Wednesday, November 29, 2023

What’s In A Name: Styles Brook of Keene


styles brook book cover

By John Sasso

Recently, author and Keene resident Lorraine Duvall released her latest book, Where the Styles Brook Waters Flow: The Place I Call Home. Her book is a collection of stories which were told to her by her neighbors about life along the Styles Brook Valley, along with her own personal recollections. The waters of Styles Brook flow westward for about seven miles from The Glen, a hamlet tucked between the Jay and Hurricane Mountains, into the East Branch of the Ausable River. The brook is fed by smaller brooks and ponds on these mountains, such as O’Connell Brook, Madden Brook, and Merriam Swamp.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Houseplants: Gardening Indoors During the Winter 

Geranium in a pot

The idea of taking plants from the wild and bringing them indoors seems to fly in the face of all things natural. But starting somewhere around 1,000 BC, plants and small trees were being used as ornamental features in homes, in several ancient civilizations.

A Brief History 

We know, from early paintings and sculptures, that the ancient Greeks and Romans grew plants in containers. And that in ancient India, Japan, and Egypt, potted ornamental plants were commonly placed in courtyards and home gardens. It really isn’t much of a stretch then, to hypothesize that some of those plants were taken into homes. In fact, evidence of wild plants being successfully cultivated indoors can be found in ancient Egyptian writings. And for centuries, the Japanese have employed the dwarfing of trees and other plants for room ornaments; a practice known as bonsai tree cultivation.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Poetry: Woods-Speak

Leaves on a forest floor

By Jack Carney

The winds blew fiercely across
the lake for three days without
letup – no weathervane needed
to know they were nor’easters.
The trees lakeside told me,
whipped about, bowing and scraping to the
southwest, oranges and reds stripped away.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Saratoga PLAN Secures $301,000 Grant to Help Preserve Portion of Palmertown Range

Saratoga plan logo


Saratoga Springs, NY — Local land trust Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land and Nature) is proud to announce a significant milestone in its ongoing efforts to safeguard critical forested landscapes within Saratoga County. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has officially granted over $1.35 million to six land trusts, including PLAN. The funding is aimed at preserving local forests that are integral to New York State’s environmental conservation objectives and the sequestration of climate-altering emissions. This funding was provided through the Forest Conservation Easement for Land Trust (FCELT) grant program and administered through the Land Trust Alliance.
» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Great Pumpkins

Linus, the precocious, blanket-toting character from the “Peanuts” world, which by the way is now a Canadian franchise, waited faithfully for “The Great Pumpkin” each Halloween night from 1950 to 1999. If anyone else had been stood-up that many times by the same character, they’d have thrown in the towel (or blanket) for sure. Perhaps Linus’ resolute faith that the mythical pumpkin would show up was spurred on by the fact that almost every year brings the world a bigger “great pumpkin” of the sort one can measure, and – at least potentially – eat. » Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Owls on the Move: Banding saw whet owls, other birds

Golden Crowed Kinglet.

This Covid thing really kicked me in the butt, so I slept through the weekend. I guess I didn’t miss anything other than the opening weekend of big game season. There were some wet hunters for sure, as the rain (if only a drizzle) never stopped. I did have enough energy to put back up my Saw Whet Owl nets late Sunday [October 22], but the drizzle continued after dark, so I never tried to catch any that night. The little birds were all over the ground under my feeders and a few new ones came in daily. I caught a few in the Potter traps and the only ones I’ve missed were three Pine Siskins that were around yesterday morning, October 23.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Help Protect New York’s Bat Populations During Bat Week through Oct. 31

Hanging bat

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.

Recently, scientists have found some evidence of recovery of the once-common little brown bat throughout New York State. While this seeming stabilization provides a hopeful outlook after more than a decade of devastating population declines, similar evidence of stabilization has not been seen for other severely affected bat species. Northern long-eared bats have faced severe population declines due to White-nose Syndrome and are now listed as endangered.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Paul Smith’s College VIC: Leave No Trace Spotlight program set for Oct. 27-29

Adirondack landscape on a sunny day

Paul Smiths, NY – All are welcome to join together this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 27 – 29 for a Leave No Trace Spotlight event focused on helping to protect Paul Smith‘s College Visitor Interpretive Center near Paul Smiths, New York. Leave No Trace’s new Spotlight program is a multi-day event to bring attention to community conservation, spread education, and to build momentum and inspire involvement for the future. Register online at this link. 

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Aerial Reconnaissance

aerial mountain view

The Anniversary Gift of a Lifetime: An Adirondack Plane Ride 

Have any folks out there besides my wife & I ever wondered what it would be like to see the Adirondacks from above in a private small plane chartered flight?

 What an adventure!

 For a bird’s eye view of our anniversary Adirondack High Peaks region overflight route, click the link & read on:


Saturday, October 21, 2023

Mitch and Jessi got married, saw whet owl net destroyed by buck

Tamarack’s at Red River

The mountainsides and lake shorelines are looking a lot grayer than they were a week ago, as most of the leaves are on the ground. The beech [trees] and what few oak [trees we have] in the area are still holding on to most of their leaves. The birds and animals have been working hard, collecting and eating the beechnuts. A few of the beech trees along my driveway have been a busy place with squirrels, chipmunks, crows, ravens and blue jays working overtime in the treetops. Many of these critters are putting these [beechnuts] in storage, [while] others are eating them on the spot. One of my owl nets is right under one of these trees. Those burrs (that hold the nuts) make a mess when they get into the nets. You must pick the burr apart to get them out of the mesh.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

APIPP to Host Free Webinar “How Deer Shape Forest Ecosystems” on Oct. 26

Graphic for How Deer Shape Forest Ecosystems webinar.

Keene Valley, NY – White-tailed deer can have a significant impact on forest ecosystems, but steps can be taken to mitigate the damage. Join New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Big Game Biologist Brendan Quirion and the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program for “How Deer Shape Forest Ecosystems,” a free webinar scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26. Quirion will discuss how deer populations are bolstered by several factors, including fewer severe winters with deep snow and a lack of apex predators like wolves and mountain lions, all of which have historically kept deer populations in check.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

DEC, DMV alert motorists of animals’ most active season

Deer on roadside.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today reminded drivers to be aware that deer and moose are most active and more likely to enter public roadways this time of year, as they search for mates during their breeding season, which is the months of October, November and December.

According to the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, in 2022, 41.5 percent of the crashes between deer and vehicles occurred during this three-month span.

Motorists should also be on alert for moose on roadways in the Adirondacks and surrounding areas this time of year.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Red Alert: Leaf Color Indicates Maple Distress

Sugar maple leaves

The dearth of red fall color in sugar maples, a broad regional trend first noted around 2018, is unrelated to fall weather or to the growing conditions in a given season. It’s a troubling sign that sugar maples as a species may have entered a long-term decline. Although every fall is beautiful, some years are notably vibrant, while others – like 2023 – are more subdued. We know that weather is the main factor that determines the brilliance of the autumn leaf display.

An unusually wet spring /early summer will favour the growth of leaf pathogens like shot-hole fungi, anthracnose, and bacterial leaf spot, all of which cause brown patches on leaves. Conversely, in drought years, trees are starved for water and nutrients, which curbs overall pigment production. Even after a strong growing season, protracted fall rains can tone-down color intensity, and early hard frosts or violent windstorms will truncate the “leaf peeper” season.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, October 16, 2023

A visit to Asa Adirondack Labyrinth

Asa Adirondack Labyrinth.

My mother and I met Christine Powers at the Adirondack Labyrinth a little after 9 a.m. this morning [ October 11.] It was a chilly day in Johnsburg in a beautiful setting with birch trees, two ponds, and the babbling Kibby Creek. There was a sign instructing us to park outside the gate, sign in, and walk to the gazebo.  There was a lovely (much welcomed) fire. Christine greeted us, [and] offered chairs and blankets. We were scheduled for last Saturday, but it poured all day, so Christine was gracious enough to invite us for an early appointment today.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Saranac River Fish Passage Improvements Nearly Complete

Saranac River project

Fish in the Saranac River are about to experience some new-found freedom. Deconstruction to remove the remnants of the Indian Rapids Dam and Frendenburgh Falls Dam in Plattsburgh is just about complete, which means fish will now be able to move more freely on that stretch of river.

The projects are a combined effort of NYS Electric & Gas (NYSEG), US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Trout Unlimited to improve fish passage before a fish ladder is installed at Imperial Mills Dam. The fish ladder combined with the removal of the two dams will allow fish to access upper sections of the Saranac River for the first time in over 120 years.

For more detailed information on this project, visit the USFWS website and check out this Adirondack Explorer story by reporter Mike Lynch at the following link. 


Photo at top courtesy of the NYS DEC.

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