Almanack Contributor Jackie Woodcock

Jackie Woodcock was born and lives in the Adirondack Mountains. She is an apiarist, lepidopterist, conservationist, teacher, writer, artist, and a co-owner of SkyLyfeADK. You can find her SkyLyfeADK on Instagram and Facebook.


Thursday, January 11, 2024

An Adirondack Childhood

Artwork depicting three young sisters

By Jackie Woodcock

Nestled in what I have often termed as, the Armpit of the Adirondack Mountains, lies a small town called Newton Falls. Newton Falls, a place where everyone knows everyone, felt like a well-kept secret as our town often could not be found on a paper map. The population of Newton Falls was just 241 people, making it a close-knit community where you couldn’t sneeze without someone on the other side of town saying, “Bless you!” It was a town where you could walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes, and where the sound of crickets and the scent of pine trees were as familiar as our own heartbeat.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 27, 2023

Small Wonders: The Adirondack Squirrel Trio

Painting of a chipmunk on someone's hand

By Jackie Woodcock

Nestled within the landscape of the Adirondack Mountains, a lively trio of small mammals steal the spotlight. In the midst of the mountains, the enchanting dance of grey squirrels, red squirrels, and
chipmunks is not merely a wildlife spectacle but a therapeutic symphony for the soul. These charming creatures, belonging to the Sciuridae family, contribute to the rich tapestry of wildlife in the wilderness around us. The Adirondack’s pristine landscapes and diverse ecosystems, provide a serene backdrop for observing these small wonders. Nature has an innate ability to soothe the mind and nurture the spirit. Throughout the seasons my Husband and I Watch the agile leaps of grey squirrels, the fiery guardianship of red squirrels, and the ground-level antics of chipmunks that together create a balm for the stresses of life.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Reflecting on resilience

steve hall

Having a friend in your life that encourages you, stands for your honor and profoundly changes you for the better is a priceless gift, a gift bestowed upon my husband and I by a man named Steve Hall.  He is the reason I started writing and he is the reason I wrote this poem.  To the most resilient man we have ever known!

Proverbs 27:17 – As Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another  » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 19, 2023

Unveiling the Hidden Costs of Renewable Technologies

The global push for renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has been celebrated as a significant step toward a cleaner, greener future. While these technologies are hailed for their potential environmental benefits, there’s a dark side to their production that often remains hidden from view. From the cobalt mines of Africa to the rainforests where balsa trees are felled, the environmental and human costs associated with renewable technologies are a stark reminder that not all that glitters is green. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 5, 2023

Enchanting Autumns in the Adirondacks

As summer’s warmth begins to wane, and the days grow shorter, a remarkable transformation takes place in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. The mystical season of fall arrives, casting a spell of enchantment over this vast wilderness. In the Adirondacks, autumn is a symphony of color, a time when the forested hillsides burst into brilliant hues, and the landscape undergoes a profound change. Join us as we delve into the magical world of Adirondack autumns, where trees paint the landscape with their vibrant foliage, and wildlife prepares for the harsh winter ahead. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 13, 2023

Mountain Gardens Galore

A garden in the Adirondacks

By Jackie Woodcock

It’s prime time here in the mountains to witness fruits, berries, and vegetables hanging from lush greenery. In the small towns that make up the western gateway to the Adirondacks, gardens of all sizes are thriving and abundant. There are several reasons people in these small towns choose to garden. Some find it therapeutic and gratifying, with the greatest reason being that we live in what is called a food desert. No, we don’t live in an area strictly covered by sand and scorching temperatures, rather we live in an area where access to fresh food is greatly limited. Thus the action of planting gardens becomes paramount to community health and well-being.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Bigfoot: Real or a Figment of the Imagination?

harry and the hendersons

For decades stories of a bipedal, ape-like creature have been circling the globe and the Adirondacks is no exception.  Native Americans have talked about Sasquatch for hundreds of years. Often considered a West Coast phenomenon, sightings have also appeared all over the Adirondacks, from Saranac Lake in the north to a famous sightings in Whitehall. This creature has many names depending on geographical location of the sighting, but the most common names for this creature in North America are Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Yeti and Skunk Ape.  The one commonality of sightings despite the location on the globe, is the fact that the sightings occurred in remote areas with a large amount of vegetation and that are not densely populated by humans.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 8, 2023

He Still Moves Stones

eater art

As the Easter Holliday nears, over 2 billion Christians here in the Adirondacks and around the world will be celebrating the resurrection and the rising again of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion.  The resurrection of Christ, which is the holiest of celebrations, occurred over 2000 years ago when humanity’s fate stood in the balance.  It began early one Sunday Morning as two women leave their homes and walk out onto a shadowed path on their way to perform a somber task.  This morning promises only sorrow, Mary and Mary unaware that this will be the first Easter.

They are not hoping for an empty tomb, they are discussing how they will feel when they see Jesus.  They have no idea that his grave has been vacated.  There was a time when they dared to dream such dreams, but not now.  It’s too late for the incredible, the feet that walked on water have been pierced.  The hands that healed lepers had been stilled.  Noble aspirations had been spiked into the cross the Friday before.  Mary and Mary have come to place warm oils on a cold body and bid farewell to the one man who gave reason to their hopes.  But it isn’t hope that leads the women up the mountain to the tomb, it is duty and devotion from which they expect nothing in return.  What could Jesus, a dead man offer?  The two women are not climbing the mountain to receive, they going to the tomb to give.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Junco Jig

junco

It’s that time again here in The Adirondacks, and mountain residents know all too well the confinement and extra chores that come with SNOW.  My Husband and I find a great deal of joy and contentment feeding and watching the birds, and there is no time like winter to observe the lives and behaviors of our friendly visiting birds.  One of the most entertaining winter birds is the dark eyed junco.  These little birds are the real snowbirds, unlike humans who are called snowbirds for fleeing the winter temps in search of warmer territory, these little birds arrive in the Northeast in time for snow fall and will fly northward once signs of spring appear. 

Juncos are very social and will gather in flocks that may have two dozen birds or more. A flock of juncos is called a chittering, flutter, crew, or host. Juncos will also join flocks with chickadees, sparrows, and kinglets.  Due to their similar coloring and size, the junco is sometimes confused with a chickadee but can be differentiated by several factors.  Once you identity the differences in each bird, you will immediately recognize who is who and their intriguing habits. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 20, 2022

A Different Kind of Lady

lady bug or beetle?

For weeks now, the insects currently clustering in homes here in the North East, are tiny Fall visitors called Asian lady beetles.   These little uninvited guests, ranging in color from red to orange and yellow with black and white markings, are swarming to homes in preparation for the Winter conditions to come.  Both our native red ladybugs and Asian lady beetles are in the insect family Coccinellidae, and although they can look alike, they have very distinct behaviors.  The easiest way to tell them apart is to look for a distinctive white “M” on the beetles’ heads.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, October 14, 2022

If You Could Save Time In A Bottle

Wendy and Screech Owl

At 47, I have yet to meet or know a person who hasn’t known the sting of death.  Whether it be a friend or family member, loss can be life altering and if given the chance, we would surely turn back the clock and have them back in our lives once more.  Tomorrow is not promised and today seems so short.  Maybe we forget from time to time, but it becomes overwhelmingly obvious that life could never be long enough to save a broken heart from crumbling.  What would you do if you could save time with the ones, you love the most?  I think Jim Croce nailed it with the lyrics of his song, Time in a Bottle, words flowing from the heart from someone who knows what it feels like to have cherished a being we were Blessed to have in our lives. 

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Winter Weather Worms

worms

During the summer, here in the Adirondacks the little creatures we call earthworms are abundant and apparent.  For many, earthworms are just a simple creature that are foraged for to utilize as bait when fishing, but they serve many more purposes than this. Earthworms perform several beneficial functions such as: Stimulating microbial activity.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Adirondack Kids column for March

adirondack kids column for march

Adirondack Kids

We hope all the kids are enjoying the newsletter created just for them.  It’s never too soon to teach the little people how to be Good Stewards of Nature and hopefully one day they will want to be guardians of nature.  We have been putting together a nature filled package for all the kids who send in their “Crack the Secret Code” answer.  Can’t wait to hear from you all!

If you missed January’s Newsletter here is the link: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2022/01/new-adirondack-kids-feature.html

and February’s is here: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2022/02/adirondack-kids-february.html


Saturday, February 12, 2022

Adirondack Kids for February


Sunday, February 6, 2022

The Predator-Prey Relationship: An Intricate Balance

predator and preyPredator and prey is one of the most common type of relationships in the animal kingdom.  Animals need to survive and feed themselves, and for predators that occurs through them hunting smaller animals or prey.  Ecosystems are complex and diverse, with many levels and intricate relationships between organisms. Removing any level from an ecosystem disrupts a delicate balance that may have evolved over millions of years.

Populations rarely, if ever, live in isolation from populations of other species and in most cases, numerous species share a habitat. The interactions between these populations play a major role in regulating population growth and abundance. All populations occupying the same habitat form a community. The number of species occupying the same habitat and their relative abundance is known as species diversity.

» Continue Reading.



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