Monday, October 4, 2021

A Harvest of North Country Cranberries

Gathering cranberries with a floating 'boom'

The 2021 growing season is nearing an end. And, as the last of the greens, Brussels sprouts, and turnips are taken from the ground, I’m grateful for the diverse variety of vegetables that family, friends, and neighbors have harvested, processed, stored, and shared; everything from tomatoes, potatoes, summer squash, and zucchini, to Romanesco broccoli, Kohlrabi, purple cauliflower, tomatillos, and blue dent corn. Tree fruit and nut yields from both wild and cultivated trees were bountiful this year, too. Wild and cultivated herbs and edible medicinal plants are being readied for use as spices, teas, tinctures, and poultices. And the harvest of forage corn, hay, and beans, which will feed dairy and meat cattle in the months ahead is nearly complete.

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Monday, October 4, 2021

Does Leaf Damage Affect Fall Colors?

fall colorIf you’re wondering if the damage done by this summer’s invasive caterpillar outbreak will affect fall colors, you’re not alone. The answer is—hardly at all! A healthy, leaf-bearing tree that was defoliated by caterpillars should have already grown new leaves again, though these leaves may be smaller than normal. However, leaf colors are determined by environmental conditions rather than leaf conditions. In autumn, the best conditions for vibrant fall foliage are dry, bright days with cool, frost-free nights. Weaker colors are caused by early frost or lots of rain. Rainy weather can leach water-soluble anthocyanins (which are responsible for the range of red colors) from leaves and have an overall dampening effect on fiery colors.

Want to know more about the science of leaf change? Check out last year’s Facebook Live on fall colors, or visit the US Forest Service website. Interested in knowing which parts of NY are seeing fall colors now? Be sure to keep an eye on the I LOVE NY weekly fall foliage reports to track leaf change across the state.

Photo by Vanessa Banti


Kid next to water
Monday, October 4, 2021

Adirondack Loon Celebration this Sunday at Paul Smith’s VIC

loon artThe Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation invites one and all to celebrate Common Loons, the fascinating icon of the Adirondack, at the Paul Smith’s College VIC (8023 NYS Rte. 30) from 1-4:30pm on Sunday, October 10th

This free, fun-filled “loony” day will feature activities for the whole family, including:

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Sunday, October 3, 2021

October Harvest of the Month: Apples

applesApples are one of the most historically, culturally, and economically significant fruits on earth. It’s estimated that humans have been eating apples since 50,000 BCE. Today, there are currently over 7,500 known cultivars of apples, ranging from small, green and tart, to big red sweet globes. The modern apple is thought to have been domesticated in modern-day Kazakstan 4,000-10,000 years ago. 

Apples are not native to New York State or the United States at all. However, today there are over 42,360 acres of apple orchards in the state of New York, which is second in the US behind the state of Washington for apple production. The United States (5M tons/year)  is second only to China (50M tons/year) in apple production. 

So how did the United States become a leader in growing a fruit that is relatively new to the area? 

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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Wells Youth Rec goes wild for bats

youth rec

Wells Youth Rec went wild for bats during a talk and game I presented on July 20.  Kids discovered that while bats may seem scary, they are misunderstood, important, and super cute.

I explained to the Youth Rec campers that bats are quite like humans.  Both have hair, eat fruit or meat, and sing.

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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

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Saturday, October 2, 2021

Loon Center Rescues Two Tangled Loons

loonThe Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation (ACLC) is very pleased to announce it helped save two juvenile loons after they were severely tangled in fishing gear. 

The first loon was found Sept. 14 on Trout Lake with a large treble-hook lure that had become ensnared in both its feet. Local residents, Lynne Butterworth and John Rendinaro, reported the loon to Dr. Nina Schoch, Executive Director of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, who provided guidance in how to catch the loon. Ellie George, one of the ACLC’s field staff, and her husband, Cal, removed the hooks and lure from the loon’s feet, and then brought the injured bird to Dr. Schoch, who cleaned its wounds, treated it with antibiotics and fluids, and banded it to aid in subsequent observations.

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Saturday, October 2, 2021

MAKE IT: Herbed Gardening Salve

herb salveI love permaculture, and have a spiral herb garden in which I grow some plants which have traditionally been used for medicine, along with a handful of culinary herbs. I also wildcraft other plants that I use medicinally. For this salve, I use a combination of wildcrafted and cultivated plants. However, many of these plants can also be purchased if you cannot find your own. Use whenever your hands need a little extra care! » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 2, 2021

Annual Regional Road Salt Reduction Summit coming up Oct. 14

road salt truck

Municipalities, businesses and not-for-profit organizations interested in learning how to keep roads, driveways and parking areas safe this winter while reducing the cost and environmental consequences of road salt use are invited to attend the 2021 Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit, Thursday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center in Lake George. Online attendance will also be available for those unable to travel to the Summit. Registration is free for all attendees.

This year’s Summit will be the 6th annual gathering focused on best practices for reducing road salt use, and will feature progress on road salt reduction in the Lake George region. It is presented by the Lake George Association, which spearheads the Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative, and Lake Champlain Sea Grant. The agenda will include:


Friday, October 1, 2021

Did You Know? Wood frogs have teeth

wood frog

For some people, the thought of a frog brings up mental pictures of small, toothless amphibians.  Not many care to catch one of these leaping beauties to do an oral exam but if you were to, you would find most frogs indeed have teeth.  Here in the Adirondacks, one of these toothed wonders is the wood frog.

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Friday, October 1, 2021

Outdoor conditions (10/1): South Lake Reservoir closure

outdoor conditions logoThe 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.

Black River Wild Forest: The boat launch, parking area, and adjacent boat launch campsites on South Lake Reservoir will be temporarily closed from 09/27 through 11/30 to allow the New York State Canal Corporation to perform maintenance work on South Lake Dam. Canoers and kayakers may still launch their boats off the shore alongside South Lake Road but should not block the travel lanes, shoulders, or park within the vicinity of the construction area. Alternative paddling opportunities can also be found at nearby North Lake, two miles before reaching South Lake.

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Friday, October 1, 2021

Latest News Headlines

Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:

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Thursday, September 30, 2021

The NYSDEC Should Embrace Openness And Transparency

Last week, we saw news that Governor Kathy Hochul instructed state agencies to develop and submit plans for greater transparency. This is good news and welcome news. I’ve watched over the decades as state agencies have restricted more and more of what was once basic and easily accessible public information. 

The administration of former Governor Andrew Cuomo was the worst from a public information standpoint, and state agencies, which were often managed by his political appointees in the image and temperament of the former Governor, shared the former Governor’s desire to control all public information. Under Cuomo, state agencies required Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for just about everything, and then they dragged out the response time for these requests like no other.

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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Fall foliage report: Adirondacks to hit peak/near-peak

fall foliage mapThis is the fourth 2021 I LOVE NY Fall Foliage Report for New York State. Reports are obtained from volunteer field observers and reflect expected color conditions for the coming weekend. Reports are issued every Wednesday afternoon. I LOVE NY urges travelers to follow all COVID-related public health and safety guidelines while enjoying the foliage this season. Visitors should call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available. More information on New York State travel and COVID-19 is available here.

Beautiful peak and near-peak foliage will make its first appearance in New York State this weekend in the Adirondacks region, according to volunteer spotters for Empire State Development’s I LOVE NY program. Peak and near-peak conditions are predicted in parts of Franklin, Essex, Hamilton and Herkimer counties, along with colorful foliage at midpoint of change in parts of the Catskills, Chautauqua-Allegheny, and Thousand Islands-Seaway regions.

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Thursday, September 30, 2021

‘A Wild Idea’ and more upcoming lectures at Paul Smith’s VIC

wild ideaHere at the Visitor Interpretive Center at Paul Smith’s College (VIC) we have more exciting lectures for you! Our lecture series is every Thursday and Saturday until November 6.

The first lecture of October is “A Wild Idea: The Birth of the ADK Park Agency and What it Means for Today” on October 2nd at 2pm with Brad Edmondson. Edmonson is a writer and business consultant in Ithaca, New York. He is known to “write about social change and how it happens.” Edmondson’s most recent book is A Wild Idea: How the Environmental Movement Tamed the Adirondacks. In his book he discusses whether the APA saved the Adirondack Wilderness or ruined the local economy. Edmonson performed over 60 interviews for his book to understand the public’s opinion on the APA. (Editor’s note: Check out a review of the book here.)

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Kid next to water

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