Thursday, August 1, 2019

Viewpoint: Respect Adirondack Wildlife

2013 at Limekiln Lake paddlers disturb nesting loonsI have been fortunate to see a moose on four different occasions since I’ve moved to the Adirondacks. I’ve only seen one bald eagle. My family jokes that I’m a bald eagle repellent as they seem to see bald eagles as frequently as I see squirrels.  That said, if my children tell me there is a bald eagle over the nearby river, if possible, I am in my car hoping to catch a glimpse. I’m in awe of the wildlife experiences I have and am grateful for each one.

I bring my camera everywhere and certainly appreciate anyone else who wants to witness one of the many wonderful wildlife residents of the Adirondack Park. I don’t appreciate when people start treating Adirondack wildlife as if they were zoo animals. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Burying Beetles: Nature’s Grave Diggers

nicrophorus tomentosusA regular chore of mine is to dispose of the mice and moles trapped in our home. I place them on a 4 x 5-foot patch of dirt and rock – which I have named the grave site – beside my woodshed. There, they typically disappear overnight, taken, I had assumed, by our resident barred owl, or perhaps a skunk, raccoon, or bobcat.

Then one day last July, as I was stacking my wood for the coming winter, I noticed a small black and orange beetle around one of the disposed mice. Fascinated, I watched for over an hour as a tomentose beetle (Nicrophorus tomentosus) dug a trench alongside the mouse and ever so slowly rolled the mouse into it. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Terrestrial, Aquatic Invasive Threats Talk in Hague

PhragmitesThe Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District and Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) are set to host a free informational event about terrestrial and aquatic invasive threats to the region on Thursday, August 15, 2019 from 6 to 8:30 pm at the Hague Community Center at 9793 Graphite Mountain Road, Hague.

Invasive species are an ecological threat to lands and waterbodies, and to local industries such as forestry, farming, and tourism. Early detection and rapid response is the most successful and cost-effective approach to managing infestations of invasive species. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Get To Know Adirondack Moose in Old Forge Wednesday

Moose At Helldiver PondView, the Center for Arts and Culture in Old Forge, is set to host Moose in the Adirondacks, the second lecture in its Summer Eco Gallery Talk series, on July 24 at 7 pm. Steven Heerkens, a Senior Wildlife Biologist with the DEC in Region 6, will lead the presentation. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Locals Beat Lily Leaf Beetle

Scarlet or red lily beetle courtesy wikimedia user CharlesjsharpThe lily, native around the world in the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere, has been an important cultural icon for millennia. Depending where you stand on the globe, it can represent humility, purity, unbridled sexuality, the Province of Québec, wealth, or a thriving garden, to name but a few possibilities.

The flower is mentioned in The New Testament, such as in Matthew 6:26: “Behold the lilies of the field: They toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” The message, as I understand it, is that one should not waste energy worrying how to clothe oneself, because even wild lilies are garbed well. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Thirteenth Lake Loon History Paddle Tuesday

Adirondack Loon - Loon Center PhotoGarnet Hill Outdoor Center in North River is set to host a paddle, reception, and presentation on the history and conservation of loons on Tuesday, July 23. Dr. Nina Schoch will give an overview of the Adirondack loon population and threats affecting their health and existence. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Mosquitoes: Life Under Tension

Mosquito A good friend was in touch; her son was enduring allergic reactions to mosquitos and, like any good parent, she sought solutions. I told her that the most practical, non-toxic way to deal with the problem was to consider a mosquitos’ lifecycle, and interrupt it where it starts.

Mosquitoes begin their lives in eggs laid singly or in rafts, in most cases on the surface of water. We purchase mosquito egg rafts at Saint Michael’s College to run student experiments with the hatching larvae. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wild Center Adds River Otters With Kanienkehaka Names

Tawi:ne the river otter

Two male North American river otters made their debut at the Wild Center’s Otter Falls exhibit on June 22.

The pair’s Kanienkehaka names – Tawi:ne and Rohsno:re – were revealed on July 6 as part of The Wild Center’s Ways of Knowing celebration. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Brook Floater Mussels

freshwater mussel Freshwater mussels are not exactly charismatic. They don’t flit gracefully about like a Karner blue butterfly, or munch on clover like a cottontail. They aren’t known for their sweet songs like a wood thrush, and they don’t close down traffic on the first rainy night of spring like spotted salamanders. They are fish parasites at one stage of their lives, and they don’t even taste good like their saltwater cousins. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Native Lupine, Pollinators and the Karner Blue

lupine by adelaide tyrolLupine is one of the most spectacular flowers of early summer, painting long stretches of roadside with shades of purple and blue. Thanks to this tall, showy plant, even a stop-and-go drive to Boston’s Logan Airport has its moments of beauty (as I recently had occasion to observe). Full sun and dry, sandy soil are just right for lupine.

Although many people don’t know it, the lupine we typically see in the Northeast is “not from around here.” It’s a non-native plant that was imported to eastern gardens from parts of the western U.S. and escaped cultivation. Our native lupine is similar, but it is seen far less often and is, unfortunately, in regional decline. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Short, Productive Life of the Luna Moth

luna moth On early summer nights I sometimes see large, pale green moths with long, twisted tails fluttering near our porch light. Later, I often find them dead on the ground. These beautiful moths are luna moths, named for the Roman goddess of the moon. Each of their four wings has a transparent, moon-shaped eyespot.

The luna moth (Actias luna) is one of the largest species of moths in North America, with a wingspan of three to four inches. It inhabits deciduous forests, where its green wings blend in among the leaves. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Oak Wilt And Invasive Species Vigilance

leaf and whole tree symptoms of oak wilt in a red oak tree It’s hard to be cheerful in a job where I am expected to keep up on each newly arrived or imminent threat from invasive insects, novel plant diseases, and worrisome trends in the environment. Although I typically deflate everyone’s happy-bubble when I give a talk, I’ve discovered we need not fret that the sky is going to fall.

The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) is a joint effort of research institutions, government agencies and nonprofit groups; their mission is to monitor stuff which falls to Earth that is not some form of water. Since one of the NADP’s tasks is to study tiny particles of pollutants in the air, they will certainly notice if the sky starts to fall, and give us ample time to take cover. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 8, 2019

Charges Filed in Massive Illegal Reptile Case

king cobra courtesy decNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) charged an Allegany man with multiple violations in connection with an ongoing investigation into the illegal possession and sale of wildlife, resulting in what they say is the largest seizure of illegal reptiles in New York State history.

Several of the animals seized were threatened species or species of special concern. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Fishhook Waterflea Infests Lake Champlain

Thousands of fishhook and spiny waterfleas encrust a fishing line in June 2019 courtesy LCBPAnglers returning from the waters of Lake Champlain at Shelburne Bay have reported large quantities of invasive fishhook waterflea fouling their gear.

Boat launch stewards with the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) noted this week that nearly all fishing boats returning to the Shelburne Bay and Converse Bay launches had downriggers infested with the tiny organisms. LCBP stewards removed, treated, and disposed of the fishhook waterfleas. The alarming news for anglers and lake ecology comes during the busy holiday period of Canada Day on July 1 and the July 4th holiday in the U.S. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Be Informed About Harmful Algal Blooms

keeping dogs safe from harmful algal bloomsNew York Sea Grant is reminding the public to be informed about harmful algal blooms (HABs), how to avoid exposure of oneself and pets, and where to report potential HABs.

In a statement to the press, Jesse Lepak, Ph.D., Great Lakes Fisheries and Ecosystem Health Specialist with New York Sea Grant said: “Not all algal blooms are harmful, but some dense populations of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can produce toxins that can have serious effects on liver, nervous system, and skin of humans and their pets.” » Continue Reading.