Monday, November 4, 2019

Project FeederWatch: A Simple Way to Help Birds

Blue Jay by Ryan MarcumIn light of recent news about the net loss of nearly three billion birds in the U.S. and Canada since 1970, advocates say it’s more vital than ever that citizen scientists monitor their own backyard birds.

Participants in Project FeederWatch at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have been doing this for decades. Reports from participants are building the kind of long-term database needed to detect shifts in the number and distribution of birds facing challenges from climate change, habitat loss, and disease. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Climate Change Impacting Adirondack Boreal Birds

Two new scientific studies recently released by Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (PSC AWI) and Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station (SSPRS) have detected continuing patterns of decline in boreal birds in the Adirondacks.

The authors examined avian community changes in lowland boreal habitats and the impacts that temperature and precipitation have on long-term occupancy patterns of boreal birds. Both peer-reviewed papers were recently published in the scientific journal PLoS One. The studies build on more than a decade of monitoring boreal bird populations in lowland boreal habitat. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 2, 2019

A Macabre Menagerie

halloween by adelaide tyrolLast year, I showed up to work on October 31 in one of my old park ranger’s uniforms, torn to fake-bloody shreds in an imaginary bear attack. One year earlier, I drank smoothies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because, ironically, my prosthetic vampire fangs were too fragile to sink into solid food. As a twentysomething undertaking a year of national service, I once asked my supervisor if I couldn’t make a few small modifications to my uniform and come to work on the last day of October as an “AmeriCorpse.” (He said no.)

In other words, I am a lifelong Halloween enthusiast. Costumes. Ghost stories. Jack o’lanterns. I love it all. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Poetry: Self-Portrait as an Eagle

Eagle nest by George Cassidy PayneSelf-Portrait as an Eagle

Hatched 30 minutes earlier
than the day before, I am placed
between a hot-water pad and a towel
to dry. Pecking an air hole in my shell
and beginning the ordeal, as the warm
air feels like Tegaderm on my beak.

Eight hours after hatching, I eat my
first meal-bits of lean quail raised
on my uncle’s farm. Feeding from a
puppet as to avoid being mistaken
by humans; in a week or so I will
see what it means to be wild again.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.

Photo of Eagle nest by George Cassidy Payne


Friday, November 1, 2019

Historic Flooding In The Adirondacks

Heavy rain overnight on Halloween has led to historic flooding in parts of the Adirondacks Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.

There has been widespread flooding and numerous roads have been closed across Hamilton, Herkimer, Warren and Essex counties, including the western slopes of the Champlain and Lake George Valleys. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Help Protect Adirondack Bats: A Primer

Human disturbance is especially harmful to the state’s bat populations since the arrival of the disease known as white-nose syndrome, a fungus that has killed more than 90 percent of bats at hibernation sites in New York due to how closely bats congregate in caves during winter months.

Even a single, seemingly quiet visit to a cave can cause bats to temporarily increase their metabolism and expend significantly more energy than normal. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Invasive Ash Borer Closing In On Adirondack Park

emerald ash borer photo courtesy DECThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in two locations in Jefferson County. A sample collected from a tree in the city of Watertown on South Massey Street was positively identified by the Cornell University Insect Diagnostic Lab.

The sample was taken in cooperation with the City of Watertown Planning Department and Department of Public Works. A second location was confirmed in the village of Clayton. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 28, 2019

NYS Endangered List Changes Would Remove Cougars, Wolves, More

bald eagleThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is planning to amend state regulations and designations for protecting endangered and threatened species across the state. DEC’s proposal would remove 19 species from the state’s endangered and threatened species list.

The Eastern cougar is proposed for removal from the list, due to its extinction in New York State. The grey wolf would also be removed, and renamed simply wolf, signifying new understandings of that species based on recent DNA studies. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Update on DEC’s Spruce Grouse Recovery Efforts

researcher capturing a spruce grouse by Angelena Ross DEC Wildlife Staff is involved in a spruce grouse translocation project to help boost numbers of the state-endangered spruce grouse and to improve genetic diversity of the remaining population in New York.

To meet the goal of maintaining their population in NY over the next 100 years, wildlife staff believe they will need to release 250 adult individuals from outside populations into NY over the next five years and manage habitat at several sites. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Parsing the Name Partridge

Ruffed Grouse by Adelaide TyrolOn spring evenings, just before dark, I used to hear a faint drumroll coming from somewhere off in the wooded hills. It sounded to me like an old tractor starting up, although it seemed like an odd time for a farmer to start work.

I later learned that it was the drumming of a ruffed grouse. Not a partridge; this was Connecticut. Years later I lived in Maine, where my husband took up bird hunting: not for grouse, but for “partridge.”

They are the same bird, Bonasa umbellus. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Club Camp on Big Moose Lake: A Short History

The Old Club Camp courtesy Roger and Nancy PrattThe Club Camp is often mentioned as the first permanent structure built on Big Moose Lake. The word permanent is rather ironic because this hunting and fishing establishment had a relatively short history of just 28 years. Today the camp’s origins, visitors, and sad end seem largely forgotten.

According to Joseph F. Grady’s The Adirondacks: Fulton Chain-Big Moose Region (1933), the Club Camp was constructed in 1878 at the request of several sportsmen from New York City who had been spending summers on the lake in previous years.

At the time, Big Moose, near Old Forge, NY, was difficult to reach — the railroad would not arrive in the area until 1892. Before 1878, only lean-tos or shanties were available on Big Moose, notably that of businessman William “Billy” Dutton, which was built in 1876, and that of guide Jack Sheppard which was set up around the same time. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Close Look at Science of Fall Colors

Fall Foliage by Adelaide TyrolWhere I live, autumn typically starts in late August, when pockets of red maples start to turn scarlet around the marshes and lakes. Uh oh. As they say in Westeros, “winter is coming.”

But not before we get to enjoy fall. Yes, a Northeastern autumn is a postcard cliché. Yes, the tour buses and land yachts full of leaf peepers clog the roads. But, really, who can blame them? No matter how many you’ve seen, fall in the Northeast is still one of nature’s most awesome spectacles.

And, so, so ephemeral. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Brook Trout Found In ‘Fishless’ Lake Colden

Brook Trout by Greg DowerThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation (ALSC) have announced the confirmation of brook trout in Lake Colden in the Adirondack High Peaks.

Considered fishless for decades due to the negative effects of acid rain, the discovery of the brook trout population in Lake Colden is being attributed to improved water quality directly resulting from state and national standards to prevent the airborne pollutants that cause acid rain, notably sulfur dioxide. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Atlantic Salmon Returning to Boquet River

Atlantic Salmon courtesy NOAA FisheriesThe Whallonsburg Grange Lyceum has announced “Beneath the Surface: Salmon in the Boquet River,” a program on the return of landlocked Atlantic salmon to the Boquet River, set for Tuesday, October 15th, at 7:30 pm. This program is part of the Grange’s fall series “Hidden in Plain Sight.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Firewood Physiology and the Woodstove

This week feels like fall proper. It’s gray, drizzly, 50s; the kind of weather that makes you realize you’d better batten down the house for winter.

We’re going to get to the first fire of the year in a moment, that pathetic, smoldering pile of hissing wood in your woodstove that you made such a big deal about. “Come here kids!” for the ceremonial lighting of the hearth, which turned into the ceremonial opening of the doors and windows to let the smoke out of the living room. (Write what you know, the English professors advise.)

But first let’s talk about the physiology of a tree. » Continue Reading.