The folks in the Southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are putting together their infrastructure and many homes that were flooded out (or damaged) with the wind and rain from Hurricane Idalia. It came through at the worst time. There was a full moon, causing the highest time for tides and storm surges of up to twelve feet. That hit areas in Florida where they were less than that above sea level.
When he thinks I’m not looking, my husband indulges in a little eye-rolling. For the fourth or fifth time along this stretch, I stop, point, squat and aim my phone’s camera into some weedy roadside patch. He has only himself to blame. He’s the one who introduced me to my wildlife-identification app [Seek by iNaturalist], and our morning walks haven’t been the same. As my world has shrunk with the pandemic, so has my area of focus. My app is a fitting tool. I have found 141 plant species—and counting!—between our house and the turnaround point, a round trip of 2.2 miles. There’s always something new or transformed to look at, whether it’s the ephemerals in early spring, the berried possumhaw in winter, the swamp rose mallow in late summer or flowering snakeroot in fall.
Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) begin their annual fall migration around mid-August. These butterflies are the great-great-grandchildren of the monarchs that migrated to Mexico last fall. You can help monarchs by providing food (nectar) and keeping those areas protected:
- Turn a portion of your lawn into a wildflower meadow—plant milkweed or other native wildflowers.
- Delay mowing areas with milkweed until later in the fall.
- Avoid using herbicides—they kill all life-stages of monarchs (egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult).
- Report sightings of adults online. View a map of the sightings so far this year.
Tropical Storm Idalia is crossing the tip of Cuba right now, and it will become a hurricane as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico heading for the west coast of Florida. It is scheduled to hit at high tide on Wednesday, [August 30] with a 7-to-11-foot storm surge in an area that isn’t that much above sea level. People still claim there is no climate change, and that this is just a normal weather pattern. There are three more storms out in the Atlantic. The first one looks like it will stay out to sea, [however] where the other two [will] go hasn’t been determined yet.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement enforces the 71 chapters of New York State’s Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 2022, Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and Investigators across the state responded to more than 25,600 calls and worked on cases that resulted in nearly 13,800 tickets or arrests for violations ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the illegal pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.
Injured Eagle – Essex County
On Aug. 17, ECO Nicols received a report of a downed bald eagle at a private residence in the town of Westport. The officer met with the property owners (who were keeping a watchful eye on the bird prior to the ECO’s arrival) and set out to try and catch it.
Tales of the Adirondacks, Past & Present: Why Advocacy is Important for the Adirondack Park by Diane Fish
Our next OurStoryBridge Inc. story share is called Why Advocacy is Important for the Adirondack Park by Diane Fish. This story is about being an advocate for protected areas that are a blend of people and wilderness. Listen to this story in its entirety at the following link: https://app.memria.org/stories/public-story-view/2fb1eef1e4894995b7c3d070e1659717/
Holiday weekends are a convenient time for everyone to explore outside. But with more people on the trail, it’s important to share them properly. Be considerate of others and follow these tips so that everyone has a great time outside this Labor Day weekend.
The wind is especially strong today,
its invisible hands shaking the crab apple
like a snow globe.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is spreading awareness about the exotic insect pest called the elm zigzag sawfly (Aproceros leucopoda.) Please see below for information on how to identify the insect, locations in New York where it can be found, how the pest is affecting forests, DEC efforts to research/help manage the situation, and how others can participate in the process.
With all the weather and fire events that are happening, it’s hard to keep track and report on all of them. Here we sit with water up to our eyeballs [in the Adirondacks.] A hurricane hit California and other western states will be getting the rain from it…all the way to the Canadian border. This looks like it will drown areas in California, Nevada, and Arizona. [However,] it may not be enough to help with the fires in Oregon and Washington, as it may go too far to the east. The Canadian provinces won’t be getting much of it there either, where it is needed. They evacuated 20,000 people from the town of Yellow Knife in the Northwest Territory, as fires were within two miles of the town. That’s got to be a scary situation to drive away, not knowing what you might come back to with fires that big.
Last week had to be the week of rain for the summer. Some [areas got] six and seven inches in just a few hours which washed out trails, roads, and the railroad to Tupper Lake. I talked with one lady up at Twitchell Lake who said the water there came up over her dock and ten feet up on her property. It did some washing out of shoulders along the new paved road to the lake by the outlet. Some culverts were washed out on the snowmobile trail system north of Old Forge, so the system was closed to travel.
The heat from Arizona to the east coast hasn’t let up, with [temperatures in] many major cities in the hundreds every day…some over a month now. We are on the cool side, with more rain and thunderstorms passing through. Last Friday [August 4] as we were getting ready to go to the opening of the National Watercolor Show at View [Arts Center in Old Forge] one of those storms had quite a bit of hail in the mix. I did hear of some places across the state that got quarter-size (and bigger) hail in that same storm as it crossed the state.
The temperature here this morning [August 1] was forty [degrees]…much cooler than the folks to the south and west of us are feeling. It rained two and a half inches here on Saturday, [July 29.] [This] got a few wet who thought the rain was coming later and they got caught out in a downpour…which soaked many to the skin. It rained so hard, it washed a little gully going down the road to the pond. [I’m] happy to report the male Loon which had the fishing plug in his tongue is back with his family this week on Limekiln Lake doing chick care as the female worked hard catching fish for their chick.
If you’re out and about on our local lakes, there are Loon families out there with you. If you are fishing (using live bait or plug and lures that look like live bait) don’t fish near one of these families as Loons can swim very fast underwater and take a bite at one of your baits or lures. Then you have a problem, and the Loon has a problem…your hook in its tongue. So be careful out there, and don’t fish near a Loon or a Loon family.
Lake Placid, N.Y. – Paul Smith’s College has partnered with the Northwood School to bring Natural History of the Adirondacks to downtown Lake Placid at the Innovation Hub. Beginning July 28 through August 25, 2023, Paul Smith’s College professors will introduce the community to the plants and animals that live here. Through interactive presentations, faculty will share more information about mammals, amphibians, and other living organisms of the Adirondacks. Community members and visitors alike will learn something new!
The Northwood School’s Innovation Hub, located at 2495 Main St., Lake Placid, NY 12946, opened in 2020 and is committed to promoting collaboration, engagement, and partnerships, capitalizing on the shared knowledge, innovation, and creativity within our community.
“Transitions” is the title given to my featured artist exhibit at the Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery in Saranac Lake. It will be up for the month of July. I’d like to share the story behind 3 of my pieces in the show – and invite readers to come see them. As I get close to the end of my 8th decade, I find myself thinking about the changes I’ve lived through. Major changes in our world (the internet, hurricanes, insurrections) certainly happen and have positive and negative outcomes, but I find myself observing and thinking more about those changes, transitions, that occur in my own small sphere of existence.
Wait! Before you go:
Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox