Saturday, July 20, 2019

Locals Beat Lily Leaf Beetle

Scarlet or red lily beetle courtesy wikimedia user CharlesjsharpThe lily, native around the world in the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere, has been an important cultural icon for millennia. Depending where you stand on the globe, it can represent humility, purity, unbridled sexuality, the Province of Québec, wealth, or a thriving garden, to name but a few possibilities.

The flower is mentioned in The New Testament, such as in Matthew 6:26: “Behold the lilies of the field: They toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” The message, as I understand it, is that one should not waste energy worrying how to clothe oneself, because even wild lilies are garbed well. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Thirteenth Lake Loon History Paddle Tuesday

Adirondack Loon - Loon Center PhotoGarnet Hill Outdoor Center in North River is set to host a paddle, reception, and presentation on the history and conservation of loons on Tuesday, July 23. Dr. Nina Schoch will give an overview of the Adirondack loon population and threats affecting their health and existence. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Mosquitoes: Life Under Tension

Mosquito A good friend was in touch; her son was enduring allergic reactions to mosquitos and, like any good parent, she sought solutions. I told her that the most practical, non-toxic way to deal with the problem was to consider a mosquitos’ lifecycle, and interrupt it where it starts.

Mosquitoes begin their lives in eggs laid singly or in rafts, in most cases on the surface of water. We purchase mosquito egg rafts at Saint Michael’s College to run student experiments with the hatching larvae. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wild Center Adds River Otters With Kanienkehaka Names

Tawi:ne the river otter

Two male North American river otters made their debut at the Wild Center’s Otter Falls exhibit on June 22.

The pair’s Kanienkehaka names – Tawi:ne and Rohsno:re – were revealed on July 6 as part of The Wild Center’s Ways of Knowing celebration. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Brook Floater Mussels

freshwater mussel Freshwater mussels are not exactly charismatic. They don’t flit gracefully about like a Karner blue butterfly, or munch on clover like a cottontail. They aren’t known for their sweet songs like a wood thrush, and they don’t close down traffic on the first rainy night of spring like spotted salamanders. They are fish parasites at one stage of their lives, and they don’t even taste good like their saltwater cousins. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Native Lupine, Pollinators and the Karner Blue

lupine by adelaide tyrolLupine is one of the most spectacular flowers of early summer, painting long stretches of roadside with shades of purple and blue. Thanks to this tall, showy plant, even a stop-and-go drive to Boston’s Logan Airport has its moments of beauty (as I recently had occasion to observe). Full sun and dry, sandy soil are just right for lupine.

Although many people don’t know it, the lupine we typically see in the Northeast is “not from around here.” It’s a non-native plant that was imported to eastern gardens from parts of the western U.S. and escaped cultivation. Our native lupine is similar, but it is seen far less often and is, unfortunately, in regional decline. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Short, Productive Life of the Luna Moth

luna moth On early summer nights I sometimes see large, pale green moths with long, twisted tails fluttering near our porch light. Later, I often find them dead on the ground. These beautiful moths are luna moths, named for the Roman goddess of the moon. Each of their four wings has a transparent, moon-shaped eyespot.

The luna moth (Actias luna) is one of the largest species of moths in North America, with a wingspan of three to four inches. It inhabits deciduous forests, where its green wings blend in among the leaves. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Oak Wilt And Invasive Species Vigilance

leaf and whole tree symptoms of oak wilt in a red oak tree It’s hard to be cheerful in a job where I am expected to keep up on each newly arrived or imminent threat from invasive insects, novel plant diseases, and worrisome trends in the environment. Although I typically deflate everyone’s happy-bubble when I give a talk, I’ve discovered we need not fret that the sky is going to fall.

The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) is a joint effort of research institutions, government agencies and nonprofit groups; their mission is to monitor stuff which falls to Earth that is not some form of water. Since one of the NADP’s tasks is to study tiny particles of pollutants in the air, they will certainly notice if the sky starts to fall, and give us ample time to take cover. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 8, 2019

Charges Filed in Massive Illegal Reptile Case

king cobra courtesy decNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) charged an Allegany man with multiple violations in connection with an ongoing investigation into the illegal possession and sale of wildlife, resulting in what they say is the largest seizure of illegal reptiles in New York State history.

Several of the animals seized were threatened species or species of special concern. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Fishhook Waterflea Infests Lake Champlain

Thousands of fishhook and spiny waterfleas encrust a fishing line in June 2019 courtesy LCBPAnglers returning from the waters of Lake Champlain at Shelburne Bay have reported large quantities of invasive fishhook waterflea fouling their gear.

Boat launch stewards with the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) noted this week that nearly all fishing boats returning to the Shelburne Bay and Converse Bay launches had downriggers infested with the tiny organisms. LCBP stewards removed, treated, and disposed of the fishhook waterfleas. The alarming news for anglers and lake ecology comes during the busy holiday period of Canada Day on July 1 and the July 4th holiday in the U.S. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Be Informed About Harmful Algal Blooms

keeping dogs safe from harmful algal bloomsNew York Sea Grant is reminding the public to be informed about harmful algal blooms (HABs), how to avoid exposure of oneself and pets, and where to report potential HABs.

In a statement to the press, Jesse Lepak, Ph.D., Great Lakes Fisheries and Ecosystem Health Specialist with New York Sea Grant said: “Not all algal blooms are harmful, but some dense populations of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can produce toxins that can have serious effects on liver, nervous system, and skin of humans and their pets.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Hummingbird Moths, A Primer

Hummingbird Moth One afternoon last summer, my partner Rick called me out onto our deck to see a tiny hummingbird. Not just tiny, but the tiniest hummingbird he had ever seen. My curiosity piqued, I walked out and there it was – hovering in front of the bee balm, sipping nectar and beating its wings at an impossible rate. It was a rich rust color and about an inch and a half long. By comparison, the smallest ruby-throated hummingbirds are twice that length. This was truly the most diminutive hummingbird imaginable.

Or was it? » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 1, 2019

2018 Giant Hogweed Eradication Efforts Report Issued

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that statewide efforts to control giant hogweed are making headway in eradicating this large, invasive, and dangerous plant.

The Giant Hogweed Program, managed by DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests, is in its twelfth year and has eradicated the plants from 623 sites, with another 448 plant-free sites being monitored. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Rare Plants Inhabit Adirondack Ice Meadows

Now that the weather has finally warmed up, we can appreciate ice a little more. Among other things, ice greatly improves summertime drinks, and an icy watermelon is hands-down better than a warm one. And in this part of the world, ice also provides us with unique wildflower meadows.

Along stretches of riverbank in the Southern Adirondacks, rare Arctic-type flowers are blooming now in the fragile slices of native grasslands that are meticulously groomed each year by the scouring action of ice and melt-water. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Little Things: Pollination at its Finest

honeybee by Jackie Woodcock

Here in the Adirondacks the stars are our night light, the crickets and bull frogs our bedtime lullaby.

This is a place where the simple things are seen and not overlooked. Mountain life affords us an advantage, serene surroundings to ponder about the little things and the opportunity to witness nature at work up close and personal. » Continue Reading.