Saturday, December 17, 2022

Graduation of 38 NYS Forest Rangers brings back memories of becoming a Ranger in 1965

Graduating Forest Rangers

We had a trickle of winter white, but we could use more. I believe the ground froze, as we had a few nights around twenty [degrees] before this little snowfall. Some loons forgot to leave, and three were frozen in First Lake yesterday [Sunday, December 11]. Two flew out during the day, and I have not heard about the other one. There were [also] a couple Bald Eagles keeping watch and waiting for a snack. Please remind your children to stay off the ice until we have some really cold weather [for the sake of their safety]. This on-and-off warm then cold weather hasn’t made the ice safe yet, so stay off [it] as a fall through the ice can be life threatening.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Lake George Land Conservancy Expands Protection of Indian Brook Watershed

Bolton backcountry

Bolton Landing, NY – The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has purchased two properties in the Town of Bolton, a total of 48 acres of forest and wetlands, including 3,745 feet of Indian Brook and seasonal streams that feed into it.

 

In October the LGLC purchased a 10-acre property that adjoins 130 acres previously protected in 2016. Extending the protected boundary with this acquisition enhances the ability of its large wetlands to slow and filter surface waters and to mitigate storm events that deliver sediment to the lake. Larger contiguous areas of conserved lands also provide better wildlife habitat and are more resilient to natural disturbances.

 

The second property, a 38-acre parcel that includes nearly 3 acres of wetlands, was purchased November 22. This land features a mature hemlock forest and steep slopes.

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Monday, December 12, 2022

Buying, Selecting, and Caring for the Perfect Christmas Tree 

 

I can still remember how exciting it was for my younger sister and me when, as kids, my dad announced, “We’re going to get the Christmas tree tomorrow.” The following morning we’d put on our hats and gloves and head out to the Christmas tree lot in front of Dad’s favorite hardware store to buy that ‘perfect’ Christmas tree. (Once the tree was up however, my sister and I quickly became more focused on what we hoped would be under it.)

Buy Local 

    As I see it, the choice we have as consumers this Christmas (and throughout the year) is to either support small, family-run businesses, or help some fat-cat, one-percenter CEO buy another yacht, sports car, or vacation home.

    Picking the perfect Christmas tree is high on many families’ to-do lists, right now. Maybe you’re planning to pick up your tree this weekend. If so, I want to encourage you to purchase your tree from a local tree farm, nursery, garden center, or farm stand, as opposed to a big box store.

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Monday, December 12, 2022

DEC Recreation Highlights: Give the Gift of an Adirondack Adventure and #LiveGreenNY

Looking for the perfect gift? Forget wrapping paper and bows. Instead, think outside of the box and gift an Adirondack adventure instead of material things. Need inspiration? If your recipient enjoys outdoor adventure, then they may like to go:

  • Hiking – Gift someone a day of quality time spent together on the trail. Pick a hike appropriate for the recipient and the weather, and remember to pack the 10 hiking essentials. Consider a DEC First Day Hike and get ready to enjoy the views.
  • Birdwatching – Gift a pair of binoculars or plan on visiting one of the many sites on the New York State Birding Trail. Don’t forget to take photos and log the types of feathered friends you encounter.

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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Reminiscing about the search and rescue of young Inlet hunter Charlie Mitchell

This up-and-down fall weather is not good for the little critters that live just under the snow searching for food. The rain comes and takes most of the snow away, the ground freezes, and leaves them without a home until the snow comes again. Most winters in this area, there is hardly ever frost in the ground when it is covered with snow. The year of the 1980 Olympics, we had a big washout just after Christmas which bared up the ground, [and] then [we had] a deep freeze for a few days.

 

There were a few natives who had waterlines just under the ground a few inches and they froze for the first time ever, with no snow cover to protect them. We [got] some snow, but up in the Lake Placid area they got no snow and had to make and move snow for the whole cross-country track…which was quite an effort. I remember going up to get our ID passes as Forest Rangers, and the ground was bare two weeks before the Olympics.

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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Audubon’s 123rd Christmas Bird Count Set For December 14 – January 5

All are welcome to participate in the Audubon’s 123rd Christmas Bird Count slated for December 14, 2022 to January 5, 2023. The community science-centered event occurs each year during the same time frame. Interested parties are encouraged to sign up to receive information and results about all of Audubon’s community science programs through their American Birds newsletter by email. Click here for a  map view of the circles expected to be included in the 123rd CBC.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Governor Hochul announces graduation of 38 New York State Forest Rangers

On Friday, December 2, Governor Kathy Hochul announced 38 new graduates from the 23rd Basic School for New York State Forest Rangers. As part of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Forest Protection, New York Forest Rangers protect the state’s natural resources and communities and stand ready to support states across the country in the face of emergencies like wildfires. The ceremony held in Lake Placid [the morning of Dec. 2] celebrated graduates from across New York State who followed extensive law enforcement and natural resources training in the classroom as well as in the field.


Saturday, December 3, 2022

Full Pine Marten traps, enduring Evening Grosbeak nip

The tracking snow is mostly gone after the all-night rain and the water is running in my little brook. I did get the blower out for the second storm and shortly after I jumped on to my skis and went around the loop out back just because I could. The Forest Rangers had a couple difficult rescues in Lewis County, working in more than four feet of snow. Working with the local snow groomer breaking trail, they completed both rescues. I saw a new rig that I hadn’t seen before, a truck on snow tracks which might come in handy in other situations in snow country. Some other hikers got off the trails in the High Peaks in the snowstorm and they were luckily found [in good health] not far from the trails. Hikers and hunters should check the weather before going out and maybe wait for a better day, rather than risking their lives and the lives of the rescuers.

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Friday, December 2, 2022

High Reindeer

If not for a fungus, Santa’s flying sleigh would be grounded. If that were the case, the only toys he could distribute would be to the elves who made them in the first place, which kind of spoils the whole surprise element. The truth is that Mister Claus relies on Amanita muscaria, a mushroom which grows among pine and birch, to zip around the world on Christmas Eve. Sometimes called the fly agaric or fly amanita because it has been used to kill flies, Amanita muscaria is a large, attractive mushroom. Its domed reddish cap is dotted with large white spots, making it one of the most recognizable toadstools or free-standing mushrooms in the world. It is the big polka-dotted mushroom of Alice in Wonderland, coloring books, and garden statuary.

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Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Junco Jig

junco

It’s that time again here in The Adirondacks, and mountain residents know all too well the confinement and extra chores that come with SNOW.  My Husband and I find a great deal of joy and contentment feeding and watching the birds, and there is no time like winter to observe the lives and behaviors of our friendly visiting birds.  One of the most entertaining winter birds is the dark eyed junco.  These little birds are the real snowbirds, unlike humans who are called snowbirds for fleeing the winter temps in search of warmer territory, these little birds arrive in the Northeast in time for snow fall and will fly northward once signs of spring appear. 

Juncos are very social and will gather in flocks that may have two dozen birds or more. A flock of juncos is called a chittering, flutter, crew, or host. Juncos will also join flocks with chickadees, sparrows, and kinglets.  Due to their similar coloring and size, the junco is sometimes confused with a chickadee but can be differentiated by several factors.  Once you identity the differences in each bird, you will immediately recognize who is who and their intriguing habits. 

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Inlet resident, Amanda Miller, shares snapshot of hiking excursions with her pups

 

The great November thaw has arrived and the day is rainy and grey, what better time to share some picturesque snapshots of an Inlet resident’s frequent hiking excursions and walks about town with her two canine friends, Cornbread and Okra Fritter. Amanda Miller, who moved to the Adirondacks from Texas in 2002, owns and operates the Screamen Eagle restaurant in downtown Inlet alongside her husband, Matt. Amanda also works at the Old Forge and Inlet post offices on a part time basis and has two children, Lorelei who attends the Town of Webb UFSD in Old Forge and Alex who lives in Greenville, SC with his fiance, Hunter.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

DEC: New York Hunters are Enjoying More Older Bucks

 

Whether you hunt white-tailed deer primarily for fresh venison, the experience and memories, or a set of antlers, many hunters appreciate being able to observe and harvest larger, older age class bucks. In 2016, DEC launched the “Let Young Bucks Go and Watch Them Grow” educational campaign. The campaign promotes individual choice and voluntary restraint to shift the age composition of bucks harvested by hunters in New York State towards older age classes, while still providing hunters the freedom to harvest any buck they desire.

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

December 3rd Maple School Includes Uihlein Director’s NNYADP Maple and Beech Research Update

Nearly 25 in.hg of vacuum on quarter inch tubing for maple tapping

Lowville, New York –  Results from the latest Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) maple research projects will be presented at the Making the Most of Maple workshop on Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Lowville, New York. Northern New York Maple Specialist Adam Wild, director of the Uihlein Maple Research Forest at Lake Placid, will be joined by Cornell University’s Statewide Maple Specialist Aaron Wightman, and Cornell Maple Program Product Development Food Scientist Catherine Belisle, Ph.D., as workshop presenters. The 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. workshop will be held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County Learning Center located at 7395 East Road in Lowville. Contact CCE at 315-376-5270 to reserve your space by November 30.

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Witnessing more than 50 birds battling for seeds in freshly fallen snow

The birds were battling for the seeds this morning [November 21] as the snow fell so intensely. There were over fifty Evening Grosbeaks fighting for space on the platform, and in the mix were two Red Wing Blackbirds who missed the flight south. They have been here for about a week now and they can hold their own with the Grosbeaks. The five or six Blue Jays are a little weary of all the Grosbeaks, and they wait their turn to get a mouth full of seeds. They must have a big stockpile of seeds somewhere, as they have been hauling them away all fall. There might be a forest full of sunflowers come spring, if any of them start to grow. They probably wouldn’t last very long, as the deer like those little plants.

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Sunday, November 20, 2022

A Different Kind of Lady

lady bug or beetle?

For weeks now, the insects currently clustering in homes here in the North East, are tiny Fall visitors called Asian lady beetles.   These little uninvited guests, ranging in color from red to orange and yellow with black and white markings, are swarming to homes in preparation for the Winter conditions to come.  Both our native red ladybugs and Asian lady beetles are in the insect family Coccinellidae, and although they can look alike, they have very distinct behaviors.  The easiest way to tell them apart is to look for a distinctive white “M” on the beetles’ heads.

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