It’s been a bit surreal to read about this summer’s record-breaking drought from the lush, thunderstorm-drenched environs of Long Lake. But while the central Adirondacks may have had plenty of rain this summer, other parts of the North Country have not.
I have been tracking drought conditions across the region with stream gage data from US Geological Survey that measures stream levels and transmits the information in real-time to the internet. The USGS began stream gage construction in the late 19th century, and now maintains 7,500 gages across the country including dozens in the Adirondack region. The data from these gages are used for many purposes including flood forecasting, water supply allocation, wastewater treatment, highway engineering and recreation (rafting anyone?). » Continue Reading.
The Adirondacks and the surrounding region are at High Fire Danger Levels, warns the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers. Recent warm and dry weather has created a “High Fire Danger” condition that allows wildfires to start easily and spread quickly with devastating effects.
Three fires in the Adirondacks, one of which was started by an unattended campfire, have already burned eight acres of wild lands. The U.S. Drought Monitor is also reporting abnormally dry conditions in Clinton, Franklin, Northern Essex, Western Hamilton, Lewis, and Oneida counties. » Continue Reading.
Here are some objects for the unaided eye for the month of July. All of these objects, although small, should be visible without the help of binoculars or a telescope, so long as you have clear dark skies.
Light pollution is a killer for seeing these objects with your unaided eye. To find out how dark your location is, use the Google Map Overlay of light pollution. If you are in a blue, gray or black area then you should have dark enough skies. You may still be able to see some of these objects in a green location. If you aren’t in a dark sky location you may still be able to see these objects with a pair of binoculars or telescope.
You can find help locating the night sky objects listed below by using one of the free sky charts at Skymaps.com (scroll down to Northern Hemisphere Edition and click on the PDF for July 2012). The map shows what is in the sky in July at 10 pm for early July; 9 pm for late July. » Continue Reading.
What follows is the Spring 2012 Forest Ranger Activity Report for DEC Region 5, which includes most of the Adirondack region. Although not a comprehensive detailing of all backcountry incidents, these reports are issued periodically by the DEC and printed here at the Almanack in their entirety. They are organized by county, and date. You can read previous Forest Ranger Reports here.
These incident reports are a stern reminder that wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry and always carry a flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.
Here are some objects for the unaided eye for the month of June. All of these objects, although small, should be visible without the help of binoculars or a telescope, so long as you have clear dark skies.
Light pollution is a killer for seeing these objects with your unaided eye. To find out how dark your location is, use the Google Map Overlay of light pollution. If you are in a blue, gray or black area then you should have dark enough skies. Planets and the moon can be seen in red, and orange zones.
You can find help locating the night sky objects listed below by using one of the free sky charts at Skymaps.com (scroll down to Northern Hemisphere Edition and click on the PDF for June 2012). The map shows what is in the sky in June at 10 pm for early June; 9 pm for late June.
If you are not familiar with what you see in the night sky, this is a great opportunity to step outside, look up, and begin learning the constellations. The sky is beautiful and filled with many treasures just waiting for you to discover them. Once you have looked for these objects go through the list again if you have a pair of binoculars handy, the views get better!
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