On Tuesday, August 23, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) for Valcour Island will continue in 2022. The program, launched in the fall of 2020, offers opportunities to take antlerless deer on Valcour Island with antlerless deer tags.
Old Forge, New York — Looking to add a new piece to your art collection? Come to View, the Center for Arts & Culture in Old Forge, on September 3 and find your next masterpiece at the 13th Annual Plein Air Paint Out Art Auction starting at 4 p.m.
Over 40 participating artists in the 3-day Plein Air Paint Out event will donate at least one painting for the live auction. The artists will spend Thursday to Saturday moving around the Old Forge area looking for the perfect Adirondack scene to capture with their paints. Each artist may also offer consignment paintings (pay and take) that are on display starting September 1 at View and will be available for purchase from through September 3, after the auction.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently added the migratory monarch butterfly, known for their flight to California and Mexico during the winter, to their “Red List,” a compilation of animals that they deem endangered. The native populations of this butterfly have shrunk by at least 22% in the past decade, due to numerous factors, including deforestation, pesticides, and climate change.
Deforestation in Mexico and California to clear the way for urban spaces, has destroyed much of the monarch’s shelter. Pesticides and herbicides used in large-scale agriculture have killed butterflies and milkweed, the plant that the larvae feed off of. Drought, wildfires, and extreme weather and temperatures caused by climate change has also damaged these butterflies’ homes, as well as killed many of them.
In celebration of these beautiful creatures, Paul Smith’s VIC has organized a Monarch Fest which is scheduled for September 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
If you believe we’re the master of our actions, think again. Better yet, have a fungus, bacterium, or protozoan tell you what to think. Jedi mind tricks are nothing compared to what microbes can do to animals, human and otherwise. You’ve likely heard that mice and rats infected with Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, lose their fear of cats because the pathogen initiates “epigenic remodeling.” In other words, T. gondii changes the expression of rat DNA to its advantage. As a result of this “remodeling,” infected rats and mice become sexually aroused by cat urine and seek it out, to their detriment obviously. In this way, T. gondii infects more cats.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) — with support from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the Lake Champlain Basin Program and volunteers — has completed long overdue maintenance of campsites on the historic Valcour Island.
Valcour Island, located southeast of Plattsburgh near Lake Champlain’s western shore, offers abundant opportunities for paddlers, campers and anglers. The NFCT’s stewardship crew rehabilitated more than 10 campsites over the course of six days, and made numerous improvements elsewhere on the island.
“Valcour Island is one of Lake Champlain’s finest recreation areas and is an important tourist destination,” said Noah Pollock, NFCT’s stewardship director. “We were happy to put our crew and volunteers to work to help the NYSDEC complete a variety of important maintenance tasks.”
Lake Placid, NY — Earlier this month, New York State Senator Dan Stec presented ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) with a legislative resolution recognizing ADK’s 100 years of teaching people how to explore and protect New York’s public lands and waters. The resolution acknowledges the many ways in which ADK has achieved this over the last century, including through educational outreach, stewardship programs, and trail work.
The resolution was sponsored by Senator Dan Stec in the Senate, Assembly member Matt Simpson in the Assembly, and co-sponsored by Assembly members Jones, Ashby, Byrne, Salka, Mikulin, DeStefano, Hawley, Manktelow, Cusick, McDonald, Smullen, McMahon, and Walsh. A physical copy was given to ADK Deputy Executive Director Julia Goren during an event at the Adirondack History Museum.
I visited all my Loon lakes this last week, including some that I hadn’t been to all summer. I was happy to find some of those pairs had chicks. One was Woodhull Lake where there are five pairs of Loons, and a few of them are banded. A Loon called right off the dock while I was putting the boat into the water, but it didn’t have any chicks. Going up the lake, I got all the way to Brooktrout Point before I heard another Loon. I looked ahead, and I could see two Loons with a single chick. I didn’t even get close, and the male was penguin-walking to distract me from the chick and then both were up and penguin walking. I kept going toward the landing at the end of the lake and I bumped right into another pair with two bigger chicks, and they did nothing but swim away from me.
As a kid, many a June twilight was spent trailing the beacons of fireflies in the deepening dusk to try and catch them in my hands. I was endlessly enthralled. Endlessly until Mom called to clean up for bed, at least. It pleases me that my own two children went through this phase, presenting me with Mason jars of flashing green magic before they released “their” fireflies outdoors. For the longest time, I remained enchanted by those shimmering, summer-night faerie lights. These days I’m charmed only by the memory of such. They’re nearly gone from our farm now, a paltry few flashing in a meadow that once hosted a Milky Way of moving lights.
With 2,000 known species, fireflies are native to both the Americas and Eurasia. In the larval stage, they’re carnivorous, and eat many insects we consider pests. You may see young fireflies, grub-like “glowworms,” in the lawn or flower bed. Larvae also feed on worms, slugs and snails before wriggling down into the soil or other protected space to overwinter. After a short pupal stage, they emerge to mate. Adults mainly subsist on pollen and nectar, though a few don’t eat at all in their brief grown-up phase.
All are encouraged to gain hands-on experience monitoring aquatic invasive species of the Adirondacks during a Lake George Association (LGA)-sponsored Citizen Scientist event this weekend, August 19-21. The event tasks residents with monitoring a specific area of Lake George for a few invasive plants and shellfish. The monitoring can be done by swim, snorkel, kayak, boat, etc.
New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP) recently completed the multi-year Empire State Native Pollinator Survey. The pollinator survey documents the conservation status of 451 species. This included a wide array of native insect pollinators, including four groups of bees, two groups of flies, two groups of beetles, and two groups of moths. This inventory of the state’s native pollinators was recommended in the New York’s Pollinator Protection Plan (PDF).
Some highlights of the survey:
- NYNHP conducted hundreds of field surveys all over New York and compiled data from museum collections and observations from community/citizen scientists—this totaled over 230,000 insect records!
- Hundreds of volunteers provided tens of thousands of insect specimens and photographs.
- The project added 16 bee and fly species to the known pollinators in New York State, but 79 species that were once recorded could not be found.
- NYNHP determined that 38% of New York’s native pollinators are at risk of extirpation (becoming regionally extinct). In the worst-case scenario, as much as 60% of native insect pollinators may be at risk.
For some, they are a tasty delicacy. For others, something you’re made to eat. Love them or hate them they are one of the most important organisms in our ecosystem. They decompose, nourish, heal, and yes, they can be deadly. Whether you are an expert in the world of fungi or are simply curious, join the Adirondack Experience this summer for a fun-filled, family-friendly festival all about fungi! With activities and crafts, workshops, presentations, hikes, and more there is sure to be something for even those who have never before considered mushrooms as anything other than something an adult makes you eat.
Come learn about the mycelium superhighway hidden beneath your feet on Saturday, August 20, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake.
On Monday, August 8, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the annual opening to the public of otherwise restricted Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties from Tuesday, Aug. 16, to Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. During the 16-day open house, Upper and Lower Lakes and Wilson Hill WMAs in St. Lawrence County, including the posted refuge or wetland restricted areas, will be open to visitors each day from sunrise to sunset. Perch River WMA in Jefferson County will also be open to visitors with one exception-Perch Lake will be open daily from noon to sunset.
It was getting very dry as the pond was down three inches from the overflow. Because of the heat, the trout decided to stay in the deep water and not jump the last two nights. I got just about an inch in my rain gauge, which will help. The flowers keep growing, and my cup plant is over seven feet tall now and it just started flowering. I put a six-foot wire fence around it this year to hold it up and it is way over that. The bees and hummers like it, and then the fall warblers like the bugs it attracts, and the seed eaters like the flower seeds.
KEENE— Named for one of the Adirondack Garden Club’s most outstanding members, the Ellen Lea Paine Memorial Nature Fund was established in 2005 to give financial assistance to individuals and not-for-profit organizations involved in programs whose purpose is to study, protect and enjoy the natural environment within the Adirondack Park. Mrs. Paine, who passed away in 2005, was an avid gardener who took great pride in the gardens of her family properties.
This year, the Ellen Lea Paine Memorial Nature Fund awarded eight grants ranging up to $1,500.
About 30 years ago I built a 16’x20’ shed to store my canoes, the riding lawnmower, my chainsaws and assorted wood scraps. There was a cute 8 foot white pine near the site that I left because it looked pretty. That “cute little white pine” has grown; it towered into the sky and its increasing diameter reached and pushed against the roof of my shed such that, as that white pine swayed in the wind, it caused my shed to creak and groan.
Clearly it had to come down (the tree, not the shed). Once on the ground it measured over 60 feet tall.
Earlier this summer my son Adam helped me take down a 90 footer which was only 50 feet from our house and leaning towards the house, with the prevailing winds pushing it from behind. Although white pine can get big, their root systems are surprisingly small and shallow, making them subject to blow down. Our April 14th storm, 14” of wet snow, took down a large white pine just across our street that tore out the power and broadband for 3 days and splintered the power pole 20 feet away into 3 pieces. Although it measured more than 70 feet high and had a chest height diameter of 28”, its root span was only 10 feet wide and 4 feet deep.
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