Monday, February 24, 2014

Night Sky Over Heart Lake

BJW_3304

Last night was perfect for viewing the stars over large portions of the Adirondacks.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Center for Loon Conservation Project Seeks Funding

Loon BookThe Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has announced a campaign on Adirondack Gives, the crowdfunding site for Adirondack region nonprofits, which seeks support to digitize historical slides and film footage produced by Adirondack nature photographer Kip Taylor.

In the 1970s and 1980s, when loons were rarely observed on Adirondack waterways, and prior to the age of digital photography, Kip Taylor extensively documented the natural history and behavior of Common Loons on Adirondack lakes, including some very unique underwater footage and photographs of feeding and swimming loons. Prior to his passing in 1997 Taylor published Loon, which chronicled his excursions to photograph these distinctive birds. His widow has donated his film and slides for use in BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation’s outreach programs. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Local Crowd-funding Site Celebrates First Successes

unnamed(1)Adirondack region nonprofits are finding success on Adirondack Foundation’s new crowdfunding website, Adirondack Gives.  As of Feb. 13, four organizations-the Adirondack Council, the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society, Dewey Mountain Friends and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts-have reached their respective goals. Several other campaigns have surpassed the minimum of $250 to receive funding with time to spare.  To date, 15 campaigns have collectively raised more than $4,300 on Adirondack Gives.

The Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society successfully raised $1,000 in 60 days to help pay for the preservation of its glass plate negative collection. The historical society took ownership of the 10,000-piece collection in 2011, and has been working to preserve the negatives to museum standards since.  The glass plates depict life in Lake Placid from the early 1800s to the mids-1900s.  The historical society will use the $1,000 it raised to bolster a campaign to raise $5,000 to match a challenge grant it received last fall specifically for preservation of the glass plate collection. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Watertown’s Show-Biz Pioneer: Charles Giblyn (Part 2)

2A CGiblynBy 1911, Charles Giblyn, now 40, had been acting for more than 20 years, receiving many great reviews for his theater work. That he often stood out was reflected in comments like the following, taken from the pages of the Los Angeles Herald: “Not Yet, But Soon, currently at the Grand Opera House, has just one thing to commend it to theater-goers. This is the acting of Charles Giblyn as a dope fiend. Apart from Mr. Giblyn’s work, the piece is silly, stupid, and boresome.”

He had also managed several stock companies, and in recent years directed many stage plays and vaudeville shows at LA’s Belasco and other theaters. The experience would serve him well as he plunged head-first into a new show-business medium: the world of movies.

The birth of the commercial film industry was at hand, and Charles quickly became a main player at the directorial level. By mid-July 1913, the New York Dramatic Mirror noted that “… Giblyn … is making quite a hit by his clever work in the moving picture field.” It was but a hint of what was to come. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

A New History of Warrensburg Published

Book cover frontFollowing five years of planning, research, writing and design, the Warrensburgh Historical Society has released Warrensburg, New York: 200 Years of People, Places and Events (2014) in honor of the town’s Bicentennial Celebration.

Spearheaded by Town Historian Sandi Parisi, the effort involved more than 20 volunteers. The 184-page soft-cover book, laid out as an encyclopedia of Warrensburg history, contains more than 300 photographs and a 19-page index with over 2,300 listings.

Topics range from the town’s earliest settlers in the late 18th century to more recent notables of the 20th century, plus industries, businesses, and events that contributed to a thriving and prosperous community which influenced the local, state and national scenes. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blue Skies At The St. Regis Fire Tower

St Regis Mountain Fire Tower in WinterBluebird days make for great opportunities to photograph the striking contrast between the blue sky and snow.  Typically photographing mid-day produces lack luster photographs.  A polarizing filter will help cut the harshness of the light and produce a deep blue sky. Regardless of whether you are interested in photography, days such as these should be spent outside, not behind a desk.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Watertown’s Charles Giblyn, Show-Biz Pioneer

1A CGiblynDuring research, trivial bits of information often lead to the discovery (or uncovering) of stories that were either lost to time or were never told. For instance, did you know that a North Country man once directed Harrison Ford in a movie role as a young adventurer? Or that a coast-to-coast theater star hails from Watertown? Or that a man with regional roots patented a paper toilet-seat protector two decades before it was offered to the public? Or that a northern New York man was once a sensation after posing for a famous calendar? Or that an area resident was the go-to guy for the legendary titans of a very popular American industry?

If you’re at all puzzled, take comfort in knowing that the answers are simple, because one name―Charles W. Giblyn―is correct on all counts. A snippet of news, citing him as a former movie director, piqued my interest. The follow-up revealed a man possessing star quality and many talents, and an amazing career that today, for the most part, is long forgotten. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

The MacIntyre Range in Winter

IndianFallsClear skies, moderate temperatures, and a recent snowfall have made for very enjoyable conditions in the backcountry.  Saturday afternoon I skied up to Indian Falls and captured this shot of the MacIntyre Range.  The skiing was good, the only issue was a few trees down across the ski trail below Indian Falls.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Adirondack Diversity: A Conversation with Carol Cain

CainAs we debate diversity and the future of the Adirondack Park it is high time to hear from another voice besides mine.  Today I bring you a subject matter expert: traveler and travel writer Carol Cain.

Born in Brooklyn to a Dominican-Puerto Rican family, Carol lived and studied in the Dominican Republic as a teenager before returning to New York City to pursue a career in public relations.  She speaks three languages. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Call for Torch Runners: Olympic Flame Ceremony Friday

lpflamecauldrontestThe 1980 Olympic Flame Cauldron in Lake Placid will be lit Friday, Feb. 7, as the Adirondack region gears up to celebrate this year’s Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The public is encouraged to attend this free ceremony, which is intended to both commemorate Lake Placid and the Adirondacks’ Olympic heritage and to honor the region’s many local athletes who have represented Team USA in the past, and those who will compete in Sochi, Russia.

Following the 6 p.m. lighting, Olympians and other runners are invited to join the torch run on a route from the Flame Cauldron at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds, down Route 73 then along Main Street. The procession will end at Mid’s Park, where a smaller, portable Empire State Winter Games cauldron will be lit. That cauldron will continue to burn throughout the Empire State Winter Games and throughout the competition at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Artists Celebrating Historic Saranac Lake With Benefit

unnamed(5)Members of the Adirondack Artists Guild and Historic Saranac Lake will celebrate Saranac Lake history on Friday, Feb. 7, from 5 – 7 pm, with the opening reception for “Our Kinda Town” an exhibit and silent auction which will run through March 2.

Each year the Artists Guild selects a local not-for-profit for the February show and creates works of art that relate to the theme or mission of the organization. Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. Built in 1894, the Saranac Laboratory was the first laboratory built for the study of tuberculosis in the United Sates.  Historic Saranac Lake operates a local history website of over 5,000 pages of at www.localwiki.net/hsl. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Call for Submissions For Adirondack Literary Awards

unnamed(4)The Adirondack Center for Writing Literary Awards are a way to honor the writers and publishers who live and work (even part time) in the North Country. Submissions don’t have to be Adirondack-themed, though they can be. If you live here and published this past year, send two copies for submission.

The organizers are looking for submissions of fiction, non-fiction, children’s literature, memoir, edited collections and poetry. ACW  judges will choose a winner from each category, and popular vote decides a People’s Choice Award at the ceremony in June at the Blue Mountain Center, which donates space and resources for the event. » Continue Reading.


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.



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

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