The trip home from Florida was an adventure in slowdowns, first on I-75 in Florida, on I -95 in Georgia, and on I -81 in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Karen was driving each time. One slowdown was for an accident nearly 30 miles ahead. This was the only accident we encountered during our trip down and back. With all that traffic, you would think we would have seen more, but it was not so.
Driving down our driveway at Eight Acre Wood with the daphne bushes blooming on both sides was a nice way to end our three-day trip. The trees were so green further south all the way through Virginia with lots of redbud trees in bloom. The trees were less green as we traveled into the “non-green world” to the north of that. We saw lots of snow damage to the trees all the way through Pennsylvania and New York from the wet snow.
This year (and every year after) May 1st will mark the official statewide season opener for most of the coolwater sportfish species in New York. This includes walleye, northern pike, chain pickerel, and tiger muskellunge. (Muskellunge season opens on June 1).
These sportfish species provide fun, yet challenging, fishing opportunities across the state.
If you’re targeting members of the Pike Family- northern pike, chain pickerel and tiger muskellunge, you should consider using a steel-leader tied to the end of your line. This will prevent the sharp teeth of these species from slicing your line and ultimately save you some frustration.
Knowing what the habitats are for sportfish will give you a better understanding of where you should fish for them. For example, chain pickerel are generally found year-round in shallow, weedy areas, whereas northern pike move from shallow water flats after spawning in the early spring to deeper, cooler water sections of lakes and rivers as temperatures rise through late spring and summer.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comment on projects currently under review. The public is encouraged to go to the Agency’s website found at www.apa.ny.gov and click the Public Comment and Hearing Opportunities link found in the News & Activities information box.
The link will direct the public to the Requests for Public Comment page where more information is located. In addition, the public will find an option to electronically submit a comment for the posted projects.
Presently, the Agency is accepting comments on the following proposed projects:
Three-lot residential subdivision in the Town of Fort Ann, Washington County
Reissuance of un-recorded and expired Agency Permit 2021-0048 for the construction of a self-storage facility in the Town of Harrietstown, Franklin County
Construction of two new access roads involving wetlands for replacement of a pre-existing utility line in the Town of Ticonderoga, Essex County
Establishment of an agricultural service use, involving construction of a barn for maple syrup production and a detached garage for equipment storage in the Town of Dannemora, Clinton County
Construction of a 5-megawatt solar generation facility in the Town of Ticonderoga, Essex County
Proposal to install athletic field lighting poles and goal posts at Moriah Central School District’s new athletic stadium in the Town of Moriah, Essex County
See the following for a more detailed list of proposed projects including the end date for public comment periods:
Public comment is invited for the following projects under review by the Adirondack Park Agency. Notices are sorted by comment period ending date. If a public hearing is scheduled for a project, the hearing date, time, and location will be listed.
May 5 — National Grid; APA:2021-0298; Black Point Road and State Route 22, Town of Ticonderoga, TMP 160.2-2-3.000; 160.2-2-2.000; 160.2-2-1.000; 150.4-4-1.000, and 150.83-1-7.000.; more information or comment on this project
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is honored to announce a second public challenge by Manning and Virginia Rowan Smith to encourage those who support the protection of Lake George to join LGLC’s Land and Water Society. The LGLC’s legacy giving program has grown to over 130 members.
The Land and Water Society is the LGLC’s legacy society, celebrating those who include the LGLC in their estate planning. It can be through a simple bequest, by naming the LGLC as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy or retirement fund, or one of many other options available. The gift can be large or small, and its benefits will continue long after one’s lifetime.
From now until November 30, 2022 the Smiths will donate $5,000 to the LGLC for every new legacy pledge received, regardless of method, amount or designation, up to a total of $300,000. For those who wish to include a specific dollar amount with their pledge that is above $5,000, they will match that amount.
After a two-year hiatus, Champlain Area Trails (CATS) will present a “shorter” Grand Hike on May 14 through the fields and forests of Westport. This year’s hike will be a six-mile loop on Viall’s Crossing trails. The hike starts at the Essex County Fairgrounds and ends at the Ledge Hill Brewing Company right next to the fairgrounds. All are invited to attend a “brew party” at the conclusion of the hike that will feature live music by the Bionic Band from Saranac Lake, drinks, food to purchase from DaCy Meadow Farm, a kids’ area, and a post-hike celebration.
“We are so pleased to start this up again,” said Chris Maron, CATS Executive Director. “With so many uncertainties, we chose to keep it simple—to have it be an afternoon walk beginning at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport, going on a number of CATS trails, then on easy roads through Westport and ending at Ledge Hill Brewery which is right next to the fairgrounds. That makes for convenient parking for all those who want to enjoy our family-friendly trails and for those coming from farther distances.”
It sounds like the Catskills and Adirondacks are going to again be blanketed with six to twelve inches of wet snow which might take down some trees that have started to bud out. This won’t be good for the birds that have already moved north. Many are being hit with the bird flu and those that have died (or are dying) will be eaten by predatory hawks and owls which will in turn catch the flu and also die…not a good deal in the bird world.
Have you spotted curly corkscrews emerging from the forest floor this spring? Look closely as the woods begins to “wake up” this season, and you’re likely to see some fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are the frizzy furls of a young fern that will unroll into a fresh frond. Most species of ferns go through this brief stage, which gets its name for its resemblance to the coiled end of a string instrument.
In folklore, ferns are often described as possessing magical qualities because of their “invisible” reproduction. Having been around for 300+ million years (well before the dinosaurs!), this ancient group of plants preceded flowering species and instead reproduces with spores. These spores can be spotted on the underside of the fern’s fronds after the fiddlehead unfurls.
Please note: many of NY’s native ferns are protected species and should never be taken from the wild unless you have the permission of the landowner.
New York State offers several youth hunting opportunities to allow young hunters time afield with experienced adult hunters outside of the regular hunting seasons. As a result, they gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting community. This spring, the youth turkey hunt is April 23 and 24.
If you’re an experienced, licensed hunter, please consider taking a youth out! The youth season is open throughout upstate New York and even in Suffolk County. Several non-profit groups sponsor specific events, and we encourage experienced hunters to reach out and take a kid hunting.
Other details of the youth turkey hunting weekend are as follows:
Eligible hunters are youth 12, 13, 14, or 15 years of age, holding a hunting license and a turkey permit.
All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult, as required by law for a junior hunter.
Youth 12 or 13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or person over 21 years of age, with written permission from their parent or legal guardian.
Youth 14 or 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or person over 18 years of age, with written permission from their parent or legal guardian.
The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. S/he may assist the youth hunter (including calling), but may not carry a firearm, bow or crossbow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt. Crossbows may not be used by licensees who are under 14 years of age.
The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York (north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary) and Suffolk County. Shooting hours are from 1/2-hour before sunrise to noon.
The bag limit for the youth hunt is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth’s regular season bag limit of two bearded birds. Asecond bird may be taken in upstate New York (north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary) beginning May 1.
All other wild turkey hunting regulations remain in effect.
Photo at top: A youth turkey hunting participant. DEC photo.
April 17th is International Bat Appreciation Day Bat Day is a great time to appreciate New York’s nine bat species. When spring temperatures become warm enough, bats will leave their hibernation sites and may be seen flying in search of insects. Unfortunately, many species of bats, including little brown bats, have faced severe population declines due to White-nose Syndrome.
Some bat facts:
They are insect-eating machines, eating thousands of mosquitoes and other flying insects in a single night!
Bats use echolocation (rapid pulses of sound that bounce off an object) to detect and catch insects.
Bats are more closely related to primates than to mice.
I’ve been hearing from some of my northern neighbors that snow is still falling, but the ice is out in some lakes and Loons have returned to those open waters. Other big predator birds like Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls, Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons may already be on eggs or at least looking at nest sites. The Peregrines just lay their eggs on a rock ledge, building ledge or bridge beam with no nest material.
April 26 is National Help a Horse Day; an initiative launched in 2013 by the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to create and raise awareness of ways to take better care of these often-beloved animals and to promote protection of neglected and abused horses across the country.
I can think of no animal more valued or respected than the horse. Nor can I think of one that has had greater influence on civilization. Horses were among the first animals to be tamed and broken. And, without question, the domestication of horses transformed the world.
Hikers advised to temporarily avoid high elevation trails and prepare for variable conditions on low elevation trails.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today urged hikers to postpone hikes on Adirondack trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. DEC advises hikers on how to reduce negative impacts on all trails and help protect the natural resources throughout the Adirondacks during this time.
High elevation trails: Despite recent warm weather, high elevation trails above 2,500 feet are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. These steep trails feature thin soils that become a mix of ice and mud as winter conditions melt and frost leaves the ground. The remaining compacted ice and snow on trails is rotten, slippery, and will not reliably support weight. “Monorails,” narrow strips of ice and compacted snow at the center of trails, are difficult to hike and the adjacent rotten snow is particularly prone to postholing.
As an extension of our recent post about an Old Forge grandmother, Beth Pashley, avid hiker and talented photographer, The Adirondack Almanack will be featuring snippets of Pashley’s hiking adventures on a year-round basis including her visually-striking and artistic nature photographs. Pashley was inspired to embrace the great outdoors with her grandchildren starting at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, dubbing the family bonding time as “The Grandma Chronicles.”
On April 6, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced proposed changes to wild turkeyhunting regulations, giving hunters additional turkeyhunting opportunities. The proposal, if enacted, would not be in place until later this year and among other changes, establishes a spring turkey season in Suffolk County in 2023, with a season limit of one bearded bird.
On April 5, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminded New Yorkers to take down bird feeders and secure garbage to avoid potential conflicts with black bears.
Bears are emerging from their dens, and now is the time to take steps to reduce potential conflicts throughout the spring and summer. Bird feeders, unsecured garbage, and outdoor pet and livestock feed can attract bears and lead to potential conflicts for homeowners. Repeated access to bird feeders and garbage can make bears bolder, seeking additional sources of human-related foods inside vehicles or buildings, particularly when natural foods are scarce.
Feeding bears intentionally is illegal. Unintentional feeding through bird feeders and unsecured garbage also has consequences for communities and may ultimately be deadly for the bear if the bear becomes a greater threat to people and property after exposure to these sources of food. It is important to properly manage attractants to avoid human-bear conflicts.
The DEC advises everyone residing in or visiting bear country (most of upstate New York) to remove any attractants. People should take down bird feeders and clean up any remaining bird seed now, begin storing garbage inside secure buildings until the morning of collection, and feed pets indoors. By taking these simple steps, New Yorkers can help ensure bears will find food naturally, which protects people, property, and bears.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.