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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Opinion: Hold APA Board Accountable for Boreas Ponds

Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.What happened to the Adirondack Park Agency’s classification of the Boreas Ponds Tract?  Months have passed with no sign of it on the APA’s monthly agenda.  Information does seep out here and there, and it’s not encouraging.  By now it’s no secret that plans are afoot for the Boreas classification that have nothing to do with the intended, legal process: namely development of the Draft Supplemental Environmental » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Harvest Time Canning Safety Tips

canning suppliescanning suppliesIt’s harvest time. Tomatoes, corn, beets, carrots, peppers and other fruits and vegetables are readily available from farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and your own gardens. Preserving the bounty safely for the winter can be economical, delicious, and safe if laboratory tested rules for food preservation are followed.

Since 1994, testing facilities, universities and the USDA tested recipes and directions used in food preservation books seven times in different areas of the country and under different conditions to assure that directions to be used would assure the product canned would be shelf stable, nutritious, flavorful, and free from both food spoiling bacterium and deadly bacterium such as » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Devil’s Shoelace: Doddering Assailants

Devil's Shoelace, Devil's Shoelace, Considering the climate where the personification of evil is alleged to make his home, you’d think the devil would wear flip-flops or something, but it seems he prefers lace-up footwear (Prada, I’m told). “Devil’s shoelaces” is one name applied to dodder (Cuscuta spp.), a parasitic plant that looks more like creepy yellow-orange spaghetti than a plant. Dodder is known by a whole slew of unflattering titles including wizard’s net, strangleweed, witch’s hair, and hellbine. As these names suggest, dodder has earned itself quite a sinister reputation, which is » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

French & Indian War Bayonet Discovered Near Loon Lake

Loon Lake - Johnsburg Area in 1805Loon Lake - Johnsburg Area in 1805Last fall a rusted old military bayonet was unearthed on private property just east of Loon Lake in Warren County. It was taken to David Starbuck, a noted local historical and industrial archeologist who has written extensively on Fort William Henry on Lake George.

Coincidentally, on that day Jesse Zuccaro, a student who has focused his studies on early bayonets, happened to be visiting Starbuck. Together they inspected this new find. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Climbing Moss Cliff In The Wilmington Notch

Don Mellor climb Nestlings, a variation of Touch of Class, on Moss CliffDon Mellor climb Nestlings, a variation of Touch of Class, on Moss Cliff Why would a climber want to visit something called Moss Cliff? Though the name conjures up some dank, low-angled slab wrapped in a living green carpet, the reality is quite different. This best of Adirondack cliffs is not so mossy. In fact, it’s among the cleanest, driest, most appealing rock walls in the Northeast — in my opinion, the » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stillwater Fire Tower’s Weekend Summit Stewards

Stillwater Fire Tower Stillwater Fire Tower Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower has recruited volunteer Summit Stewards for summer weekends. They’ll be up at the tower from 10 am to 2 pm starting Saturday July 1 through Tuesday July 4th. Summit Stewards will point out Whiteface Mountain and the Adirondack High Peaks to the northeast, the 195 wind turbines overlooking the Black River Valley to the southwest, and the expanse of the Stillwater Reservoir below.

The tower’s authentic 1919 sliding-top map table can be seen, with it’s alidade and vintage Panoramic Map for » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Marcy’s Great Chimney: A New Climb Up Mt. Marcy’s Trap Dike

Marcy's Great ChimneyMarcy's Great ChimneyMt. Colden’s Trap Dike is a well-known feature among hikers, climbers and geologists. It is not, however, the only trap dike in the High Peaks. Take notice and you’ll find smaller dikes crisscrossing most of the slides and treeless summits. Most of these are interesting and perhaps photogenic, but irrelevant to climbing.

One of the best-kept backcountry secrets is a large vertical trap dike capped with a diagonal car-sized capstone on Mt. Marcy. It lies in a northeastern facing cliff deep » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Watch Out For Deer Ticks: Reduce Chance Of Lyme Disease

The loathsome deer tick, also known as the black-legged tick, is defined more by the disease it spreads than by its own characteristics. Deer ticks, a name that came about due to its habit of parasitizing white-tailed deer, are transmitters or vectors for Lyme disease microbes that they acquire by feeding on infected mice and rodents. Lyme disease, if untreated can cause a variety of health issues including facial paralysis, heart palpitations, arthritis, severe headaches, and neurological disorders. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Horace Brown: Master Horseman of Northern NY

One of my favorite people to visit when I was a child was my maternal grandfather, who owned a 100-acre farm in remote northwestern Clinton County. Ninety acres of the property were wooded (I loved exploring nature); he had cows, horses, and a dog (I loved animals); and he was an avid fisherman (I lived on the riverbank in Champlain and loved fishing). From my perspective, everything about my Grandpa Jim (Lagree) was cool (this was back in the ’60s, so “cool” is appropriate).

On the wall near his usual sitting area in » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Scarlet Tanagers: A Precious Stone with Wings

tanagertanagerOne day last spring, I pulled into a parking lot in Thetford, Vermont, and saw a flash of brilliant red. Instantly, I knew it was a male scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea). He was perched in a cluster of bushes and everything around him – the fresh spring leaves, a nearby robin, the recently revived grass – paled in comparison. Nothing could compete with his blaze of color.

This time of year, the male scarlet tanager has a ruby-red body, flanked by jet-black wings and an » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Paul Hetzler: Keep Off the Grass

lawn carelawn careAs a kid of about five, I became suspicious of lawns. In a rare moment of TV viewing, I had seen a public-service ad wherein a bundle of green leafy stuff thudded into an eerily vacant playground while a baritone voice boomed out something like “Grass. We think it’s bad for kids. Stay away from it.” My mom insisted this was “bad grass” which did not grow in our yard. However, she declined to elaborate, which fueled my mistrust. So I kept » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Home Owners Encouraged to Practice Sustainable Lawn Care

To protect water quality this spring, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is urging New Yorkers to practice sustainable lawn care by going phosphorus free, using native plants and grasses, and reducing fertilizer use. DEC has launched the “Look for the Zero” campaign to encourage New Yorkers to purchase phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer, as more than 100 water bodies in New York State cannot be used or enjoyed as a result of too much phosphorus.

New York’s nutrient runoff law prohibits the use of phosphorus lawn fertilizers unless a new lawn is being established or a soil test shows that the lawn does not have » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Ida Blanchard: Heroic Switchboard Operator

Fire! … Please send help — there’s been a car accident! … We found our son in the pool … please help us! … We need an ambulance … I think my husband’s having a heart attack! … My wife can’t breathe and she’s turning blue! Many of us have experienced terrifying moments like those at one time or another. In modern times, amazingly quick responses are the norm from fire and EMS personnel directed by information received at county emergency service centers.

Until several decades ago, those positions were nearly all filled » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Time Travel in a Peat Bog

peat borerpeat borerGutter pipes full of soggy peat show up on the bench by my office each March. This means one thing: my colleague Peter Hope’s Saint Michael’s College students are about to experience time travel. You might reasonably ask how pipes filled with peat could possibly relate to time travel. What? No DeLorean, flux capacitor, or 1.21 gigawatts of electricity? To answer, we need to consider where peat comes from, and how it forms.

Peat accumulates in bogs over millennia. Decomposing plant material consumes oxygen, and sphagnum moss turns water acidic » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

‘Bluestockings’ Once Battled for Women’s Rights

Women’s history month (March) is a reminder of the struggles they have endured for equality and fair treatment. Unity is important in any movement, but in the North Country, women were often on opposing sides in the battle for equal rights. The region’s rural nature had much to do with that division, as did the population’s roots: mountain folk, farmers, and miners were primarily immigrants (many via Quebec) from European countries that were overwhelmingly Catholic or Protestant.

Resistance to change was organized by branding the opposition as silly and simultaneously ungodly. » Continue Reading.


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