Sunday, August 7, 2022

Always-changing nature

duck hole

I just got back from an overnight trip to Duck Hole in the Western High Peaks so will keep this brief. Photographer Mike Lynch and I joined guide Matt Burnett and a group of local teenagers on a trip back to the former dammed pond that drained after the dam blew out during Tropical Storm Irene.

More to come on why we made the trip, but I can attest that the succession of ecosystems is well underway a decade after the water drained. Moss, grasses, shrubs and flowering plants have filled the area, attracting monarch butterflies. Fast-growing birches and the first generation of new spruce and cedar saplings have taken root. Nature is dynamic and, if allowed, fast to recover from humans’ mark.

Next, I’m headed to Paul Smith’s College for the Adirondack Lakes Alliance symposium. I’m looking forward to hearing discussion on a range of important topics, including the contested use of herbicide to combat invasive aquatic plants. I hope to meet some of you there.


Photo of Duck Hole by Zachary Matson. Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up

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Zachary Matson has been an environmental reporter for the Explorer since October 2021. He is focused on the many issues impacting water and the people, plants and wildlife that rely on it in the Adirondack Park. Zach worked at daily newspapers in Missouri, Arizona and New York for nearly a decade, most recently working as the education reporter for six years at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.


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