Sunday, July 16, 2017

Adirondack Experience To Honor Jefferson Project

jefferson project at lake georgeThe board of trustees of the Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake will honor The Jefferson Project at Lake George with the 2017 Harold K. Hochschild Award at its annual benefit gala on Saturday, July 29 from 6 to 9 pm.

The Jefferson Project – a collaboration between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research and The FUND for Lake George – plans to use technology and science to help protect Lake George.

The Jefferson Project recently collaborated with Adirondack Experience to install an interactive video tower highlighting the project in the museum’s newest exhibit, which officially opened July 1st. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Biting Midges: Part of Life in the Adirondacks

A screened-in porch is an ideal place to relax on a summer evening in the Adirondacks. The tight, wire mesh that covers the walls allows the enjoyment of nature’s unique fragrances and wildlife sounds without the harassment of mosquitoes and other flying nocturnal pests. However, during the early parts of summer, there is one bug that can detract from the backwoods ambiance of that peaceful Adirondack evening. Biting midges are small enough to pass through traditional screens, allowing them access to any individual wanting to enjoy the evening.

The biting midges form a large group of exceedingly small true flies that are roughly the size of a sand grain, and are known to many as punkies or no-see-ums. The latter common name comes from this bug’s ability to remain unseen in low light conditions, such as on a porch after sunset, even when one of these pests has started to chew into your skin. Despite their dark color, no-see-ums are still a challenge to see clearly, even when standing against a patch of light colored skin. On a person with a dark complexion, punkies can be impossible to spot, regardless of how good the light may happen to be. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Pete Nelson: Adirondack Experience Gets Diversity Right

adirondack experienceOn July 1st I attended the grand opening of the Adirondack Experience’s new multi-million-dollar exhibit Life in the Adirondacks.  Situated overlooking Blue Mountain Lake, The Adirondack Experience (formerly the Adirondack Museum) is a regional icon with an unparalleled collection of Adirondack historical artifacts.  Their new exhibit, intended to interactively place visitors in the context of the Adirondack Park in all its human dimensions, is located in the former Roads and Rails building.

Life in the Adirondacks is a dramatic change in approach and style for a museum renowned for its depiction of history through objects of every description from the last two centuries of human activity in the region.  I spoke with one of the staff who manages collections and she told me the count of items on display in this exhibit space was down from 3,000 to roughly 500.  Those who know the former exhibit will see a much cleaner, streamlined, modern presentation with a number of new “hands-on” interactive displays.  Life in the Adirondacks is bracketed by two video presentations.  The first is a visually striking short film in a small theater that introduces visitors to the spectrum of human passions concerning the Adirondack Park.  The second, near the exit, is an excellent collection of short interviews with various leaders and advocates in the Park, representing different sides of the difficult questions we debate here, from land use to preservation to local economies. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Tim Rowland’s Fourth Of July Adventure

view of Giant from High BankI am a firm believer in the celebrated “Ten Essentials” that every hiker should carry in his pack when he sallies forth into the bush — which for me generally amounts to a map, a compass and eight Advil. Of course the list of essentials includes a lot of other stuff, as well, and is readily searchable online.

It’s good to be aware of the list because you never know about weather, you never know about a bad step on a rock, you never know when you are going to need a little extra gas in the tank and, well, you just never know. It’s amazing to me how just a few steps off a well-beaten path can leave you feeling just as lost as Fred Noonan over the South Pacific.

But we all backslide a bit. I frequently fail to carry Essential #10, Emergency Shelter on a two-mile out-and- back to Baker Mountain. But within reason I’m pretty good about it, partly out of prudence, partly because I don’t want to get “that look” from other hikers on the trail, the one that says “Look Carol, he is wearing COTTON. To the STAKE with him.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Adirondack Phoebe: Summer House Guests

phoebesPerhaps the phoebe selected her nesting spot during the few days my family was away from home at the end of April. Otherwise, I can’t quite figure her decision to build a nest atop the back porch light, right next to a doorway used regularly by three children and a rambunctious puppy.

To protect the nest, we took to unloading the minivan on the other side of the house, avoiding the back door altogether, and moving into and out of the adjacent garage as quietly as possible. No doubt, we’re not alone in changing our habits for the sake of a resident phoebe family. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Watch Out! Adirondack Plants That Burn

wild parsnip Summertime is the eight-week (give or take) interval for which most of us wait all year, the season for beaches, barbeques and back-country rambling. And it is also a time to watch out for burns: sunburned skin, blackened burgers, and vindictive vegetables. My best advice, respectively, for these dangers is: SPF 50, stay focused on that grill, and read on.

I know that vegetables are not really vindictive, but it sounds crazy to talk about them as a burning hazard. There are a number of plants whose sap can cause serious chemical burns, and one of them is a common and widespread invasive species, the wild parsnip. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 14, 2017

The Adirondacks Around The Web This Week


Friday, July 14, 2017

Ausable Ride For The River Set For Sunday

ride for the riverThe 6th Annual Ride for the River planned for Sunday, July 16 will feature a new format that allows guests to experience the conservation work of the Ausable River Association (AsRA). The family-friendly event is a fully supported road cycling tour featuring three distance options, all showcasing the Ausable River watershed in the heart of the Adirondacks.

Registration is open online.

Ride for the River was created by AsRA in 2012 to celebrate the resilience of local communities following the devastating flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene. In partnership with Cycle Adirondacks, the 2017 ride will feature new interactive route stops allowing cyclists to learn about the impacts of road salt, invasive species and undersized culverts on Ausable streams and habitat. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 14, 2017

The Big Adirondack News Stories This Week


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Localities Can Help Boost Slow Adirondack Broadband Speeds

Most Adirondackers spend a lot of time twiddling their thumbs in frustration with internet download speeds so slow they would be laughable in most American cities and many countries around the world.

 

There is something we and our public officials can do about the problem, but time is running out.  August 15 is the deadline for proposals from internet providers to compete for improvement projects paid from a pot of state money that could help a great deal. Up for grabs is over $400 million reserved for areas which the state considers “unserved” and “underserved” by broadband internet speed.

 

Guess what region of the state has the highest percentage of households defined as “unserved?” You got it. Us, the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions Report (July 13)

CompassThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon.

Contribute Your Knowledge: Send observations, corrections, updates, and suggestions to adkalmanack@gmail.com.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND
» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Assembly Underway

The Lily, built in 1915With the widespread use of plastic canoes, it seems as if the art of building wood canoes is all but lost. However, one organization refuses to let the craft die.

The Wooden Canoe Heritage Association is holding its 38th annual gathering at Paul Smith’s College this week.

“People come to show boats and talk about how they restored them,” said Rob Stevens, the association’s program coordinator.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

DEC Conducting Survey of Freshwater Anglers

DEC will be conducting a survey of licensed anglers who fished New York waters in 2017. This survey will be conducted primarily online and participants with valid e-mail addresses will be selected at random from their sporting license database. If you have not already provided your e-mail address when you purchased your license and want to be considered for the survey, e-mail DEC your name, fishing license ID # and e-mail address.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Loon Center Open House Coincides with WCS Loon Census

With its black and white markings, haunting call, and bright red eyes, the Common Loon is one the most recognizable animals in the Adirondacks. As a top aquatic predator, the loon is also an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. This year marks the 17th annual Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Loon Census, which has helped track environmental toxins, disease, climate change, and habitat loss by monitoring these iconic birds.

Though Saturday’s Loon Census is organized by WCS, the organization relies on volunteer citizen scientists to help with field work. Individuals are encouraged to sign up to monitor a specific lake by canoe or by foot to count the loons and chicks on July 15 between 8-9 am. This event, as with other Citizen Scientist projects, puts important data in front of scientists while allowing participants to learn more about loons. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Viticulture Specialist Serving Southeastern Adks

jim meyersThe Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension has announced the hiring of James Meyers as the new viticulture and wine specialist for a 17-county region in the eastern part of New York State. Meyers will provide regional grape growers with a combination of on-the-ground grape production assistance and some high flying technology.

Meyers earned his PhD in Viticulture at Cornell University and has applied a Masters degree in Computer Science from Brown University to his viticultural research. Using satellite imaging and drone technology, Meyers has mapped canopy and vineyard variability to help growers in the Finger Lakes region of New York and in the state of California optimize the efficiency and profitability of their vineyard operations. He will continue the use of that technology in eastern New York. » Continue Reading.


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