Thursday, September 2, 2010

Friday Lecture: Of Mice and Moose and Scat

A SUNY Plattsburgh ecologist whose research has taken her from Alaska to the Adirondacks will speak at Paul Smith’s College on Friday, Sept. 3. Dr. Danielle Garneau’s talk, “Of Mice and Moose and Scat,” will launch this fall’s Fish & Wildlife Seminar Series at Paul Smith’s. The lecture will be held at 10:10 a.m. in the Pine Room of the Joan Weill Student Center. It is free and open to the public. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hobofest Returns to Saranac Lake Sunday

The second annual Hobofest will be held this Sunday, September 5th, from noon until 10 pm. Hobofest is a free music celebration of the Hobo spirit. It all happens on the lawn by the train station at 28 Depot Street in Saranac Lake, against the backdrop of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Hobofest is a grassroots community event bringing performers from near and far. The event is hosted by 7444 Gallery, programmed by Seward’s Folly Productions, and supported by your generous donations and the purchases of Hobofest goods.

Schedule-at-a-Glance
11:45 Hobo fanfare to welcome the first train, led by Kyle Murray (Rainbow Lake)
12:00 Steve Langdon (Saranac Lake)
12:40 Pete Seward & Shamim Allen (North Elba, Saranac Lake)
1:00 Keith Gorgas (Goldsmith)
1:20 Theresa Hartford (Saranac Lake)
1:40 Jamie Savage (Piercefield)
2:00 Pine Ridge Rounders, (Bloomingdale, Saranac Lake)
2:50 Barn Cats (Rainbow Lake/Bloomingdale, Saranac Lake, Montreal)
3:45 Shamim Allen (Saranac Lake)
4:10 Roy Hurd (Saranac Lake
4:40 Mother Banjo (Minneapolis)
5:15 Cracking Foxy (Saranac Lake)
6:10 Steve Langdon – send off for last train of the day (Saranac Lake)
6:30 Roulette Sisters (Brooklyn)
7:45 Frankenpine (Brooklyn)
9:00 Big Slyde (Lake Placid)

Performers:

New-grass-chamber power trio, Big Slyde, plays acoustic music with freshness and a contagious energy. This groove-oriented ensemble offers intricate mazes against delightful lush textures. John Doan: banjo, dobro, Mikey Portal: guitar, Christina Grant: cello. Refined instrumentation yet hardly ever “twangy.”

Frankenpine brings home former Saranac Lakers, Ned Rauch and Colin Dehond. Its “modern waves radiate from the form of piney old bluegrass and country.” (Adirondack Enterprise). Kim Chase: vocals, guitar, Matthew Chase: banjo, Ned Rauch: resonator guitar, mandolin, vocal, Liz Bisbee: violin, vocal and harmony vocals, Andy Mullen: accordion, harmonica, vocal, Colin Dehond: electric bass.

The Roulette Sisters play a hip-shaking blend of American country blues, traditional songs, popular, and old timey music regularly to denizens of the urban environment.Gorgeous 4-part harmonies, and stone cold authentic acoustic blues playing, sweeten their innuendo-laden songs. Mamie Minch: resonator guitar, vocals, Meg Reichardt: guitar, vocals, Megan Burleyson: washboard, vocals, Karen Waltuch: viola, vocals.

Cracking Foxy is making it’s debut appearance at Hobofest, performing vintage jazz, Hawaiian and vaudeville-era tunes. The line up features the three-part harmony of Abbey Curran, Sarah Curtis and Shamim Allen, backed by John Bouman on standup bass, Steve Langdon on guitar and Mark Hofschneider on ukelele and banjo. Dancing is not required but highly encouraged.

The Barn Cats play a bedrock mix of traditional American Roots Music; Bluegrass, Old time, Gospel, Blues and Country. They dwell on the northern slopes of the Adirondacks, and can be found almost any Wednesday night at the Shamrock in Gabriels. Addison Bickford: fiddle, vocals, Peter Reuter: guitar, Daun Reuter: mandolin, Sarah Curtis: vocals, ukelele, bodhran, Joe Costa: banjo, Mike Wanner: bass

The Pine Ridge Rounders are a hard-driving center-of-the tracks Bluegrass ensemble, flavored with a little grit, salt, and coal dust. Ken Casler: vocals, banjo, Kris Casler, mandolin and vocals, Kevin Woolley guitar, dobro, vocals, Peter Reuter: guitar, Jonathan Bouman: bass,

Roy Hurd – A living Adirondack legend and a well-traveled storytelling song man, he has written deftly crafted commercial country hits covered by the likes of The Oak Ridge Boys.This much-loved member of our community endures.

Mother Banjo – Called an “outstanding poet” by Inside Bluegrass Magazine and selected as a Midwest Finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, Mother Banjo offers the mother’s milk of song, mixing original indie-folk with traditional folk and gospel music. She is currently touring behind her album The Sad and Found, which was named the #10 album of 2009 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Jamie Savage – Sure-footed and grounded in this land, his keen observation and deep intonation tell us of where we live and who we are.

Theresa Hartford – A passionate, sometimes growling, song-mistress who sings of heartbreak, love, and redemption.

Keith Gorgas – Currently a resident in the ghost town of Goldsmith , population eight. Keith has spent five years living as a real hobo; hitchhiking, hopping trains, planes, & boats, and living under bridges.

Shamim Allen – A pivotal figure on the local music scene, Shamim’s rhythmic force propels us forward; her voice soothes with soul-saving promise.

Steve Langdon – Legendary past winter-caretaker in the wilds of Lake Colden, he plays authentic country blues. Witness him go against a locomotive with his bare hands.
Kyle Murray – The Shamrockin’ pied-piper of percussion, spinning his web on an emerald loom.

Directions to DEPOT PARK:

From North (Bloomingdale/Plattsburgh) – Rt 3 south to Depot Street, Take a Right at Light on Depot Street at the Stewarts Shops. Second Building on the right after Robert Morris Park.

From South (Tupper Lake) – Route 3 North to Main Street, Left at light on Main Street, Veer Left onto Broadway, Past Post Office on Left, Right at next light onto Bloomingdale Avenue, First Left at light on Depot Street, Second Building on the right after Robert Morris Park.

From East (Lake Placid) – Rt 86 to Saranac Lake, Left onto Lake Flower Avenue, Right at light on to Church Street, thru stop sign, Straight at next light, Veer Left (straight ahead) at Next light on to Depot Street between Stewarts and Robert Morris Park, Second Building on the right.

From West (Malone) – Rt 86 to Saranac Lake past Kinny Drugs on right, thru first light, left on Bloomingdale avenue at next light, First Left at light on Depot Street, Second Building on the right after Robert Morris Park.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

World Cup Sliding and Skiing to Return to Placid

Many of the world’s best winter athletes will be back in Lake Placid when World Cup action returns this winter. Several of the same athletes who competed in last February’s winter games in Vancouver will also be competing in the World Cup bobsled and skeleton racing, Dec. 13-19, and World Cup freestyle skiing, Jan. 17-23.

American Steve Holcomb is expected to headline the World Cup bobsled field when the world’s top drivers, sliders and teams return to the one-mile long Mt. Van Hoevenberg Sports Complex track. Last February, Holcomb broke a 62-year U.S. gold medal drought when he raced to glory in the Olympic four-man bobsled competition. Holcomb’s teammates, Erin Pac and Elana Meyers, are also expected to race in Lake Placid. The two women enter the 2010-2011 World Cup season as Olympic bronze medalists.

Other sliders in the field could include men’s skeleton Olympic champion Jon Montgomery, of Canada, and American John Napier, who won his first-career World Cup race last season on the 1,455-meter long course. Napier is now serving in Afghanistan as a member of the Vermont National Guard’s 86th Infantry Mountain Combat Brigade.

The World Cup aerial and mogul field promises to be just as deep. Hannah Kearney and Patrick Deneen will headline the U.S. mogul team lineup, while Ryan St. Onge will lead the U.S. aerial squad. Kearney is the reigning Olympic women’s moguls gold medalist, while Deneen carries the title of 2009 world champion into the event. St. Onge has won five-career World Cup aerial events and is also the 2009 world champion.

The Lake Placid event is the only World Cup in the United States and will also serve as a qualifier for the U.S. ski team’s world championship squad. The 2011 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships are slated for Feb. 2-5 at Deer Valley Resort, in Park City, Utah.

Also on tap this winter, America’s Cup bobsled and skeleton racing, Jan. 9-16 and March 27-April 2. InterContinental Cup Skeleton racing also returns, Jan. 24-29, and the FIBT bobsled drivers’ school is slated for March 21-25. ORDA’s events calendar also features the Eastern Synchronized Skating competition, Feb. 3-6, the Lake Placid Loppet, Feb. 5, and the annual Empire State Games, Feb. 18-20.

For a complete schedule of all of the activities and events taking place on ORDA’s Olympic venues visit the ORDA website.

Photo: Concentration sets in as a Women’s bobsled team gets ready to slide the track at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg during the 2005 Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup. Photo Courtesy ORDA.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Adirondack Family Activities: Wildlife Habitat Awareness Day

Not so long ago my children discovered a baby robin out of its nest and floundering near our front stoop. The mother robin circled nervously. It was a difficult decision to stand back and let nature take its course. My husband and I were operating with a barrage of opinions, a few old wives tales, two crying children and a curious dog. The baby was a fledgling and managed to seek refuge under the deck while its mother continued to feed it. We assume that it flew away one morning like it was supposed to, with no help from us. The most challenging part of those few days was keeping overzealous children from creating a bird sanctuary as the dog whined for a nibble of Robin Red-Breast Tartare.

This Saturday children and adults will be able to ask about all the right ways to help make sure baby animals stay in the wild where they belong. One rule is to remember that these animals are wild and should remain so, so the best course of action is to leave the baby and let its mother do what it does best. That is always better said than done when it comes to children so I can always use a few more talking points.

Wendy and Steve Hall of the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington have provided a full day of events to inform humans about when it is right to intervene on behalf of wildlife and when it is best to ignore.

The Wildlife Refuge is 60 acres on the western branch of the Ausable River. There is a one-mile guided nature trail, animal exhibits and experts from organic gardeners to naturalists that will explain how plants and animals play a vital role in nature.

“The important idea we want to get across is sustainability,” says Wendy. “We are involved with a coalition of people that are focusing on sustainability. We have someone from the Ausable River Association talking about invasive species, an organic blueberry farmer and my good friend Nancy VanWie from the Nature Conservancy.”

Wendy says that Nancy plays many roles in educating the public about conservation and sustainability. In addition to her role with the Nature Conservancy, Nancy is also part of the Westport Community Garden project and along with Eddie Mrozik co-founded the Crane Mountain Valley Horse Rescue.

Steve Hall agrees, “ We mainly want people to have a chance to meet wildlife up close and gain an understanding of how everything fits together. Zeebie and Cree, our two wolves, are pets to us but are used as a vehicle to educate how such animals hunt and investigate their property. Zeebie came to us as a baby in July 2009 and is now over 100 lbs. With the bird of prey, like the Great Horned Owl, we bring these raptors up close so people can learn about them.”

According to Steve Hall the main hope is that people will gain a better understanding of wildlife and how it fits into the ecosystem. He hopes that people will see that wildlife is an integral part of the natural world. The role wildlife plays is more beneficial to humans than we know. He brings up the term, “indicator species.”

According to the Nature Conservancy indicator species are animals high on the food chain that indicate the health of the environment. Loons are a prime example as researchers continue to collect data on the mercury accumulation in the loon’s food source.

I am looking forward to finding out when it is time to call in the experts at the Rehabilitation Center and when it is best to leave nature alone.

The Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center is located at 977 Springfield Road in Wilmington. The event is on Saturday, September 4th from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. This event is free but donations are accepted and used to build enclosures for disabled raptors.

Photo courtesy Diane Chase. 


Monday, August 30, 2010

Loon Lake History Subject of Talk Friday

Northern New York history buffs will enjoy the upcoming discussion of the history of Loon Lake in Franklin County, on Friday September 3 at 6:30 pm. The presentation and discussion of Loon Lake history, especially the era of the famous Loon Lake House hotel and resort, will feature Joseph LeMay, who is writing a book on the subject. Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Members of the greater Loon Lake community are invited to share their memories and photographs and participate in the discussion, which will be held at the Schryer Center at the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society, 51 Milwaukee St., Malone.

The House of History museum is housed in an 1864 Italianate style building, most recently the home of the F. Roy and Elizabeth Crooks Kirk family. A museum since 1973, the House of History is home to the headquarters of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society and its historic collections pertaining to the history of Franklin County. The recently renovated carriage house behind the museum is the beautiful Schryer Center for Historical & Genealogical Research, which opened in 2006. The Schryer Center contains archival materials and a library of family history information and is open to the public. FCHMS is supported by its members and donors and the generous support of Franklin County.

The House of History is open for tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4pm through December 31, 2010; admission is $5/adults, $3/seniors, $2/children, and free for members. The Schryer Center for Historical & Genealogical Reseach is open for research Tuesday-Friday from 1-4pm through October 8, 2010 and Wednesday-Friday from 1-4pm October 13-May 1, weather permitting. The fee to use the research library is $10/day and free to members.

Information about Franklin County History, the collections of the museum and links to interesting historical information can be found on the Society’s blog.

Contact the Historical Society with questions at 518-483-2750 or [email protected]

Photo: Loon Lake Hotel Staff, ca. 1896. From the collection of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Great Adirondack Rutabaga Festival

The Third Annual Great Adirondack Rutabaga Festival sponsored by Adirondack Harvest, The Adirondack Farmers Market Cooperative and the Town of Keene will be held at Marcy Field in the town of Keene from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Sunday September 5th, 2010. The event is one of only two Rutabaga Festivals in the country.

The rutabaga comes to us from Sweden where the climate is comparable to the Adirondacks. This hardy, tasty and adaptable vegetable thrives in our sometimes harsh climate. Part turnip, part cabbage, this versatile root crop can be served in salads, in desserts, as rutabaga chips, mashed alone or with potatoes or turnips, as French fried rutabagas or as a component in bread.

The festivities begin with a Rutabaga 5K Run across flat terrain at 9:00 AM. Runner registration begins at 8:15 AM. All entries in the biggest rutabaga contest must be registered by 10:00 AM. The High Peaks Hula Hoop Championship will start at 10:30 AM.

Chefs from Adirondack Catering Service, Baxter Mountain Tavern, Generations, Green Point Foods, High Peaks Resort and the Mirror Lake Inn will begin serving free samples of their favorite rutabaga dishes at 11:00 AM.

Ongoing events include a Rutabaga Fetch open to friendly and talented dogs starting at 10:30 AM, children’s games, displays and educational exhibits. The 2010 Rutabaga King and Queen will be crowned at 12:30 PM. Throughout the event, the Keene Farmers Market will offer an array of fruits, meats, baked goods and vegetables.

For more information visit www.adirondackharvest.com or call 518-962-4810 x404.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

ACW Presents 3 Authors in 3 Venues

The Adirondack Center for Writing presents three readings with three different authors in three different venues throughout the Adirondacks. All of these readings are free and open to the public.

The series kicks off with author Steve Stern reading from his latest novel, The Frozen Rabbi at Red Fox Books in Glens Falls, NY on Thursday, August 26 at 7pm. In The Frozen Rabbi a Memphis teenager stumbles upon a preserved cleric in his family’s basement freezer.

“Some people got taxidermied pets in the attic, we got a frozen rabbi in the basement. It’s a family tradition,” says the boy’s father. The Washington Post said, “As a metaphor for the modern incongruity of ancient religious tradition, a frozen rabbi could be embarrassingly heavy-handed, but an actual frozen rabbi? That’s just funny. Page after page, Stern embraces every outrageous possibility, in lush, cartwheeling sentences that layer deep mystery atop page-turning action atop Borscht Belt humor.”

Then ACW welcomes author and historian Colin Wells at the Grange Hall in Whallonsburg, NY on September 16th at 7pm. Wells’ talk is titled “Potty Humor and History: The Strange Friendship of Nicolo Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini” and will explore Nicolo Machiavelli’s friendship with the “first modern historian.” Wells’ most recent book is called A Brief History of History: Great Historians and the Epic Quest to Explain the Past. The book brings together evocative sketches of the great historians with concise summaries of their most important works. Wells demonstrates how brilliant minds have changed our understanding of history, how history itself moved forward over time as a way of approaching the past, and why “history” is a startlingly fluid concept, with an evolutionary course–a story–all its own.

The third and final reading in this series presents poet Jay Rogoff at the Saratoga Arts Center in Saratoga Springs on September 21 at 7pm. The author of several books of poetry, Rogoff will read from his latest book, released this September. Rogoff’s poetry has been described as “dazzling, soaring, inspiring poetry,” by Andrew Hudgins, while essayist Rachel Hadas said, “Rogoff is a wise and seasoned observer who misses almost nothing; we readers are in his debt.”


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Climate Change in the Adirondacks

“Although global in scale, the impact of climate change will be felt, and its effects will need to be fought, at the local level.” That simple truth – that the climate is changing, that we’ll feel it, and fight it, here in the Adirondacks – is taken from the flap of the new book Climate Change in the Adirondacks: The Path to Sustainability by Jerry Jenkins (who is giving a talk on the book this Friday at 7 PM at the Northwoods Inn in Lake Placid).

The book is an extensive gathering of data on local climate change problems, and as importantly, what Jenkins calls “An Adirondack Strategy” that includes suggestions for moving from fossil fuels (coal and oil) to renewable energy (sun and wind). What makes this book so valuable is that Jenkins has crafted a readable and useful reference developed with local Adirondack conditions in mind: our excessive automobile and home energy use; the increasing loss of ice and snow cover and winter recreation businesses and facilities; the northern movement of the boreal forest and invasive species from the south; the loss of northern climate cultural traditions. “These losses will be extensive,” Jenkins writes. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Forestry: Free Workshop on Invasive Beetles

On August 24-26, 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust will offer a free, three-day workshop where participants will learn more about invasive beetles that threaten regional forests and sugarbushes. The workshop will be held at the Quality Inn, Massena, NY.

Forest owners, sugarbush operators, local public works officials, grounds department personnel and any others concerned about the health of woodlands or community forests are encouraged to register for the free training.

The focus of classroom and field surveys during the workshop will be on two invasive tree pests that threaten New York State — the Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle.

Field work with trained invasive pest surveyors will include time in the industrial areas of Massena’s industrial areas, identified as potential “hot spots.”

Contact the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust at 315-779-8240, [email protected], for
registration and details.


Friday, August 20, 2010

A Rebirth for Lake George Dinner Theatre?

The Lake George Dinner Theatre began more than forty years ago as a producer of light, summer stock. Over the years, it has presented entertaining but predictable fare to an increasingly aging audience, usually delivered to the door in motor coaches.

Three years ago, actor and director Terry Rabine purchased the business, fully aware that while he could ill-afford to lose the tour bus trade, the Lake George Dinner Theatre required new energy, more sophisticated shows and new audiences if it was to survive.

This year’s production, Our Son’s Wedding, may well mark the re-birth of the Lake George Dinner Theatre.

A comedy that’s nearly flawless in its construction and execution, Our Son’s Wedding is what every Dinner Theatre production is supposed to be: well-crafted, fast-paced entertainment after a perfectly fine dinner.

Our Son’s Wedding, however, also features one of the best casts ever seen in Lake George.

And the play itself, while respecting and mining all the conventions of a two-act comedy, is a far more thoughtful piece than any heretofore presented on the Dinner Theatre’s stage.

Whether you find the ostensible subject matter – the pending marriage of two gay men – objectionable or a welcome and belated nod by a local, mainstream entertainment venue toward 21st century realities, will probably depend upon your politics.

But the theme of the play, and the issues that the playwright, Donna DiMatteo, obviously wants to explore, are far more universal and timeless than contemporary attitudes toward homosexuality.

Even the class, social and ethnic fault lines that still demarcate American society, and which are also exploited for comic effect, are ultimately less important to DiMatteo than family bonds, especially the love parents naturally feel for their children.

Mary, played by Marina Re, and Angelo, played by Paul D’Amato, travel from the Bronx to Boston to attend their son’s wedding. They’re staying at the Ritz-Carleton, which is meant to stand in for all posh hotels and where Angelo is painfully uncomfortable until he can divert himself with the bathroom’s plumbing, his particular field of expertise.

Mary’s experience and observations have widened her horizons far further than her husband’s; she’s noticed enough strange things among her own family and neighbors to know that ‘normal’ is a relative term.

Nevertheless, even she describes their trip as a visit “to a foreign country, where we don’t even speak the friggin’ language.”

That foreign country is not simply a hotel in Boston; it’s every world they’re unfamiliar with, including that of their son’s.

Marina Re and Paul D’Amato are pleasures to watch. One indication of the skills of Marina Re, who created the role of Mary at Gloucester Stage Company, is the fact that she is never upstaged by D’Amato.

There’s a reason why D’Amato is still famous for his supporting role in Slap Shot, the 1977 Paul Newman movie that’s still shown on every high school hockey team’s away-game bus trips. He has a big personality, one that can command a screen and a stage and certainly a room the size of the Dinner Theatre at the Holiday Inn.

But when required, D’Amato can limit the force of his character’s own outsized personality; it’s a calibration of voice, gesture and even posture. When we learn that the bullish Angelo is no less reflective than Mary, it comes not as a surprise but as a delayed recognition.

Mick Bleyer plays Michael as someone who is charming but vulnerable; his vulnerability
and the wish to protect him unite not only Mary and Angelo, but Mary and Angelo and the steady David, played by Eric Rasmussen.

Our Son’s Wedding will be performed every evening Wednesday through Saturday until October 14.

Anyone who’s become a supporter of the Adirondack Theatre Festival, the Lake George Theater Lab and Wrightstage in recent years owes the Lake George Dinner Theater another chance. With that kind of support, Rabine could take the Dinner Theatre in any number of unpredictable directions.

Photo: Paul D’Amato and Marina Re, courtesy of Lake George Dinner Theatre

For more news from Lake George, subscribe to the Lake George Mirror
http://www.lakegeorgemirror.com


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Whiteface Mountain 5th Annual 5K Downhill Race

The Whiteface Mountain Bike Park, operated by High Peaks Cyclery, is hosting their 5th Annual 5k Downhill Race, Sept. 10-12. The race, being held on Whiteface, in Wilmington, is not only the finals for the Pro Gravity Tour, but is also the seventh event of the eight-race Gravity East Series.

Online registration for the 5K downhill is now open to the public. The race will have a $5,000 cash purse that will be awarded for pro racers. The top three places in all amateur categories for the downhill race will win prizes from sponsors.

The price is $28 for online registration, and $35 for on site registration. Visit www.active.com or call 1-877-228-4881 using event ID# 1878160. Online registration will end on Wednesday, Sept. 8. On site registration will be from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, and from 8 – 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12. Lift tickets will be $35 for a one day and $65 for a two day during the race weekend.

The Pro Gravity Tour men’s overall standings include Bryn Atkinson (Transition Racing), who remains in the lead with 205 points. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) is 75 points behind Atkinson and has an 85 point cushion over Justin Leov (Trek World Racing.) Logan Bingelli stands fourth, being nine points behind Leov at 111 points. Waylon Smith’s win moved him into a tie for fifth place with Kieran Bennett with 90 points each. In the women’s standings, Jill Kintner (Transition Bikes) leads with 275 points, 95 points ahead of Melissa Buhl (KHS Bikes) and 110 ahead of Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing).

With the 2010 Gravity East Series over halfway done the competition is really heating up. Gavin Vaughan with 955 points and Geritt Beytagh with 940 points are neck in neck for the series. Adam Morse is in a close third with 850 points so anything could happen by the time the series comes to Whiteface especially with Geritt Beytagh dominating at Whiteface with a 1st and a 2nd the past few years.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

American Mountain Men Return to the Adirondack Museum

The grounds of the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York will become a lively 19th century tent city with an encampment of American Mountain Men interpreting the fur trade and a variety of survival skills this
weekend, August 20 and 21, 2010.

The group will interpret the lives and times of traditional mountain men with colorful demonstrations and displays of shooting, tomahawk and knife throwing, furs, fire starting and cooking, clothing of both eastern and western mountain styles, period firearms, and more. This year’s encampment may include blacksmithing as well as a beaver skinning and fleshing demonstration.

All of the American Mountain Men activities and demonstrations are included in the price of regular Adirondack Museum admission. There is no charge for museum members. The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Participants in the museum encampment are from the Brothers of the New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts segment of the national American Mountain Men organization. Participation in the encampment is by invitation only.

Mountain men are powerful symbols of America’s wild frontier. Legends about the mountain man continue to fascinate because many of the tales are true: the life of the mountain man was rough, and despite an amazing ability to survive in the wilderness, it brought him face to face with death on a regular basis.

The American Mountain Men group was founded in 1968. The association researches and studies the history, traditions, tools, and mode of living of the trappers, explorers, and traders known as the mountain men. Members continuously work for mastery of the primitive skills of both the original mountain men and Native Americans. The group prides itself on the accuracy and authenticity of its interpretation and shares the knowledge they have gained with all who are interested.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Diane Chase Adirondack Family Activities: Adirondack Polo Club

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities

This weekend the Adirondack Polo Club will hold its Leslie Cup to raise funds and awareness for High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care.

According to Lonnie Cross, Adirondack Polo Club member, the club is in its fifth season though for the last two years has made Westport its summer home. Previously the club traveled to destinations as far away as New Orleans to participate in matches. When Cross purchased land from a golf facility he did so with the purpose of providing a different local attraction for the community.

“We are polo enthusiasts that are used to traveling. This year we have played matches on the other side of the lake with the Sugerbush Polo Club as well as in Saratoga. Our players come from different backgrounds,” says Cross. “We have careers beyond polo so this is mostly a hobby. We are a grassroots club but it is our decision to bring something different to the community. Our goal is to continue making a difference. I hope we can through our love of our horses.”

It may be a hobby but it is something the club is very willing to share. Though most of us may not have the means to own a thoroughbred polo pony, the Adirondack Polo Club’s events are usually free and open to the public. Those of us that enjoy a fast-paced match can enjoy the benefits of beautiful surroundings and gorgeous horses without the work involved in ownership. The added benefit is that the polo participants welcome questions about their chosen sport and want people to be able to not just watch but be actively involved.

The “polo ponies” aren’t really ponies but beautiful horses carefully selected for speed and stamina. In addition the horses have to be able to maneuver between other horses and riders and not be jittery when the mallet swings around their heads.

Cross would like to eliminate the misconception that polo is only about the high-heeled women replacing divots while holding glasses of champagne or that the animals are mistreated in any fashion.

“We treat our horses with kid gloves because they are the athletes. They are as, if not more, important than the players. We feed and bed our animals, provide grooms to exercise and make sure they get the rest they need. It is at great expense that we provide the best care. I think it’s terrible when other owners mistreat their animals, taking them on rides and then expecting the animal to perform at a match. Traditionally Monday is the day of rest for the horses.”

He does admit that these animals are bred to be fast and require vigorous exercise though he agrees that everything requires balance and the horse’s best interest is always at heart.

For those that may not know the rules here is bit of information. An outdoor polo field is larger than nine football fields (300 yards long and 160 yards wide). It is touted as the largest field in organized sports. A team is made of four players that are assigned positions based on each player’s strength and experience.

A polo match lasts about an hour and a half with six chukkers (periods) of seven minutes each. A bell is rung to announce that last 30 seconds remaining in the chukker while a horn sound indicates the chukker’s ending. There is a three-minute break between each chukker and a five-minute halftime. Halftime is used to replace any divots out in the field. Replacing the divots is just one time-honored tradition of polo.

Though most matches are free this August 21st at 1:00 p.m. The Adirondack Polo Club will play for High Peaks Hospice for an admission of $5 per person and $10 per car. That price certainly encourages you to want to lower your carbon footprint and car pool.

Newcomers and fans are encouraged to come early and bring their own seating (chairs or blankets) and relish a picnic-like setting. Hamburgers, hotdogs and other fare will be available for purchase starting at noon. There will also be miniature donkeys and alpacas for all to enjoy.

If you can’t make this weekend’s event, on September 4th another fundraising polo match will take place that benefits Ronald McDonald House in Burlington, VT.

The Polo Hotline is (518) 572-9391 with a rain date of Sunday, August 22. The polo field is located on Polo Club Way off of Stevenson Road (Route 44) in Westport.


Photo of the Adirondack Polo Club used with permission.


content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Follensby Pond Highlight of Wild Center Event

What do violet variable dancer, Johnny darter, magnolia warbler, peppered moth and painted turtle have in common? Each is among the more than 430 species recently cataloged during a “BioBlitz” event at Follensby Pond. Learn more about this BioBlitz and The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) recent purchase of the historic Follensby Pond property on Friday, August 20th, 2010 from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.

The day will include a number of events for the whole family, plus a short film on Follensby Pond and a talk by Michael Carr, Executive Director of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy at 1 pm. Carr will discuss Follensby as a unique conservation legacy. In addition to large-scale habitat protection, the tract offers cultural ties to the development of a uniquely American conservation ethos as the site where, in 1858, the leading intellectuals of the day retreated for the “Philosophers’ Camp”.

A BioBlitz is a rapid inventory of critters, plants, fungi, dragonflies—you name it. It provides the perfect excuse to look for the wild things—whether common or rare, large or small, in your own backyard or in a vast forest. It’s also a way to call attention to some of the intricate parts of the working ecosystems that give us clean air, fertile soil, and fresh water.

“We usually hear the word “biodiversity” in regard to rainforests with their vast number of species. Yet the diversity of life in our own backyards is phenomenal,” said Jen Kretser, Director of Programs for The Wild Center. “We are excited to host this event.”

The upcoming fun and educational event at The Wild Center will include hands-on activities – starting at 10:30 am with a bird walk – for people of all ages led by experts in various fields including mushroom identification, wildflowers, aquatic insects, moths and butterflies, small mammals and reptiles. It’s an opportunity to ask questions, get some field tips on how to look for and identify wild things, and try out some tools of the trade. Display tables, activities, naturalist walks, demonstrations, and more will be part the day.

A short film of the Follensby Pond BioBlitz will premiere at 12:30 pm as part of this special event. “It was truly inspiring to see scientists, naturalists, and students deeply engaged in discovery at Follensby Pond,” said Michael Carr, Executive Director of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, which purchased the 14,600-acre property in September 2008. “Not only will this film convey the collective enthusiasm shared by the participants, it will also help to introduce people to a very special property that has been capturing the hearts and minds of adventurers and intellectuals alike for more than a century.”

“This event truly epitomizes the goal of the Adirondack All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) to bring scientists and citizens together in sharing their passion for the incredible diversity of life found in the Adirondack Park. I can’t think of another event where you will have some of the State’s experts in so many different groups of organisms all working together in the same place. Whether it’s dragonflies, fungi, or black bears you’re interested in, this event is sure to satisfy and inform,” said David Patrick, Director for the Center of Biodiversity at Paul Smith’s College.

The Wild Center, the Adirondack All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory project at Paul Smith’s College, SUNY ESF’s Adirondack Ecological Center at Huntington Forest, and The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter are pleased to offer this event in celebration and recognition of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity.

The Bioblitz movie premiere and Follensby Pond lecture are free and open to the public. All other events and exhibits are free for members or with admission. For a full schedule please visit www.wildcenter.org

Mini-Bioblitz Schedule of Events at The Wild Center

From 10:30 am to 3:00 pm, peruse displays in the Great Hall and outside stations featuring different taxonomic groups surveyed during the June 18th and July 9th BioBlitzes that took place at Follensby Park. Participate in hands-on activities perfect for all ages. Experts on moths, small mammals, plants, and more will share the research and surveying techniques used to assess plant and wildlife diversity within the Follensby Pond property. See live specimens like the ones found during the BioBlitz.

10:30 am Local birding expert Brian McAllister will lead a walk down The Wild Center trails in search of as many different bird species as possible. The walk will result in a list of all birds sighted and heard on the property, using the same methods employed in the Follensby Pond ATBI.

At 11:00 am, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm, staff-led Animal Encounters in the Great Hall will introduce you to reptiles, a bird, and a mammal that you can find in the wild in the Tupper Lake region. Meet live representatives of Adirondack animals that were counted during the Follensby Pond BioBlitz.

11:30 am Join noted author and naturalist Peter O’Shea for a trail walk highlighting the aspects of the 2010 BioBlitz. Learn some of the plants and animals surveyed in the Follensby area that you can also find on The Wild Center grounds and consider the vast diversity of plant life throughout the region.

12:30 pm Join us in Flammer Theater for the premier of the BioBlitz film shot on location at Follensby Park this summer. Beginning with an introduction by Dr. David Patrick, Director of the Adirondack Center for Biodiversity. See scientists in action as they survey Follensby Pond for particular taxonomic groups and share their contagious enthusiasm, and get a look at this beautiful property currently closed to the public.

1:00 pm (Revised) Join Michael Carr, Executive Director of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy for a talk about Follensby Pond as a unique conservation legacy.

2:00 pm Mushrooms are popping up all over the place at The Wild Center! Mycologist Susan Hopkins will take you on a tour of fungi. Search for mushrooms and other fungi found on-site and then compare these to some specimens found at Follensby Pond.

3:00 pm Naturalist John Sayles will share tips and hints on identifying plants specimens as well as look at natural succession during this walk.

Throughout the day there will be outdoor stations on identifying Adirondack Ferns, Aquatic insects, and Dragonflies.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Down on the Farm with the Adirondack Museum

Join the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York for a field trip to Adirondack farms and a local farmer’s market. Field trip farms include Rivermede Farm at Snowslip, Lake Placid, N.Y., Tucker’s Taters Farm, Gabriels, N.Y., and the Ponderosa Poultry Farm, also in Gabriels. The day will include a stop at the Saranac Lake Village Farmer’s Market, as well as lunch at the Eat ‘N Meet restaurant in Saranac Lake, N.Y.

The Farm Field Trip will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2010. Pre-registration is required. The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Lake Placid, N.Y. and end at 5:00 p.m. in Gabriels.

Participants will use their own cars or carpool with others. Driving directions will be sent upon registration. Sensible clothing and sturdy shoes are suggested. The cost will be $50 for museum members and $55 for non-members. For additional information or to register, please contact Jessica Rubin at (518) 352-7311, ext. 115 or at [email protected]

The field trip day will begin with an introduction and presentation, “Adirondack Farming History,” by museum Curator Hallie Bond at Rivermede Farm at Snowslip.

A tour of Rivermede will follow. Rivermede Farm at Snowslip is owner Rob Hasting’s “new” farm. Hastings has been farming at Rivermede in Keene Valley, N.Y. for over twenty years.

The group will then move on to Saranac Lake, N.Y. and the opportunity to explore and enjoy the Saranac Lake Village Farmer’s Market.

Lunch will follow at the Eat ‘N Meet restaurant where chef and owner John Vargo is committed to using local foods. The menu at Eat ‘N Meet represents time-trusted recipes and classic European technique – with South American, Caribbean, African, and Asian influences.

At 2:00 p.m. the tour will visit Tucker’s Tater Farm in Gabriels, N.Y. Tucker Farms has been a family enterprise since the 1860’s. Steve and Tom Tucker – 5th generation owners – have diversified the farm to alleviate ebbs and flows in the economy. They have added specialty variety potatoes to their list of crops including “All Blue,” “Adirondack Blue,” “Adirondack Red,” and “Peter Wilcox” – a purple skinned yellow flesh variety.

The day will come to a close at Ponderosa Poultry Farm, also in Gabriels. A chicken and duck ranch, the farm includes lupines, dahlias, gladiolas, and a small garden.



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