Monday, February 12, 2024

Trekking through Rockwood State Forest

Rockwood State Forest sign.

Today, [Saturday, Jan. 27] I joined members of the Alpiners hiking club for a trek through part of the Rockwood State Forest in Fulton County. It was 35 degrees [with zero] precipitation as compared to last Saturday’s 4 degrees!  We were prepared with both snowshoes and microspikes.  Because it has been fairly warm and so rainy, we decided we only needed the spikes and hiking poles. Piper the Wonder Dog and Nikki also joined in the fun.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 26, 2023

DEC tips for “sharing the snow” this winter

A group of people walking into the woods in winter

Winter is a great time to be outside in New York. Winter hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, birding, snowmobiling, hunting, trapping, and ice fishing are among the most popular activities available to residents and visitors alike. Whether you seek solitude or excitement, you can find it in New York during winter.

One Property, Many Uses
Many forms of winter recreation can and do take place simultaneously on the same public or private property without conflict. It just takes a little advanced planning, respect, and common courtesy among users. Whether recreating on public land or private land where you have permission, you should be aware of the types of activities that also may be taking place on the property you are using. It’s always a good idea to ask a landowner if others will be present when you wish to pursue your pastime, whether that involves snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, trapping, or hunting rabbits or deer. We all share the outdoors, the snow, the woods, and the fields. Just as it is the case during warmer months, being considerate of others is vital when sharing the snow in winter.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 16, 2023

Four NY counties designated as primary natural disaster areas

rainstorm in the distance

On December 8, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that four counties in New York State have been designated as a primary natural disaster area by the United States Department of Agriculture due to damage caused by a tornado and excessive rain in July. This designation means that impacted farmers in Clinton, Franklin, Lewis, and Onondaga County may be eligible for assistance, including emergency loans, from the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

“As climate change continues to drive more frequent and extreme weather events in our state, New Yorkers faced unprecedented levels of rain in July that flooded our communities and devastated crop land,” Governor Hochul said. “This designation will help ensure New York farmers significantly impacted by this summer’s severe weather have access to the resources they need to help rebuild and recover.”

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Super Modeling

female model on runway

Weather modeling has become quite a big deal in recent decades, with meteorologists falling all over themselves to report what the latest models say. It sounds like a fun job, and I’m trying to find out how to apply to become a weather modeler. If it involves appearing in a swimsuit, though, forget it.

I love it when a radio announcer chirps “clear and sunny” during a storm because they read the outlook without first going to the window to have a look out. Funny how reality can boost the accuracy of weather reports. So, when you can’t even bank on today’s forecast, it’s normal to view long-range projections with a skeptical eye.

However, seasonal models are very good at foreseeing key trends such as droughts or severe hurricane seasons. You can depend on models if they call for above-average precipitation this winter. But if you want to know if it will snow on a given day next week, you’ll have to listen to the radio. Or flip a coin.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 10, 2023

Poinsettia: A Sub-Tropical Plant That’s A Christmas Tradition 

Illustration of a poinsettia

Poinsettias are among the most popular potted flowering or foliage plants of the Christmas Season. They have been for decades. According to the 2020 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Floriculture Report; the most recent statistics available); the wholesale value of U.S. grown poinsettias, that year, was $157-million. At the retail level, by most estimates, poinsettias contribute more than $250-million to the U.S. economy.

Paul Ecke Ranch 

Long-recognized as the largest and most successful poinsettia breeder in the world, Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, California was founded in 1924, by German immigrant entrepreneurs who moved to the U.S. in 1902. For three generations, the Ecke family grew and sold poinsettias; first as cut flowers and field-grown landscape and mother plants and, eventually, as greenhouse-grown stock-plants. They moved their stock-production facility to Guatemala during the 1990s and, in 2012, sold the business and the name. The leadership team stayed on.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

What’s In A Name: Styles Brook of Keene

 

styles brook book cover

By John Sasso

Recently, author and Keene resident Lorraine Duvall released her latest book, Where the Styles Brook Waters Flow: The Place I Call Home. Her book is a collection of stories which were told to her by her neighbors about life along the Styles Brook Valley, along with her own personal recollections. The waters of Styles Brook flow westward for about seven miles from The Glen, a hamlet tucked between the Jay and Hurricane Mountains, into the East Branch of the Ausable River. The brook is fed by smaller brooks and ponds on these mountains, such as O’Connell Brook, Madden Brook, and Merriam Swamp.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Houseplants: Gardening Indoors During the Winter 

Geranium in a pot

The idea of taking plants from the wild and bringing them indoors seems to fly in the face of all things natural. But starting somewhere around 1,000 BC, plants and small trees were being used as ornamental features in homes, in several ancient civilizations.

A Brief History 

We know, from early paintings and sculptures, that the ancient Greeks and Romans grew plants in containers. And that in ancient India, Japan, and Egypt, potted ornamental plants were commonly placed in courtyards and home gardens. It really isn’t much of a stretch then, to hypothesize that some of those plants were taken into homes. In fact, evidence of wild plants being successfully cultivated indoors can be found in ancient Egyptian writings. And for centuries, the Japanese have employed the dwarfing of trees and other plants for room ornaments; a practice known as bonsai tree cultivation.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 6, 2023

Poetry: Woods-Speak

Leaves on a forest floor

By Jack Carney

The winds blew fiercely across
the lake for three days without
letup – no weathervane needed
to know they were nor’easters.
The trees lakeside told me,
whipped about, bowing and scraping to the
southwest, oranges and reds stripped away.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 2, 2023

Saratoga PLAN Secures $301,000 Grant to Help Preserve Portion of Palmertown Range

Saratoga plan logo

 

Saratoga Springs, NY — Local land trust Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land and Nature) is proud to announce a significant milestone in its ongoing efforts to safeguard critical forested landscapes within Saratoga County. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has officially granted over $1.35 million to six land trusts, including PLAN. The funding is aimed at preserving local forests that are integral to New York State’s environmental conservation objectives and the sequestration of climate-altering emissions. This funding was provided through the Forest Conservation Easement for Land Trust (FCELT) grant program and administered through the Land Trust Alliance.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Great Pumpkins

Linus, the precocious, blanket-toting character from the “Peanuts” world, which by the way is now a Canadian franchise, waited faithfully for “The Great Pumpkin” each Halloween night from 1950 to 1999. If anyone else had been stood-up that many times by the same character, they’d have thrown in the towel (or blanket) for sure. Perhaps Linus’ resolute faith that the mythical pumpkin would show up was spurred on by the fact that almost every year brings the world a bigger “great pumpkin” of the sort one can measure, and – at least potentially – eat. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 28, 2023

Owls on the Move: Banding saw whet owls, other birds

Golden Crowed Kinglet.

This Covid thing really kicked me in the butt, so I slept through the weekend. I guess I didn’t miss anything other than the opening weekend of big game season. There were some wet hunters for sure, as the rain (if only a drizzle) never stopped. I did have enough energy to put back up my Saw Whet Owl nets late Sunday [October 22], but the drizzle continued after dark, so I never tried to catch any that night. The little birds were all over the ground under my feeders and a few new ones came in daily. I caught a few in the Potter traps and the only ones I’ve missed were three Pine Siskins that were around yesterday morning, October 23.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Help Protect New York’s Bat Populations During Bat Week through Oct. 31

Hanging bat

Bat Week is an internationally recognized celebration of the important role bats play in our environment. It is a great time to appreciate New York’s nine bat species. Bat Week is observed October 24 through 31.

Recently, scientists have found some evidence of recovery of the once-common little brown bat throughout New York State. While this seeming stabilization provides a hopeful outlook after more than a decade of devastating population declines, similar evidence of stabilization has not been seen for other severely affected bat species. Northern long-eared bats have faced severe population declines due to White-nose Syndrome and are now listed as endangered.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Paul Smith’s College VIC: Leave No Trace Spotlight program set for Oct. 27-29

Adirondack landscape on a sunny day

Paul Smiths, NY – All are welcome to join together this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 27 – 29 for a Leave No Trace Spotlight event focused on helping to protect Paul Smith‘s College Visitor Interpretive Center near Paul Smiths, New York. Leave No Trace’s new Spotlight program is a multi-day event to bring attention to community conservation, spread education, and to build momentum and inspire involvement for the future. Register online at this link. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 22, 2023

Aerial Reconnaissance

aerial mountain view

The Anniversary Gift of a Lifetime: An Adirondack Plane Ride 

Have any folks out there besides my wife & I ever wondered what it would be like to see the Adirondacks from above in a private small plane chartered flight?

 What an adventure!

 For a bird’s eye view of our anniversary Adirondack High Peaks region overflight route, click the link & read on: https://adirondackoutlaw.com/aerial-reconnaissance/.

 


Saturday, October 21, 2023

Mitch and Jessi got married, saw whet owl net destroyed by buck

Tamarack’s at Red River

The mountainsides and lake shorelines are looking a lot grayer than they were a week ago, as most of the leaves are on the ground. The beech [trees] and what few oak [trees we have] in the area are still holding on to most of their leaves. The birds and animals have been working hard, collecting and eating the beechnuts. A few of the beech trees along my driveway have been a busy place with squirrels, chipmunks, crows, ravens and blue jays working overtime in the treetops. Many of these critters are putting these [beechnuts] in storage, [while] others are eating them on the spot. One of my owl nets is right under one of these trees. Those burrs (that hold the nuts) make a mess when they get into the nets. You must pick the burr apart to get them out of the mesh.

» Continue Reading.



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