Happy World Water Day (on March 22). This United Nations observance day was established in 1993 to celebrate water and raise awareness of the 2 billion people across the world living without access to safe drinking water. This year’s theme is a focus on groundwater: “Making the invisible visible.”
The world relies almost entirely on groundwater for drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming and other uses, according to the UN. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report emphasized concerns about the future of drinking water as warming trends and human development accelerate threats to water supplies.
The Old Forge Library will host a free, live, online performance with an evening learning about female jazz musicians. On Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m., lecturer and master flutist Galen Abdur-Razzaq will highlight the influence women have had on the evolution of jazz and their significant contributions to the art form.
Women have been involved in jazz since the early 1920s, not just as vocalists, but as instrumentalists, composers and arrangers. An understanding of jazz would not be complete without highlighting the influence and contributions of women such as Bessie Smith, Valaida Snow, Mildred Bailey, Mary Lou Williams, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn. The goal is to provide an understanding particularly of their personal lives, their ability to read music, perform and survive in a time when jazz was considered “a man’s world.”
Abdur-Razzaq is a riveting speaker with an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of jazz. He will help attendees gain a deeper appreciation for women’s contributions to this music genre through a combination of lecture and musical pieces performed by him as he displays his talents on the flute.
Abdur-Razzaq studied at the Berklee College of Music. He holds a master’s degree in education and performing arts from Rutgers University and has collaborated with some of the greatest jazz musicians.
Those who wish to obtain the free Zoom link can call (315) 369-6008 or e-mail [email protected]
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.
Join local artists and organizations at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake in an event to benefit the artists of Ukraine. Taking place on Wednesday, March 30 @ 7pm, the evening of music, stories, theatre and poetry is presented by: Adirondack Center for Writing, Adirondack Stage Rats, Chris Kowanko, Drew Sprague, Esther Baker, John Brown Lives!, Joseph Szwed, Historic Saranac Lake, Pendragon Theatre, Roger Mitchell, Upper Jay Arts, Center & Recovery Lounge and further support by Depot Theatre
All proceeds raised that evening will go directly towards the non-profit, Artists at Risk (AR): a non-profit organization at the intersection of human rights and the arts working to provide artists from Ukraine with emergency resources, travel aid, and residencies at host institutions across Europe.
The evening will last approximately 80 minutes and be both a celebration of artists but also a call to action and sign of solidarity for displaced artists in the Ukraine. $15 suggested donation per person. Ticket donations and seats can be purchased at www.PendragonTheatre.org or by calling the box office at 518-891-1854.
Some people open Christmas gifts with relish. But it is with an equal amount of anticipation that we bird nerds open the annual PDF emailed by Gordon Howard highlighting the previous year’s count at the Crown Point Banding Station — a document that arrived in the mailbox this week. Volunteers at the station, located at the Crown Point Historic Site, net, count and band dozens of species each spring at one of the nation’s more significant avian highways. Prior to Covid, it had become a popular attraction for tourists, birders and school classes, but it’s been closed to the public for the past two years due to the pandemic. This year it will be open again, from May 6 to May 21 for the station’s 47th consecutive year of banding birds.
I stood in the middle of my dad’s workshop, listening to the drone of the space heater switching on and off against the howling winter swirling and eddying outside the building. I imagined my dad, here, by himself…working on all his woodwork under the bright LED lighting lining the ceiling and beams…calming, classical music playing in the background…puffing on a pipe when he was smoking, otherwise not…his presence—honed from a lifetime of being underwater, in the woods, and helping and leading others—permeating everything. Hands confidently and skillfully manipulating wood to conform to his will, his specifications…smoothing it over…verifying its obedience…
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.
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.
Fish chowder is a wonderful way to use up the panfish in your freezer. This simple recipe is easy to make and cooks up quickly. Pair with some crusty bread and a salad for a full meal. Enjoy! (Serves 4)
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1 small onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed 3 cups low-sodium stock (fish, chicken stock, or vegetable) 1/2 cup chopped carrots or sweet corn kernels 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tsp. Old Bay-type seasoning Salt and pepper to taste 1-pound boneless, skinless panfish fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
Directions: 1. Sauté onion and celery in oil until tender. Add potatoes, fish stock, carrots or corn, parsley, lemon juice, and seasonings. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. 2. Add fish and simmer for around 5 minutes, or until fish flakes with a fork. Add milk, and heat gently (do not bring to boil). 3. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information: (calculated with vegetable stock and carrots): Serving size: 1/4th recipe | Servings per recipe: 4 | Calories: 324, total fat: 22.5 g, saturated fat: 9 g, cholesterol: 0 mg, sodium: 44 mg, carbohydrates: 53 g, fiber: 4.7 g, sugar: 6.5 g, protein: 20.2 g
She also asked and received answers to some of our questions. Take a read through and chime in with your thoughts in the comment area below. What other questions do you have for the people in charge of this permit system?
The current New York State Forester at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that he is retiring in April. This position doubles as the Director of the Division of Lands and Forests, and as such is the top public lands manager in the state, supervising the management of the 3-million-acre Forest Preserve, more than 750,000 acres of conservation easements, over 700,000 acre of State Forests, and thousands of acres of Wildlife Refuges and various other properties.
The current state Forester has held this position for a quarter-century, since being appointed during the Pataki years in the late 1990s. The Division of Lands and Forests at the DEC includes, among other things, the Forest Preserve Bureau, the center point for setting Forest Preserve policy and administering public use. Given the importance of this position at the DEC, the Hochul Administration and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos must conduct a nationwide search for a new State Forester and bring in somebody with broad experience and a strong track record in public lands management.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is advising backcountry users in the Adirondacks, especially the High Peaks region, of potential avalanche risk following mild temperatures and high winds. Avalanche danger increases during thaws when warmer weather and rain melt existing snowpack and snow becomes increasingly unstable as it undergoes freeze/thaw cycles.
Backcountry hikers, downhill skiers, snowboarders, and other visitors who may traverse slides or steep, open terrain should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions. Avalanches can occur in any situation where snow, slope, and weather conditions combine to create instability in the snowpack. While the majority of steep, open terrain is found in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks, avalanche-prone terrain is found on mountains throughout the Adirondack Mountains. Skiers, snowboarders, and hikers should assess their own experience level before going into the backcountry and should be equipped with avalanche safety tools and knowledge, including participation in an avalanche safety course.
The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.
High Peaks Wilderness:
Snowshoes or skis are now required to be worn as snow depths exceed 8 inches.
Snow report as of 03/16: There is almost 3 feet of snow at the Lake Colden Outpost. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. Rivers are crossable but hazardous. Channels with high flow are soft or melted. Ice is currently falling off rock faces. People should take care around Avalanche Lake. Note: Conditions may have changed since the last report.
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: All snowmobile trails are closed.
Debar Mountain Wild Forest: All snowmobile trails are closed.
Wilmington Wild Forest: The Wilmington Snowmobile Trail is now closed.
Sargent Ponds Wild Forest: All snowmobile trails are closed.
Lake George Wild Forest:
Jabe Pond Road and Lily Pond Road are closed to vehicle traffic for spring mud season.
Dacy Clearing Road in Shelving Rock is closed to vehicle traffic for spring mud season.
Adirondack Rail Trail: The trail is now closed to snowmobile use for the season.
Region 6 is closing all mud gates to snowmobile trails and seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve, State Forest, and Conservation Easement lands due to spring thaw and muddy conditions.
Kushaqua and Sable Highlands Easements: Mud locks will be in place by April 1st to protect the integrity of the roads until further notice.
Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest (Croghan & Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts): All mud gates in Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest as well as those on the Croghan Tract and Oswegatchie Conservation Easement will be shut starting the week of 3/21/2022. Roads will be reopened when they are dry and firm enough to support motor vehicle traffic.
Independence River Wild Forest (Stillwater Reservoir, Big Moose & Three Lakes Conservation Easement Tracts): DEC staff will begin shutting mud gates in the Independence River Wild Forest the week of 3/28/2022. Roads will be reopened when they are dry and firm enough to support motor vehicle traffic.
All snowmobile gates on Macomb State Forest, Taylor Pond Campground, and Taylor Pond Wild Forest have been closed for the season.
Ferris Lake Wild Forest: Powley Road is closed for mud season until further notice.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest:
The entrance gates to the Moose River Plains are closed for mud season until further notice.
The seasonal portion of Cedar River Rd. which accesses the Wakely Mtn Trailhead is closed for mud season. The road is closed where the pavement ends, approx. 7 miles from Route 30.
A 200’ section of the West Mtn Trail is flooded due to beaver activity at the Beaver Brook crossing in Moose River Plains Wild Forest. Until the flooding is addressed, it is recommended to access the West Mtn summit from the Constable Pond trailhead off Higby Road (Pigeon Lake Wilderness).
Silver Lake Wilderness: West River Rd. that provides access to Whitehouse/Northville Placid Trail is closed for mud season until further notice.
All snowmobile trails in the town of Newcomb are closed (C8A & C7B)
Essex Chain Lakes: All mud gates are closed.
Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest: The Campsite Road gate is closed for mud season
Corinth Edinburg Conservation Easement: Snowmobile trails in the western Saratoga County area are now closed. (Saratoga Snowmobile Club)
Speculator Tree Farm Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement, Jessup River Wild Forest: Snowmobile trails in the Speculator region are closed as of Saturday, March 19.
Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, guidance on what to wear, and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind
Check the Weather: Check the forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for select summit forecasts. Check both daytime and nighttime temperatures and remember that temperatures will drop as you gain elevation. Check wind chill temperatures and prepare for colder, windier summits.
Spring Conditions: Be prepared for a mix of winter and spring conditions. Snow and ice are still present throughout the region, but warmer temps have brought high waters and muddy trails in low elevations. Be prepared with warm, waterproof layers, extra layers, and proper gear for snow and ice, including snowshoes, microspikes and crampons. In the High Peaks Wilderness, snowshoes or skis are still required to be worn where snow depths exceed 8 inches. Remember that conditions will change as you gain elevation, and cold, wet weather poses a significant risk of hypothermia.
Avalanche Advisory: Backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and all outdoor adventurers who may traverse slides or steep, open terrain should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions. If you are planning a trip to avalanche-prone territory, research the route ahead of time and contact a local DEC Forest Ranger for specific safety and conditions information, or contact a local guide. Before going into the backcountry, be equipped with avalanche safety tools and knowledge, such as participation in an avalanche safety course. Additional information on avalanche danger, preparedness, and safety precautions is available on DEC’s website.
Muddy Trails & Monorails: As snow begins to melt on lower elevation trails, be prepared for mud and monorails. Monorails are thin strips of hardpacked snow and ice in the center of trails, surrounded by minimal or no snow on the sides. Monorails can create difficult walking conditions. Microspikes and trekking poles can assist with traction and balance. Where trails are muddy, walk directly through mud instead of around it to help minimize trail widening and trailside damage.
Seasonal Roads: Some seasonal access roads are beginning to close for spring mud season, while others are still open for snowmobile use only. Where seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicles, the use of four-wheel drive vehicles is strongly recommended.
Snowmobiles: Be prepared for variable conditions. Visitors are advised to plan ahead and check local club, county, and state webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile web map, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.
Pack & Prepare: Winter hikes can be lots of fun, but they can also be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Take a moment to watch DEC’s How To Pack and Prepare for a Winter Hike video for a review of what gear to pack and the steps to take as you plan your hike.
Layer Up: Temperatures can change significantly depending on your location, the time of day and your elevation. Stay safe and warm by wearing non-cotton, moisture-wicking base layers, insulating layers, and waterproof, windproof outer layers. Wear a hat, mittens or gloves, and a buff. Gaiters can help keep your lower legs warm and prevent snow from getting in your boots. Bring additional layers. Wear sturdy waterproof boots that are already broken in. Learn more about layering for cold weather by watching DEC’s How To video.
Share the Trails: Many multi-use trails are enjoyed by a variety of users in the winter. Be respectful of everyone’s experience by following winter trail etiquette. Wear snowshoes to prevent postholing and keep ski and snowshoe tracks separate when possible. Move to the right to let faster users pass and yield to downhill traffic. When stopping, step to the side of the trail to make way for other users. Snowmobiles should ride single file, keep to the right, pass on the left only when the trail is clear, and yield the right-of-way to skiers, snowshoers and other non-mechanized forms of travel as well as those passing or traveling uphill.
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.
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