Monday, April 11, 2022

NYS DEC issues guidance to reduce conflicts with bears

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.

For more information, please visit DEC’s webpage on reducing human-bear conflicts.

An interview with DEC Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Hurst discussing ways to avoid human-bear conflicts and a video of a bear destroying a bird feeder can be found on the DEC’s website, interview/video coverage courtesy of the NYS DEC.

Photo at top: Black bear in Raquette Lake. Photo by Jeff Nadler, archive photo. 

 

 


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Sunshine, sand, and a sunglasses-clad Sheltie on Sanibel Island

I see that some snow is still falling on you folks up north, but it is in the eighties down here on Sanibel Island and the water is also very nice. Just before leaving there was a world of birds still using the feeders and several birds feeding on the carcasses on the dam. The last evening, I had a mature Bald Eagle and immature Bald Eagle feeding right up until dark. The bunch of Slate-colored Juncos that had come out of the woods or moved north were under the feeders right until dark as well.

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Tuesday, April 5, 2022

North Country tourism leaders welcome back Canadian visitors

With Canadian testing requirements set to change on April 1st, the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau (VCB), a division of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, is excited to once again be able to welcome our Canadian visitors to the area for the upcoming tourism season. The ability to invite and host our Canadian visitors once again on the Adirondack Coast, after over 2 years of separation, will be huge not only to our economy but to the vitality of our community.

“The message is simple but important to express after two years of separation,” says Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “We have missed our friends and neighbors and are really looking forward to seeing and welcoming them. Just as we are anxious to get back to places in Canada we so enjoy, our mountains, lakes, shops and businesses are ready and waiting here. We have dubbed April 1st Reunion Day for Canadians and Americans so let the reunion begin.”

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Monday, April 4, 2022

Bluebirds are returning to the North Country 

The eastern bluebird is our official state bird. It became so on May 18, 1970, making New York the last state to acquire an official state bird.

Bluebirds are among the first birds to return in the spring. And for some bird-enthusiasts, attracting a pair of these harbingers of spring to a backyard nest box and having them fledge a brood of young bluebirds is the ultimate birding experience.

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Saturday, April 2, 2022

A traditional Adirondack Spring with the return of old man winter, lots of bird watching

Old man winter returned today (Sunday, March 27) as it snowed most of the day. I hadn’t checked my little pond behind the house, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there would be some wood frog eggs in it after the warm week we’ve had. Last year I saw eggs in some little pond along Trail 5 when there was snow all the way around them. I don’t know if those made it, but the ones behind the house hatched.

The newts feed on those little polliwogs and so do baby painted turtles. I watched them catch some right by the dock at Francis Lake one day. It was a busy day in the bird world today (March 27) as the snow was on the ground when I got up and it snowed most of the day. Looking down on the dam at the carcass there was a Red-tailed Hawk, six Ravens and two Turkey Vultures working for a snack.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Be on the Lookout for Amphibians Crossing the Road

amphibiansWith the arrival of spring temperatures, amphibians have begun their annual migrations to woodland pools to breed. Often, they must cross roads to reach these pools. In New York, this migration usually occurs on rainy nights in early April, when the night air temperature is above 40 degrees. When these conditions exist there can be explosive, “big night” migrations, with hundreds of amphibians on the move. Volunteers can help document these locations and help amphibians like wood frogs, spotted salamanders, American toads, or spring peepers safely cross the road. Drivers on New York roads are encouraged to proceed with caution or avoid travel on the first warm, rainy evenings of the season. Amphibians come out after nightfall and are slow moving; mortality can be high even on low-traffic roads.

Photo of wood frog by Laura Heady. 


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

What will we eat when the bugs are gone?

black fly insects

Part 1: Insects and People

Are insects in decline? I am 74 years old and have lived up here in the High Peaks for the last 20 years, after spending a good chunk of every Summer up here as a kid. Starting in the fifties, when our dad drove us up to the Adirondacks, one of the rituals while stopping for gas, was cleaning the smashed bugs off the windshield. Today… not so much. If you are less than 40 or 50 years old, you may find this confusing, as you tend to compare the present to a much shorter past.

Speaking of subjective observations, I believe there are far fewer skeeters and black flies today than when I was a kid. Granted, the BTI program to go after black fly larva dates back only about 35 years, but still, it seems to me that when you are out there fishing, hunting, or hiking, there are fewer bugs in the Adirondacks than there used to be. 

There are also personal factors at play, starting with the fact that skeeters and no-see-ums are initially attracted to the carbon dioxide exhalation of mammals, the relative strength of the odor of lactic acid emitted by your skin pores, your blood type (mosquitoes are more likely to target the odor of type O blood than type A), what colors you wear (avoid darker colors) and how you personally smell to these critters.  I’ve been hiking with my late wife Wendy and observed that she was much more heavily targeted by skeeters and black fly than I was, a frustrating situation for which she would provide less scientific explanations, often related to speculation as to how long ago my ancestors came down from the trees.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, March 28, 2022

Telling Our Stories: The Adirondack Story Project

We are blessed to have quality news outlets in the Adirondacks – local newspapers and magazines, social media, and including, of course, the Adirondack Almanack and Explorer. These resources are place-based and provide us with the current news and events. They also serve as archival records for future generations.

Since 2014, I’ve shared a number of my stories on the Adirondack Almanack. There are more avenues for telling one’s stories now, eight years later, primarily through the perfection of online resources because of the Covid-19 pandemic and our resultant isolation.

I want to introduce readers of the Almanack to a project for recording audio stories which began a few years ago through the Keene Valley Library. To date, this Adirondack Community Story Project has collected over 250 three-to-five-minute audio stories on the historical and social cultural history of the Town of Keene.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Old Forge grandmother, Beth Pashley, chronicles her picturesque Adirondack hiking adventures

Spring has sprung in the Adirondacks, and although the coming of springtime signals a time of renewal and helps many to come out of the “winter blues,” early Spring also means gray skies, soggy yards, and mud, lots of it.

What better time to showcase the serene beauty of the Adirondack region, while highlighting the artistic talents of one Adirondack grandmother who found rejuvenation, peace and serenity in the mountains, igniting a newfound adoration for hiking that she hopes will span across many generations in her family.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 26, 2022

Youth hockey team, the Inlet Mighty Loons, capped memorable first season

Spring has sprung on this first day of spring (Sunday, March 20) and my daffodils would have bloomed yesterday if the sun stayed out, however it started snowing which shut them down. The crocus usually come out first, but they have only popped out of the ground and the daffodils have flower buds ready to pop. Coming home from Utica on Friday (March 18) with temperatures in the fifties (and even sixty) I kept mentioning there are more Robins along the shoulder of the road. My wife, Karen, said, “I hear you, yes, there are lots of Robins.”

My neighbor Eric Sutherland’s sugarhouse [Maple Moss Sugarworks] has been cooking 24/7 this last week with lots of guests visiting his operation. He is into it big time and I’m learning more every day about his operation. With each day freezing at night and thawing during the day this next week he should be making maple syrup every day. He loves to show people his operation and he will be glad to sell you some of his products.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Counting on Arthropods

Whether one has owned a pet cat, dog, chinchilla or what-have-you, or merely admired the grace and beauty of a horse or deer, most of us develop positive links with at least one four-legged animal. But for everyone except maybe scientists, warm and fuzzy feelings evaporate when you move up to critters with a thousand or more legs. Insects, all of which have six legs, seldom elicit an oxytocin feel-good rush. I mean it’s unusual for folks to get doe-eyed over a mosquito, yellow jacket or cucumber beetle.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, March 21, 2022

Maple Syrup Production Combines Principles of Silviculture, Forest Management, Sustainable Agriculture, and Agroforestry 

In a few words, sustainability is the practice of using resources responsibly. It focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

The concept of sustainability can be traced back to the forest management philosophies of Hans Carl von Carlowitz (1645–1714), in his work Sylvicultura Oeconomica (Instructions for Wild Tree Cultivation), in which he established a set of concepts for sustainable management of forest resources. His belief that timber removed from a forest stand should never exceed that which can be regrown through planned reforestation continues to be a guiding principle of forestry today.

Sustainability, as a policy concept, is most-often thought of as the ability to continue use over a long period of time, or as long-term goals and / or the strategies that may be applied to achieve those goals.

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Monday, March 21, 2022

DEC Announces Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator, and Leashed Tracking Dog Examinations

dec logo

Exams Online April 1; Registration Deadline March 25

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that examinations for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 1. The registration deadline for these free exams is Friday, March 25. To provide broad access to these examinations, DEC is offering them exclusively online.

To register for any of these exams, visit the NYSDEC Special Licenses Unit webpage. The link to the registration website (leaves DEC website) is provided on each of the individual license webpages, along with directions on how to register. An email acknowledgment of registration will be sent to applicants along with an additional one-time link to access the website on the day of the exam.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

Flock of 100 snow geese fly over Ferd’s Bog, full house at feeders

Winter held on [as of March 14] with a little more snow and cold weather giving the snowmobilers and skiers another weekend to do their thing. The cross-country skiing was the best it has been all winter with enough powder on top of the crust you could just about ski anywhere and still have control. The couple of warmer days before the snowstorm encouraged a few birds to move north.

As I went out to move the new fallen snow on Saturday [March 12], I heard a Robin and had two Grackles at the feeder. A few others that I contacted had Redwing Blackbirds and then on Sunday [March 13] I had a Song Sparrow feeding among over one hundred mixed flock of Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskins and one lonely Common Redpoll.

That same day over at Ferd’s Bog I had a flock of 100 Snow Geese flying west into the wind go low overhead. I picked up another male Red Crossbill on Parkhurst Road [in Inlet] on Sunday [March 13] so I don’t think that pair will have any young with no one to feed the female on the nest. There may be only three cars that travel that road a day, and I’ve picked up five dead Crossbills there in two weeks. I also saw a Raven flying down the road with a Crossbill in its beak, so I don’t find them all.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

Watchable Wildlife – From Backyard Birding to the NYS Birding Trail

birds at feeder

Soon it will be time to put the bird feeders away as spring is approaching. But fortunately, birding and watching wildlife are year-round activities. Whether you are birding in your backyard or visiting a location on the New York State Birding Trail – here are some tips to help you get the most out of watching and enjoying birds:

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Kid next to water

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