Sunday, May 26, 2019

Life, Death, and Black Flies

black fly larvaI was in southern Connecticut a few weeks back to pick my son up from college. While he took his last exam, I took myself up a local hiking trail. Connecticut black flies are as bad as their Vermont cousins, and I brushed several of the little beasts out from under my hairline. It can be hard to think of these biting flies with anything but disdain, but they do serve important ecological functions. And in at least one case, they also solved a murder. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

DEC Announces 2019 ‘I Bird NY’ Challenges

i bird nyIn conjunction with World Migratory Bird Day (May 11th), the New York State Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) announced the start of the 2019 “I Bird NY” challenges for beginner and experienced birders. I Bird NY was launched in 2017. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Adirondack Wild Calls For Action On Spruce Grouse

On Endangered Species Day, May 17, Adirondack Wild is renewed its call for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to protect the endangered spruce grouse, which occupies a few select areas in the Adirondack Park. The spruce grouse requires specialized habitat in low-elevation boreal woods and wetlands which in New York State are found only in the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Curious Creatures: Remarkable Taxidermy from Private Collections

taxidermy exhibit Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake is set to exhibit approximately 100 pieces of taxidermy on loan from private Adirondack collections and camps as well as mounts, photographs, and manuscript materials from its own collection.

This special temporary exhibit opening May 24, 2019 for one season only, will include the work of famed English taxidermist Walter Potter (1835-1918). Two of his pieces will be on exhibit at the ADKX for the first time in the United States. Rabbits’ Village School, 1888 and Monkey Riding the Goat. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 20, 2019

Invasive Lanternfly May Be Vulnerable To Native Fungi

spotted lanternfly nymphs adultsThe season of daylight and blooming flowers has finally arrived. But, along with the emergence of all things green, comes the emergence of all sorts of flies, bugs, mites, worms, and mollusks. Many of these are unwelcome home, garden, and agricultural pests which, as the weather continues to warm, will only become more active.

Early season leaf- and plant-feeding insects are on every grower’s mind. And this year, grape growers, orchardists, nursery operators, home-gardeners, and others are advised to be aware of the potential for the appearance of yet another invasive pest from Asia. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Marshland Life of the American Bittern

Bittern Often, when I spot an interesting bird, I don’t have my binoculars handy. I’m holding a paddle or a pair of bicycle handlebars, which aren’t very helpful when it comes to birdwatching.

That was the case during an early-morning bike ride last summer, when I noticed a brownish bird about the size of a chicken standing at the edge of a farm pond. I would have liked a better look, but it was clearly an American bittern, scanning for prey against a backdrop of reeds and cattails. It was a rare sighting for me, one I was lucky to have. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Peregrine Falcon Recovery Continues

Peregrine FalconThere is a broad, craggy precipice in Franconia Notch, NH, not far from my home, called Eagle Cliff. It was named in the 1800s for the golden eagles that nested there, back when the region was full of open farmland that was conducive to the giant raptors’ lifestyle. While the fields have grown up and the eagles are long gone, the cliff has been home to nesting peregrine falcons each year since 1981.

Once completely absent from the eastern United States, peregrine falcons have been making a steady comeback since the 1980s. Those falcons that nested on Eagle Cliff in 1981 marked the first successful re-occupancy of a historic cliff breeding site. Since then, recolonization has been steady, if slow. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Pollinator Symposium Set For June

pollinator symposiumAdkAction’s Adirondack Pollinator Project is set to hold a Pollinator Symposium June 5 at Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek, on Wednesday, June 5th, from 10 am to 4 pm.

The Pollinator Symposium will be aimed at equipping farmers, groundskeepers, public park managers, gardeners, and local government agencies with the knowledge to help preserve and build pollinator populations in the Adirondacks.  » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Birding, Banding at Crown Point Historic Site

bird banding program providedThe Crown Point Bird Banding Association will set up its yearly bird banding station at the Crown Point State Historic Site May 10 through May 25. In its 44th year, the Crown Point banding station returns to record migration data and birdsongs, and the public is invited to observe and learn more 6 am to 6 pm daily. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Celebrate Spring by Planting Natives for Pollinators

pollinatorsAdkAction’s Adirondack Pollinator Project has announced its second Pollinator Plant Sale. With the assistance of Cook & Gardener Nursery, these native pollinator plants and cultivars have been selected to thrive in the Adirondacks.

The plants have been sourced or grown from seed to ensure that they are free of neonicotinoids, a class of systemic insecticide that research shows is a major factor in Colony Collapse Disorder and loss of pollinator biodiversity. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

What Shall We Call This?

tree along the trail to the top of Goodnow Mountain has been called the Octopus TreeAnyone who’s spent time in the woods has seen them, a tree growing on top of a large stone or boulder, with its roots winding down around the stone to find nourishment, finally, in the surrounding earth.

The tree could be a yellow birch or a spruce and we see them in many stages of their lives from seedlings growing out of a bed of moss and ferns to very mature trees.

They are one of the great curiosities of the woods, often causing one to stop and examine, marveling at the tenacity and beauty of life. Surely this peculiar plant and stone association must have a name? » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Fish Scales and American Shad

american shad It’s tempting to simply view fish scales as armor, but there’s more to them than that. They provide camouflage; they also play a role in locomotion. For scientists working on the recovery of American Shad in the Connecticut River, scales provide a record of a fish’s life history and a way to measure the success of restoration efforts.

American shad is our largest river herring. The males, called bucks, run up to six pounds. The females, or row shad, up to four. Like their cousins alewife and blue-backed herring, shad are anadromous, spending most of the year in the ocean, then running up fresh water rivers like the Connecticut in spring to spawn. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

A New Tick in Town

female longhorned tick Black flies bite, but ticks really suck. Enough complaining – that never helps.

After such a long winter, we are all grateful that spring has finally sprung, even though the price of warm weather seems to be the advent of biting insects. Swarms of mosquitoes can drain the fun from an evening on the deck, but a single black-legged or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) can take the shine off an entire summer if it infects you with Lyme disease and/or another serious illness. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Tick-Borne Diseases Are On The Rise

tick life cycleEighteen years ago, when I moved back to New Hampshire, I rarely came across ticks. The dog didn’t carry them unwittingly into the house, and I could spend the day in the garden or on wooded trails and not see a single, hard-shelled, eight-legged, blood-sucking creepy-crawly.

Not so anymore. Now, from the time of snowmelt in the spring to the first crisp snowfall of autumn – and often beyond – we find ticks everywhere: on the dog, crawling up the front door, along kids’ hairlines, on backs or arms or legs, and occasionally (and alarmingly) walking along a couch cushion or bed pillow. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Poetry: Tracks

I know these tracks
in my tendons.
I know this forest.

How it pounds
into the shale, like a
crumbling ravine of snow
the color of mink fur.

I know this forest. Its wisdom
returns to me from vanished
glaciers, and I hear the sleep of
beasts in tombs of rotting Hemlock.

I know that I am not alone, but
these embers of tradition
cannot be shared.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.