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.


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.


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day

In honor of Mother’s Day, a few stories from the Almanack archive:

Ruffed GrouseThe Ruffed Grouse: Defender of young

In late spring many infants are emerging from the safety of their den or nest and most mothers try to provide some form of protection from potential danger to their babies. Perhaps the most remarkable display of parental courage for a creature of its size is seen in the hen ruffed grouse. This bird will aggressively confront and challenge any human that happens to come too close to its recently hatched chicks.

From Tom Kalinowski: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2018/05/adirondack-wildlife-ruffed-grouse.html

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 2, 2020

From the Archive: Infamous Murder Revisited

Murder in the Adirondacks bookFrom 2017: Betsy Kepes reviews an updated edition of Craig Brandon’s classic 1986 book “Murder in the Adirondacks.” Over 100 years ago, the Chester Gillette Grace Brown murder case was considered the trial of the century. The case became the basis for Theodore Dreiser’s classic novel “An American Tragedy” and the movie “A Place in the Sun,” starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. Brandon’s book revisits the tragedy at Big Moose Lake and the ensuing trial.

According to Kepes, when North Country Books asked Brandon if he’d be interested in writing a revised edition, he jumped at the chance.

Read more here: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2017/04/infamous-murder-in-adirondacks-revisited.html

 

One year ago: Peter Bauer looks at 40 Years of Household Income Trends in Rural America

Five years ago: Dan Crane discovers illegal trails in the Five Ponds, Pepperbox Wilderness Areas:  https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2015/05/illegal-trail-straddles-five-ponds-pepperbox-wilderness.html

 

Stay informed about news and information about the Adirondacks by signing up for the Almanack’s daily news digest: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/sign-email-updates

 


Friday, May 1, 2020

Quarantine reads: More recommended Adirondack reading

Thanks to all who responded to our call for recommended Adirondack, environmental and nature-themed reading to pass the time in COVID-19 quarantine.

Here’s the original post

We also reached out to a handful of Almanack contributors to ask for their input and here’s some additional suggestions to add to the list:

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Quarantine reads: Suggestions from Almanack readers

Anne LaBastille, author of the “Woodswoman” series.

Looking for new ways to pass the time indoors?

Here are some suggestions for Adirondack and/or environmental themed books offered up by Almanack readers, who responded to a post on our Facebook page.

A mix of fiction and non-fiction, old and new (in no particular order), feel free to share your favorites in the comments!

» 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.