Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Real ‘Captain Phillips’ At Champlain Film Society

Captain PhillipsFebruary 2nd is going to be more than just the Broncos trying to best the Seahawks in the XLVIII Super Bowl, when the Champlain Valley Film Society (CVFS) brings Captain Richard Phillips to introduce the 2014 Oscar nominated film named in his honor, based on the harrowing experience of his capture and attempted ransom at the hands of Somali pirates.

It is easy for my family to get caught up in the animated version of pirates or the swash-buckling Johnny Depp characterization without realizing that real pirates do exist and there is nothing romantic and comedic about it. I remember reading the news stories when Phillips sacrificed himself to save his crew in the 2009 hijacking. Now is an opportunity to meet a true survivor. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Screenings of New Grace Hudowalski Documentary

Grace HudolowskiSeveral screenings of “The Mountains Will Wait for You,” a new documentary film about Grace Hudowalski have been announced.  One of the most influential of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers (or just 46ers) was Grace Hudowalski (#9).

Born in Ticonderoga and raised in Minerva, she started at the top: her first was Mount Marcy in 1922 when she was 15 and by age 30 she had ascended all 46—becoming the first woman to do so. She also had a passion for climbing, and for the 46ers, that was contagious, and led to her becoming something of a club matriarch.

Director Fredrick Schwoebel read an article about Hudowalski in May 1993, and was captivated by her story. He spent hours interviewing her and her friends, and shot extensive footage in the mountains. He also recruited his father-in-law, Johnny Cash, the Man in Black himself, to narrate. Although Hudowalski died nearly a decade ago, her legacy lives on: there is a movement afoot to rename 4,012-foot East Dix in her honor, Grace Peak. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How Do We Make The Adirondacks More Relevant?

getting ready by the riverRecently, Pete Nelson opened a conversation on a social level many of us have been thinking about and working on a professional level.   This conversation about the challenges facing a park whose population of residents and visitors does not reflect the shifting demographics of our larger society is keenly felt in the conservation, education and resource management professions.  There is a famous quote, paraphrased, that says you will only commit yourself to what you know and love, and you will only come to know and love that which you feel is relevant to your life.

So the question Peter opened for conversation – and if you check out the comments on his January 11th post you will see he stimulated quite a conversation – is how do we make the Adirondacks more relevant in the lives of those who do not currently find it so.  » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Leave No Trace: Don’t Feed Wildlife

DSCN0174Happening upon this scene brought mixed emotions. I love the weasel family (Mustelidae), especially the American Marten (Martes americana), so I was naturally excited to be able to get so close to this one. That was only because someone had left a pile of dog food at a campsite. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saranac Lake Ice Palace Construction Begins

Ice Palace startsConstruction of the Winter Carnival Ice Palace, harvesting ice from Lake Flower, transporting it to the shore and assembling it according to the blueprint, began Friday. The palace was designed with a Celtic theme to coincide with the 2014 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival theme ‘Celtic Carnival’.  Construction on the palace will continue until the start of the carnival on January 31. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Adirondack Art: What is the Color of Snow?

Up Near the Black Pond CutAs an artist, I know snow isn’t white. Perhaps some of the more scientific oriented folks who read or contribute to the Almanack can offer scientific explanations. I’m going to tell you how an artist perceives snow.

This little painting, “Up Near the Black Pond Cut”, practically went viral when I posted it on my Facebook page in early December. It had nearly 300 “shares” and over 50,000 views!

It’s a winter scene – but there’s almost no white snow in it! I think the color and the light is what made it such an appealing painting. It was based on photos I’d taken last winter at the Paul Smith’s College VIC on the Esker Trail.  » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

World Premiere of NASA Film At The Wild Center

WaterFallsWildCenter2_1The Wild Center will host the World premiere of a new film produced by NASA on Saturday, January 25th.  Water Falls, a film created exclusively for spherical screens like the Center’s Planet Adirondack, introduces the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission to the public and explains the mission’s profound importance to everyone who lives on Earth.

In 2014, GPM will launch a Core satellite that will anchor a fleet of domestic and international satellites designed to measure precipitation around the globe approximately every three hours. The mission is driven by the need to understand more about the global water cycle, one of the most powerful systems on Earth.  Water Falls will use the sphere of Planet Adirondack to give viewers a global view of water, where it comes fromw and where it may be going. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Local Publishing And Some Surprising E-book News

Books Image JW01The most recent news on e-book sales might be startling to some, particularly those who have commented or sent emails regarding pieces I’ve previously written on the subject. The gist of many of those missives: like it or not, print is dead, and within a few years (2015 was a popular choice), digital books will rule. For my taste, it was far too simplistic a view, based solely on one mathematical bit of information: since e-books had suddenly risen to comprise about 20% of all book sales, the pace of growth would continue, and even accelerate.

That viewpoint ignored the most important requirement for just about any ongoing, successful endeavor in this country: a sustainable economic engine must be in place. That hasn’t happened yet.

Yes, money is being made, but it’s important to know how it’s being made and who is making it. Dozens of companies have been trying to solve the future of e-books and harness them economically. That future is still bright with promise, but some unforeseen realities are now coming into play. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winter Air Exhibition at View

W001View will bring the magic of winter to life in the January 18 opening of Winter Air, a juried exhibition of 118 works by 58 national and international artists in the Community Gallery.

An opening reception for the event will be from 4 P.M. to 6 P.M. on Saturday, January 18. Wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres will be available and the reception open to the public.

The Winter Air exhibition will be complemented by three other art exhibitions that will also be featured at the opening reception. Paintings by Chris Baker titled “London and France” will be on display in the Atrium and Balcony galleries. Baker’s paintings convey a sense of light reminiscent of the great American painter Edward Hopper. His paintings – in gouache – are vignettes that reveal the underlying and often overlooked magic that can be found in the everyday. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Buttons Available

2014 Winter Carnival ButtonThe 2014 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival button is available at merchants throughout the Village of Saranac Lake, and also in Bloomingdale. The 2014 Winter Carnival will take place Jan. 31 – Feb. 9.

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is a 10-day, community-wide event that traces its roots to a one-day Winter Carnival held in 1897 by the Pontiac Club. The Carnival honors this heritage by building an Ice Palace from blocks of ice harvested from Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay, where carnival events have been traditionally held for generations. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Young Playwrights Festival at Pendragon Theatre

Pendragon Theatre CampPendragon Theatre has always been one of my family’s favorite places to see a theatre performance in the Adirondack Park. In addition to an intimate theatre experience, there are always opportunities for children to gain professional theatre skills.

Pendragon hosts kids’ camps, live productions and internships throughout the year. Their latest event is bringing not just the stage alive for young adults, but hopefully their words as well. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

LG Courthouse Gallery Seeks Exhibition Proposals

Lake George Courthouse GalleryThe Lake George Arts Project is inviting regional and national, emerging and established artists to send exhibition proposals to the Courthouse Gallery. Preference is given to experimental or non-traditional work created in the last two years.

All exhibition proposals must include 10 to 12 images of recent work (jpegs on CD,) a hardcopy of resume, statement, image list, and a SASE for notification letter. The postmark deadline is January 31. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Brendan Wiltse: The Early Winter View From Mount Jo

DSC_3016In my opinion Mount Jo has one of the highest reward per effort ratios of any mountain in the Adirondacks.  I’ve hiked all of the High Peaks, but none of them are my favorite mountains.  Standing on a “lesser” peak affords one a better perspective of the topography of the landscape.  While Mount Marcy has a wonderful and enjoyable summit, something is lost when you are looking down on all the mountains, rather than at – or up – at them.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

First Night in Saratoga, Saranac Lake

FirstNIghtSaratoga_newBefore being introduced to First Night Boston years ago, New Year’s Eve celebrations were always a bit of a letdown for me. New Year’s Eve seemed to be a search for something better with enough alcohol to make waiting for the ball to drop remotely palatable. After experiencing First Night Boston, I knew if I were to leave the comfort of my home it would be to welcome in the next year surrounded by art, music and quality events. We have since gone to First Night events in Burlington and Binghamton and most consistently, Saranac Lake.

Last year was the first time my family attended a First Night celebration in Saratoga Springs. Traveling through Saratoga Springs and making the stop was one of the best New Year’s Eve decisions to date. All First Night celebrations offer families an opportunity to bring in the New Year with creative events and hands-on activities. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Up on a Hill: A New Memoir of Ticonderoga

Stubing Rist coverUp on a Hill and Thereabouts: An Adirondack Childhood (SUNY Press, 2013) by Gloria Stubing Rist is a memoir of growing up in Chilson near Ticonderoga during the Great Depression.  In the 1930s, life for kids tucked away in the quiet woodlands of the Adirondacks was rich with nature and filled with human characters.

This memoir contains the recollections of one woman who spent her childhood on the hillsides and in the woods near Ticonderoga. Rist served as Newcomb Central School’s school nurse for five years. Her father-in-law was Ernest Rist, a Newcomb politician in the 1920s through the 1950s. Following his death, New York State honored him by naming a previously unnamed peak after him, Rist Mountain in the southeast corner of the Marcy quadrangle. » Continue Reading.