Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Hiking with Grandma Beth: A roundup of fall hikes & walkabouts

Believe it or not, Spooky Season is upon us, which means fall foliage in the Adirondacks is past peak with many of those vibrant leaves now crunching under the feet of those who enjoy hiking during the gorgeous, yet fleeting of seasons. One such hiking enthusiast, Old Forge resident, Beth Pashley, has embarked on several hikes and walkabouts in the Adirondack region this fall, capturing this year’s spectacular fall color in various stages throughout the month of October.
The Adirondack Almanack featured Pashley a few times previously, documenting her hiking progress over the last several months, and sharing her serene, eye-catching photographs. In this piece, Pashley shares a roundup of photographs depicting walkabouts and hikes from this month and clues us in on goals she has set to keep motivated while closing out one of her most successful and eventful hiking years to date.

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Monday, October 24, 2022

Help Protect New York’s Bat Populations During Bat Week, Oct. 24 – 31

 

 

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.

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Sunday, October 23, 2022

DEC Announces 13 Additions to New York State Birding Trail

 

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.”

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Adirondack Land Trust Seeks Community’s Ideas about Glenview Preserve

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.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

DEC: Deer & moose more active during breeding season, keep watchful eye on roadways

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.

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Saturday, October 15, 2022

Congratulations to son, Jason, two-time World Grand Champion in Kuk Sool

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.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022

No Kidding, an Echidna

 

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.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Cross Pollinating Success at the Lake Flower Boat Launch

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.

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Monday, October 10, 2022

Invasive Species at Our Door: Adirondack Invasive Species Summit set for Oct. 19

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.

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Sunday, October 9, 2022

Trout tails: In search of native strains

Trout Power anglers searching for brook trout DNA samples near Sagamore Lake this summer.

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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Saturday, October 8, 2022

Hurricane Ian hits Sanibel Island, another successful French Louie Fishing Derby in the books

 

Hurricane Ian has been the big news this week as it hit the west coast of Florida as a category four hurricane, just a couple miles an hour short of being a [category] five right at Fort Myers after passing over Sanibel Island. This island has been our winter getaway for over twenty years now during mud season, the month of April. That is when many of the birds that go south to South America (and some of the islands south of there) return north, and make Sanibel their stopover place after crossing the Gulf of Mexico.

 

It will not be our getaway this spring as it was hit extremely hard during the storm and the bridge going there from Fort Meyers was washed through in several places, making it impossible to drive there. Much of the power and water systems were also damaged. The condominium that we stay in at Sandalfoot on East Gulf Drive had the roof taken off, as did part of the back unit there. I’m sure the front units had water go right through them with a twelve-to-fifteen-foot tidal surge that went over the entire island.

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Saturday, October 8, 2022

Fall bird migration is underway

birdingFall migration is an exciting time for birding. With migrants on the move your favorite birding site can change within a few days, with different species traveling in and out. Every spring and fall, thousands of raptors migrate, and birders may see or hear eagles, kestrels, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Ospreys, Broad-winged Hawks, and Peregrine Falcons among others. The NYS Birding Trail highlights several hawk watches including Bear Mountain Hawk Watch at Bear Mountain State Park, Hook Mountain Hawk Watch, and Mount Peter Hawkwatch Trailway, all within the Hudson Valley segment of the trail.

It’s also important for everyone to turn off the lights for birds at night. DEC launched the ‘Lights Out’ initiative aimed at keeping non-essential outdoor lighting from affecting the ability of birds to migrate successfully. Many species of shorebirds and songbirds rely on constellations to help them navigate to and from their summer breeding grounds through the State. Excessive outdoor lighting, especially in adverse weather conditions, can cause these migrating birds to become disoriented, a phenomenon known as fatal light attraction.

While you observe all the birds migrating this fall, finish your 2022 I Bird NY Challenge offered for beginners in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF), as well as experienced in both English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF).

Don’t forget to sign up for our Words of a Feather newsletter, a monthly e-newsletter for birding news, updates on the NYS Birding Trail, and upcoming birding events near you.


Saturday, October 8, 2022

Land trusts are for the birds

Photograph of a sedge wren by Derek Rogers

By Derek Rogers
Stewardship Manager, Adirondack Land Trust

The Adirondack Park has long been a popular destination for bird-watching. Rugged yet accessible wildlands offer visitors and residents the chance to observe species that are not commonly found elsewhere in New York State.

From the highest peaks to the boreal lowlands and down to the shores of Lake Champlain, the mosaic of habitats presents birding opportunities unequaled in the Northeast.

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Thursday, October 6, 2022

ADK connects kids to nature through Marie L. Haberl School Outreach Program

Lake Placid, NY —ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) has started its 19th year of connecting kids to nature through Marie L. Haberl School Outreach Program: Three Seasons at Heart Lake. Last week, ADK staff began welcoming students to Heart Lake by introducing them to the wonders and science of fall foliage on a hike up Mt. Jo.

Since the program was founded in 2003, ADK has partnered with elementary schools around the Adirondack Park, many of which represent underserved communities, and served over 4,000 students. This year’s cohort includes 12 schools and 355 students.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

DEC Recreation Highlight: Sharing Trails with Hunters & Trappers

 

Hunting and trapping seasons are beginning to open throughout New York State. These activities are enjoyed by many as forms of recreation and a means of providing for their families. These activities can also benefit forest ecosystems by helping maintain healthy animal populations while reducing nuisance wildlife issues and, in some cases, decreasing the transmission of wildlife diseases. Whether you are a hunter, trapper, or just enjoy getting outdoors in the fall, learning how to share public lands with other users will help keep you and fellow visitors safe.

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