What started as a wholesome family tradition of cleaning up the area around their Fourth Lake camp has transpired into a widespread clean up event dubbed Maintain the Chain (MTC) that focuses efforts on the Fulton Chain of Lakes. In its inaugural year as a formal event in 2021, Maintain the Chain garnered support from the Fulton Chain of Lakes Association (FCLA), towns of Webb and Inlet, and the Sixth and Seventh Lakes Improvement Association, and partnered with the Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI). The momentum continued for the 2022 event this past summer, Aug. 5-14, dates which coincided with Adirondack Water Week and the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.
Late in the fall months, black bears are in the final stretch of hyperphagia (excessive eating) to ensure they have enough fat stored for the fast-approaching winter months. Some bears will search for food up to 20 hours a day! In years where food sources are less abundant, bears have been known to den-up as early as late October. During especially mild winters, bears may not formally den and will remain active throughout the winter if food sources like acorns or beechnuts are available. Typically bears will begin denning starting in November and through December.
Bear dens can be as simple as a depression on the forest floor, but typically are small cavities in trees or under brush piles. In New York, bears have been known to den under residential porches or other outbuildings. Den sites are typically dry and afford protection from the elements during the long winter season.
Photo at top by Pete Patrick. Photo provided by the DEC.
WILMINGTON, NY — Pedestrians along popular lakeside routes in the Village of Lake Placid will find four new interpretive signs describing the Mirror Lake ecosystem, challenges to it, and protection efforts underway. The Ausable River Association (AsRA), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute partnered to design and produce the four educational signs.
The colorful and accessible signs provide information on the aquatic food web, the watershed, road salt impacts, and monitoring efforts on Mirror Lake. Jon Stetler of RPI developed the idea for the signs working with AsRA’s staff. They were designed by Andre Guilbo and produced with funds from the National Science Foundation through RPI and from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and NEIWPCC through AsRA.
The coldest morning so far (at 24 degrees) did in my dahlias, which had several blooms still trying to come out. I covered my toad lilies and saved them for a few more blooms, then cut them off and brought them inside where they are blooming in water on the windowsill. The warm spell over the weekend sure hatched out the ladybugs. There were hundreds trying to get in somewhere to spend the winter on the sunny side of the house and garage. They get under the edges of my windows, and I find them when I release one of my banded birds out the window.
October 24, 2022 — Lake Placid, NY — For the twenty-second consecutive year, the Adirondack 46ers have pledged support for ADK’s (Adirondack Mountain Club’s) professional trail crew by announcing a $58,500 donation to fund trail projects in the High Peaks Wilderness for the 2023 season. This is in addition to a 2020 commitment to donate $25,000 a year to ADK for the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program through 2023.
The Adirondack 46ers have been a consistent supporter of trail work in the Adirondack Park for many years, including investing over $500,000 in ADK’s trails program over the last two decades. Their commitment to supporting trail projects has also scaled with increases in visitor use, with around $400,000 of that support coming over the last decade when visitation has been the highest.
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.
Unfortunately, many species of bats, including little brown bats, have faced severe population declines due to White-nose Syndrome, a fungus that has killed more than 90 percent of bats at hibernation sites in the state.
On October 21, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the addition of 13 new locations to the New York State Birding Trail. These new locations bring the total number of birding trail locations across the state to 325, providing a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy.
“Fall is one of the most beautiful and scenic times to experience the outdoors in New York and it’s a prime time to visit the new State Birding Trail sites,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Birdwatching is one of New York’s fastest-growing recreation and tourism activities and these areas are open for visitors of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and experience levels to enjoy. I encourage New Yorkers and visitors to take the opportunity to explore these new locations and experience the state’s world-class birding opportunities.”
HARRIETSTOWN, NY — The Adirondack Land trust is inviting input from community members to help plan for the use and enjoyment of its Glenview Preserve in Harrietstown. This 238-acre property, off State Route 86, is being maintained as a scenic vista and managed for pollinator and wildlife habitat, water quality protection, and maple syrup production. The land trust is working with Saratoga Associates to explore expanding the property’s management plan to include public access.
Deer and moose are on the move. During the months of October, November, and December—breeding season for deer and moose—they become more active and are more likely to enter public roadways. Two-thirds of crashes between deer and vehicles occur during this three-month span. Motorists should also be alert for moose on roadways in the Adirondacks and surrounding areas this time of year.
The beautiful Hunter’s full moon is bright outside my window tonight [October 9] after a day of wind and rain showers that took lots of leaves off the trees. There was still lots of color in the sunny patches as I drove home from The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation annual celebration at the Paul Smith’s VIC. Events were held indoors, as it was pouring outside most of the day. Coming home, I hit showers and then sunny patches along the way. I saw lots of shutter bugs out taking advantage of the sunny spots.
While I usually cover flora and fauna relevant to the US Northeast and southeastern Canada, every so often, a non-regional subject whispers to me that it’s endlessly captivating and deserves an essay. Eventually I comply to make the whispering stop. Please don’t tell my shrink about this. One time, I was forced to write about platypuses (compelled by platypuses, not editors). These things are proof that animals are not the result of evolution; no, they came from Ikea. Ma Nature went to Ikea for her animals, and after assembling them, a little pile of fasteners and animal parts were left on the workbench.
The Lake Flower boat launch waterfront is abloom with pollinator-friendly plants. A successful public-private partnership between New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and AdkAction transformed the waterfront from a suburban lawn into a necklace of various native shrubs, trees, and many pollinator plants.
Historically, the boat launch site featured a manicured grass lawn stretching from the parking lot down to the water’s edge. This lawn allowed constant erosion which washed sediment into the lake. Nitrogen-rich grass clippings also blew into the lake along with other sources of pollution from adjacent lawns and parking areas.
BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE—A summit to address two invasive species that are a threat to the Adirondacks will include a discussion on new research that shows a link between hydrilla and the death of eagles in the Southeastern United States. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program will host a free symposium, “Invasive Species at our Door: Adirondack Invasive Species Summit,” from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake. The event will cover two species that could dramatically impact Adirondack forests and freshwater ecosystems: hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), a forest pest, and hydrilla, an aquatic invasive plant.
When the volunteers of Trout Power get together for a fishing weekend, they are more interested in a small clip of fish fin than a trophy specimen. They aren’t looking for the biggest or most beautiful trout.
They are looking for genetic information, and they have found it. The nonprofit organization is working with genetics researchers to expand our understanding of native trout strains scattered throughout the park. The strains show minimal mixing with stocked trout and have survived centuries of threats like acid rain and game fishing. The genetic diversity the anglers and researchers are finding, more robust than previously understood, may be a key weapon against the growing threat of climate change, which could warm water temperatures to level uninhabitable for cold-water fish like brook trout.
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