Almanack Contributor Melissa Hart

Melissa Hart

Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor with the Burlington Free Press, Ithaca Journal and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She worked as a communications specialist for the Adirondack North Country Association and runs her own New York State Women owned Business-Enterprise Bootstrap Communications, which includes digital marketing, strategy and design. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and a cat.


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Weekend reads: Some of our most-read wildlife stories

From time to time, an animal story (or two or three) pops up in the analytics as gaining a noticeable amount of attention, due to people’s searches that land them there, or other online referrals.

Here’s an offering of a few of those popular stories for your reading pleasure:

» Continue Reading.


Monday, July 27, 2020

‘Name that Place’ photo contest tests your Adirondack knowledge

How well do you know the Adirondacks?

Each day this week (July 27-31) we’re posting a photo of a “mystery location: to the Adirondack Explorer’s website.

You let us know where it is by leaving a comment in that post. Come back each day for a new photo/entry.

At the end of the week, we’ll draw a winner for a grab bag of Adirondack Explorer swag and books by locally renowned authors Bill McKibben and Phil Terrie. As a bonus, the first person who gets all 5 entries correct receives special recognition.


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Weekend read: Climbing the trap dike

A recent DEC ranger report about hikers getting stuck in Mount Colden’s trap dike had me searching the archive for stories about hiking the dike.

Is it a hike or a climb? In 2011, former Explorer editor Phil Brown tackles the tough question: Is the Colden trap dike a hike or a climb? Esp. in light of a hiker who died from a fall at the dike that year. https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/10/phil-brown-is-the-trap-dike-a-hike-or-a-climb.html

Magazine feature: In 2015, Brown writes about the tap dike being featured in Climbing magazine: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2015/04/magazine-recommends-alpine-trek-adirondacks.html

Marcy’s trap dike: From 2017, Kevin “MudRat” MacKenzie writes about scaling Mount Marcy’s trap dike: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2017/06/marcys-great-chimney-new-climb-mt-marcys-trap-dike.html

Photo: DEC Forest Rangers assist in hoist rescue on Trap Dike/provided by DEC

 


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Send us your story ideas; write for the Almanack

Is there something happening in your part of the Park that we should know about? Any topics we need to tackle? Let us know by commenting or sending an email to [email protected].

We also invite you to contribute! Looking for people who are interested in writing about Adirondack history, arts and culture, current events, and environmental, recreation and nature/wildlife topics. Review the basic guidelines below and get in touch at [email protected].

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Send us your story ideas

Is there something happening in your part of the Park that we should know about? Any topics we need to tackle? Let us know by commenting below or sending an email to [email protected].


Saturday, July 18, 2020

From the archive: 1995 microburst

Twenty-five years ago, on July 15, 1995, a crazy storm hit the Adirondacks.

We posted this 2011 story from the Almanack archive on the anniversary of the microburst on Wednesday, and readers chimed in with their own memories of the storm: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/07/extreme-adirondacks-surviving-the-1995-microburst.html.

Here’s another one from 2009 about the storm, also known as the Great Adirondack Blowdown: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2009/07/anniversary-of-the-great-adirondack-blowdown-of-1995.html

 


Monday, July 13, 2020

What are your thoughts about dogs on the trails?

Dogs: Do they need to be hiking or should they stay home? To leash or not to leash? Those are the questions facing pet parents who want to include their furry four-legged companions on excursions.

Read up on hiking do’s and don’ts in this article that’s part of the July/August edition of Adirondack Explorer: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/dogs-in-the-adirondacks

And weigh in here with your thoughts and experiences.

Photo: Kim Douglas and her dog Stitch hike Haystack Mountain, a trail in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, where leashes are required. By Nancie Battaglia


Saturday, July 11, 2020

From the Archive: NYCO Mine Amendment

Peter Bauer’s critique this week about the state’s role in the 2013 NYCO mine amendment stirred up some long-standing resentments.

A search for “NYCO” in the Almanack archive brings up 100 past articles. Here’s a sampling, in case you wanted to read up on the the history of this controversial amendment:

Leading up the vote: Pete Nelson presented his position on a “no” vote: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2013/10/commentary-precedent-profit-vote-nyco-amendment.html

From 2013: Former Explorer editor Phil Brown breaks down the reasons why the amendment passed: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2013/12/nyco-overcame-aversion-proposition-5.html

Also from 2013: Chris Amato looks at the “Facts and Fiction” surrounding the amendment: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2013/12/nyco-amendment-fact-fiction.html

From 2014: Brown reports on the attempts to stop drilling from going forward: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2014/09/state-argues-nyco-foes-thwarting-will-of-voters.html

From 2018: The Explorer reports on the amendment and lack of progress on the mine holding up its part of the deal: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2018/08/nyco-mine-expansion-falters.html

 


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Weekend read: Constitutional amendments

Happy Independence Day!

Article 14, Section 1 — the “Forever Wild” clause of New York’s constitution — has been amended 16 times since 1938, and talks have been under way about three new amendments that could be put before voters.

In the Almanack, Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks, has been working on a five-part series about these proposed amendments.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Happy Father’s Day and Happy Solstice!

Happy Father’s Day weekend and happy start of summer. In recognition of both, I’ve pulled a few related stories from the Almanack archive to share:

Frog Jumping Contest: Even though this year’s event is sadly canceled due to COVID-19, Diane Chase wrote about this fun annual “Frog Jumping Contest” typically held on Father’s Day. This popular Old Forge tradition is approaching its 50th anniversary. From 2018: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2018/06/forty-six-years-of-frog-jumping-fathers-days.html.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Farmers markets open, with some changes

For many of us in the Adirondacks, the opening of our local farmers market is one of the real harbingers of summer. Some of the 800 markets and farm stands statewide are seasonal ones and have recently begun the process of opening, for a year like no other. In the aftermath of COVID-19, markets across the region are operating with new sets of rules designed to keep vendors and patrons safe.

Our summer intern Sierra McGivney talked to organizers and vendors for the Keene Valley and Saranac Lake farmers markets. Read all about it in the Adirondack Explorer’s Food and Farms section: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/food_and_farms/adirondack-farmers-markets-open-with-some-changes

Image: The Saranac Lake Farmers Market has some new changes this season. Map by Gail Brill

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A deeper dive into aquatic invasives

Although Invasive Species Awareness Week has wrapped up for this year, the work to combat the spread of aquatic invasives in our Adirondack lakes, ponds and other bodies of water is ongoing.

Here’s a recap of some recent coverage:

Adirondack Explorer’s policy reporter Gwen Craig discusses efforts to fight the spread of aquatic invasives in this recent Capital Pressroom interview: http://www.wcny.org/june-11-2020-adirondacks-prepare-for-next-bout-with-invasive-species/

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 6, 2020

From the Archive: The scourge of ticks

tick next to dime‘Tis the season to hit the trails. At the same time, all outdoor enthusiasts hope to avoid the worst of all biting insects: The tick.

Here are a few selections from the Almanack archive that address these most-maligned insects:

From 2017: In a personal take on ticks, Tim Rowland writes: “I’d always viewed ticks as benign, but now I have to put them into that “one more thing to worry about” category, which is already quite an overcrowded field. After a recent hike in Essex County I picked two of the bastards off of me, and of course it happened in the middle of the night when everything seems more dramatic than it is. So where previously, I would never have given it a second thought, I instead lied awake for an hour wondering, ‘Am I doomed?'”

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 30, 2020

From the Archive: Fire season

fire

The recent rash of wildfires reminds us of fires from the past that altered the natural and physical landscape:

From 2018: The Long Lake West Fire was not the first major forest fire in the Adirondacks, nor would it be the last. But the fire in 1908 caused the most property damage, writes Mike Prescott: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2018/09/adirondack-wildfire-the-destruction-of-long-lake-west.html

From 2015: Sheila Myers shared information about “Yellow Day” fires in the late 1880s-early 1900s: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2015/05/yellow-days-adirondack-forest-fires-and-air-quality.html

From 2011: A fire at Spencer Boatworks in Saranac Lake, in which many historic, antique boats were destroyed: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/05/spencer-boatworks-fire-update.html. That fire reminded contributor Mark Wilson about a fire in 1919 that saw similar loss of watercraft: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/05/spencer-boatworks-fire-recalls-1919-blaze.html

Photo: Rangers fight wildfires over Memorial Day Weekend/DEC photo

 


Friday, May 15, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (5/14): Beaches will open; campgrounds remain closed

Per NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily news briefing:

“As a region we have established a joint agreement on beaches in NY, NJ, CT and DE. State beaches will open Friday of Memorial Day weekend with strict precautions. Beaches will be at 50 percent capacity & masks will be required when social distance not possible. Staff will enforce.”

That re-opening applies to NYS-run beaches.

» Continue Reading.



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Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.