Monday, June 24, 2013

Sandy Hildreth: The Adirondacks Inspire Art

plein air at the VIC

Living in the Adirondacks is all I need – I’m inspired by the landscape I see and often by the kind and friendly people I interact with as well. This past week I experienced a different kind of inspiration – more like an immense gratitude for this special place on the planet.

One hundred artists attended the Publisher’s Invitational Paint Out hosted at Paul Smith’s College. I wrote about my experiences at the 2012 event, because I was inspired then too, but this year’s event merits additional attention.

Eric Rhoads, who publishes Plein Air Magazine, has done this for 3 years now – extending an open invitation to plein air painters, throughout the world, to come paint the Adirondacks. Eric understands the magic of this place too. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chris Morris On Amazing Adirondack Stories

Chris MorrisAmazing things happen in the Adirondacks every day. I want to share those stories with you.

In this new Adirondack Almanack feature, I’ll report on some of the great, community-minded work that’s happening across the Adirondack Park. I’ll also highlight opportunities for you to get involved and give back.

The purpose of this feature is two-fold. For one, I hope these stories will inspire others to act. That could mean volunteering at a local animal shelter, signing up to coach youth athletics or donating money to a meaningful cause. If I fail to inspire you, that’s OK: my other goal is to simply make you feel good about where we live. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Monarch Butterfly Celebrates National Pollinator Week

IMG_0679-1June 17-23 is National Pollinator Week, a celebration that recognizes the importance of species such as flies, beetles, bees, butterflies, birds, and  bats in fertilizing everything from flowers to foods.  This Monarch Butterfly was captured on a Dahlia in Stony Creek with my Canon Powershot SX 110 IS, 6mm focal length, 1/320 sec. at f /2.8, ISO 80.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Father’s Day Weekend at Kate Mountain Music Fest

969443_534147843288015_269868549_nThough there are plenty of activities and reasons to get outside this Father’s Day weekend, the Kate Mountain Music Festival and BBQ is one opportunity to put some spring in your step.

On Saturday, June 15, Vermontville is bringing a buffet of musical talent to the Fourth Annual Kate Mountain Music Festival. With vendors, children’s games, and silent auction starting at 10 am, the musical talent will kick off at noon with blues guitarist Chaz DePaolo.

Organized by the Kate Mountain Community Recreation Association (KMCRA), the Kate Mountain Music Festival’s focus is to provide a place for families to spend some quality time together. According to Founder and President of KMCRA Derrick Romeo the goal is to bring back old-fashioned family time. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Books: Traditional Print, E-Books, or Print On Demand?

Adirondack Book ShelfA few local authors recently spoke with me about e-books, which coincidentally are grabbing headlines in a big way lately. The two main stories are Apple’s defense against charges that it conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices, and the surprising decision by Stephen King to not offer an e-book version of his latest title. King, one of the early proponents of digital publishing, hopes to reward the brick-and-mortar stores that helped make him such a huge success in traditional print.

The Apple case is currently in court, but in the nine months preceding the trial, e-book prices plunged, in some cases as much as 75 percent. A good thing? Maybe. But you get what you pay for, and with such low returns for selling e-books, there’s far less incentive for good authors to go digital. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Early Morning On Loon Lake, Warren County

Shannon Houlihan


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hill and Hollow Music in the Town of Saranac

Johannes Quartet_John EldridgeIn its 20-year history, Saranac’s Hill and Hollow Music has brought over 100 professional chamber music ensembles to the Adirondacks. Their community outreach has included over 1,250 presentations in schools, churches, senior residences and community centers. For founders Angela Brown and Kellum Smith the vision has grown to include a year-round Rural Retreat Program for professional musicians and the Northern Adirondack Vocal Ensemble (NAVE).

NAVE debuted in December 2011 and currently Conductor Drew Benware continues to work with Hill and Hollow to fill a distinct niche with this a cappella choir. According to Brown, by keeping this vocal ensemble small, NAVE is able to focus on a musical repertoire that enhances the goals of Hill and Hollow. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Photography: An Adirondack Sunset

Adirondack Sunset 03

Last Sunday’s stormy weather conditions made for dramatic picturesque skies indeed, and the timing couldn’t have been any better! The Sun was setting, with the last of the storms passing through, giving way to this golden view! It’s moments like this that makes you really feel alive, and be glad for it! So remember, when the storm is passing and the Sun is setting, grab your camera and get ready for a beautiful show! I captured this image with my Canon Powershot SX 110 IS, 60 mm focal length, 1/125 sec. at f /5.6, ISO 80.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Best Adirondack Books of 2012 Honored

Adirodnack Center for WritingWriters, editors, publishers, and book lovers gathered at the Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake on Sunday to hear the announcements of the Adirondack Center for Writing’s (ACW’s) annual Adirondack Literary Award winners. The Adirondack Literary Awards celebrate and acknowledge the books that were written by Adirondack authors or published in the region in the previous year.

Judges for the Adirondack Literary Award were Bibi Wein and Jerry McGovern (nonfiction and memoir); Ellen Rocco and Joseph Bruchac (fiction); Stephanie Coyne-DeGhett and Stuart Bartow (poetry); Ellen Wilcox and Nancy Beattie (children’s literature). All of the books submitted for consideration this year were on display on Sunday, giving a visual sense of the scope of our Adirondack literary achievements, and many of the authors had signed copies of their books for sale.

And the winners are… » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Remembering ‘Adirondack Detective’ Writer John Briant

JBriant 01aFor the second time in recent months, the Adirondacks lost a longstanding member of the regional writers’ community. John Briant of Old Forge, known far and wide for his Adirondack Detective series of books, passed away on May 14. I’m not a religious person, and I can’t say to what extent John was, but if he was devout, he probably looked forward to reuniting with his beloved wife, Margaret, who passed away in June 2012.

If you didn’t know the Briants but you attended book events in the area, they were the loving elderly couple who clung so closely to each other. Each seemed to support the other. Her death last year was a tragedy that many of us feared would be John’s undoing as well.

The world of literature is filled with moving stories of young love lost and the tortured souls of survivors, pining for what once was or might have been. As John spoke to me last year of Margaret’s passing, it became clear that, at least in this instance, age had nothing to do with love’s depth or fervor. He at times wept while describing her hospital stay, her unexpected death, and the deep sense of loss that had since enveloped his life. Had John not mattered to so many people in so many ways, he might well have left us soon after Margaret did―just from grief alone. He had lost, after all, his partner, love, and inspiration. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Nancie Battaglia Photo Exhibit Opens Tonight

Strand Theatre in Old ForgeNancie Battaglia—well known for her photography of the Adirondacks and the Olympics—will be exhibiting more than two hundred examples of her work at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LCPA) through June 22.

Titled “inPRINT,” the exhibit focuses on photos that have been published in newspapers, magazines, and other media, such as book covers, brochures, and even cereal boxes. Her photos have appeared in national publications such as National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times and in regional publications such as the Adirondack Explorer and Adirondack Life.

The public is invited to an opening reception at the LCPA from 5 to 7 tonight. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Frost And Snow Covered High Peaks

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Early morning frost on the fields, with snow covered peaks above the green trees. Not the best weather for Memorial Day weekend – but it sure was pretty! This was captured with a Nikon Coolpix P7700 early on Monday morning, 5/27/13. I wanted to get out for some photos before the sun had a chance to start melting the snow capped summits. I went from there to Heart Lake and Mount Jo, and then photographed awhile along the Adirondak Loj Road again before heading back home mid-morning.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Art and Nature: Returning To the Heron Nest

Heron on nest, 2013If you’ve been reading the Adirondack Almanack for a while, you may recall my emotional writing about the heron nest I found in the spring of 2012, and the three charming youngsters that were about half-grown when nature intervened and they became dinner for some predator like a large owl or a bald eagle. I was devastated as I’d been quietly visiting the nest site for weeks, observing and photographing the heron family. You can see a YouTube video of one of the parents feeding the three youngsters here.

I’m happy to say, the herons are back on the nest. Or more accurately, according to what I’ve read, a male heron, perhaps the same one, returned to this nest site, made sure the nest was in tip-top shape, and then courted a female (who may not be the same one as last year) and convinced her to join him for mating season. I trust those close friends who know where this pond is will keep it quiet and not disturb this nesting pair. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Photo: Northern Lights Across Brant Lake on Saturday

Brant Lake Northern Lights (5-18-2013) Carl Heilman PhotoA large sunspot has been active on the sun lately, and I happened to be up to see the glow of the aurora across Brant Lake in the wee hours of the Saturday morning. The moon was just setting on the horizon about 1 AM and I knew the skies would soon be nice and dark for capturing the gentle glow of the northern lights. This was a 50 sec. exposure with an f /2.8 11 mm wide angle lens on my Nikon D300S using an ISO of 800.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Adirondack Paddlefest in Old Forge This Weekend

PF.beach01.lgAfter a week of frost warnings and even snow flurries, the weekend temperatures are due to ease into the sixties and just in time for the Adirondack Paddlefest. In its 15th year, the Adirondack Paddlefest will host paddling presentations, test paddles, on-water canoe and kayak sales, demos, clinics, food and entertainment this Friday – Sunday, May 17-19 in Old Forge. » Continue Reading.


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