kelley-manager-of-ticonderoga-natural-foods-co-op-stocks-the-shelves-with-local-produceAdirondack Foundation will make grants from the Generous Acts Fund for the third year in 2017 thanks to donors from across the region. The Foundation has made a commitment to increasing the fund over time.

Generous Acts Fund (GAF) grants are single-year and competitive; current priority focus areas are early childhood education and quality of life for elders.

Adirondack Foundation’s Grants Committee will also review applications that might fill an unusual and/or pressing need that falls outside our focus areas. This program will not fund capital campaigns. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New Study On DNA Based Detection of Brook Trout Streams

brook-troutResearch conducted by Paul Smith’s College biology professor Dr. Lee Ann Sporn and fisheries and wildlife science graduate Jacob Ball was part of a study published in the journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society this December.

The study, “Efficacy of Environmental DNA to Detect and Quantify Brook Trout Populations in Headwater Streams of the Adirondack Mountains, New York,” focused on using environmental DNA, or eDNA, to determine if a fish species – in this case, brook trout – are present in a stream by using a single water sample. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

NYS History Course Offered at SUNY Adirondack

great-seal-of-ny-stateSUNY Adirondack is offering an online course “History of New York State” for the Spring 2017 semester.

This is a survey course providing an overview of the peoples and land of New York State from the earliest human occupation to the 21st century. The course will focus on physical geography, literature and the arts, demographics, government and politics relating to various time periods in New York State’s history including but not limited to Native American occupation, New Netherland, the Colonial and Revolutionary eras, and the Industrial Revolution. » Continue Reading.


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