Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Rangers come to aid of 84 year old hiker with chest pains

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Nov. 10 at 4:36 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an 84-year-old male hiker from Rochester with chest pains on Mt. Jo. Forest Ranger Lt. Burns and Forest Ranger van Laer responded, along with the Lake Placid Fire Department and Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service. The hiker was treated by Lake Placid EMS and assisted to the ambulance. Forest Rangers were clear of the scene at 6 p.m.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Adirondack 46ers support crucial high peaks stewardship programs

adk mountain club logoThe Adirondack 46ers have increased their support of critical stewardship programs in the High Peaks Wilderness after another busy year in the Adirondacks. Last week they announced a $41,000 commitment to the ADK’s (The Adirondack Mountain Club’s) professional trail crew. This pledge was the second from the 46ers, announced shortly after a pledge of $75,000 to be distributed over three years from 46ers, effectively doubling down on their efforts to support the ADK Mountain Club’s stewardship program. The Stewardship Program is managed in partnership with the NYS DEC, and the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

Over the last 20 years, the 46ers have donated nearly $350,000 to the ADK’s trails program, $298,000 of which in the last 8 years alone, when visitor use has reached its peak.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Behind the lens: Trail signs

When out on assignment in the Forest Preserve, I seem to take photos of every trail sign I come across. However, after I download them, they disappear into my archives and are never seen again.

This image isn’t necessarily one of my favorite trail sign shots, but the photo assignment when I took the image was interesting.

That day, in late June, I was tasked with meeting writer Betsy Kepes at 10:30 a.m. at the Cold River near Shattuck Clearing. Kepes was writing a story about backpacking through lowlands in the western High Peak Wilderness.

So that day I got up early, paddled roughly 8 miles to the lean-to at the north end of Long Lake, where I could connect with the Northville-Placid Trail. From there, I hiked in the rain for another 5 miles to meet Betsy and her two friends at a bridge over the Cold River.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Reminder: Cutoff Date for Fertilizing Lawns is December 1

If you plan to fertilize your lawn this fall, remember that it is against New York State law to fertilize lawns between December 1 and April 1. Some areas also have local laws about selling and using lawn fertilizers.

Visit DEC’s Lawn Fertilizer webpage for more information. The law does not apply to agricultural fertilizer or fertilizer for gardens.

Choose a lawn fertilizer with no phosphorus.

Lawn fertilizer can have unnecessary phosphorus that runs into waterbodies. Excess phosphorus in freshwater lakes and ponds can cause algae overgrowth, with serious impacts to the environment and public health.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Paul Smith’s VIC to open Dec. 5 for ski season

Weather dependent, the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Information Center plans to open its doors on Saturday the 5th of December for the winter season.
Ski passes are on now on sale (season passes available here), which gives users access to more than 40K of groomed ski and snowshoeing trails. Click here for details on the fees for day use and season passes.
Please note: You can opt out of shipping and pick up your pass at the front desk. You’ll need to sign a NYS ski waiver. If you’d prefer to print an application and mail it to us, you will find the form and address online as well.
With users’ help and cooperation, staff aim to keep the building open throughout the season. Details on what to expect when you arrive at the VIC are forthcoming.
Photo courtesy of Paul Smith’s VIC

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

CATS volunteer work day and winter finch update

An update from Champlain Area Trails (CATS):

Please save the date for a volunteer workday at CATS Essex Quarry Nature Preserve. We will be meeting at Essex Quarry on Friday, November 20th at 1p.m. This will be a fantastic way to see and improve the new preserve and trail as we gear up for our formal opening next summer! Please note that we need to limit the number of volunteers to 10 people given the most recent NYS regulations related to COVID-19 safety. Please RSVP to [email protected] as soon as possible! Bring loppers and gloves. We hope to see you there!

Winter Finch Alert

This winter is shaping up to be an exciting year for viewing “winter finches” in the Adirondacks and Champlain Valley.

Winter finches refer to the groups of finch species that prefer northern boreal or arctic habitat and occasionally irrupt south in search of food.

This year, essentially all of the known winter finch species are already showing up and have been spotted in the Champlain Valley! Among them are Common Redpolls (featured in this photo), Pine Siskins, Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Grosbeaks, Bohemian Waxwings and Red Crossbills.

You can learn more about these species by reading the 2020/2021 Winter Finch Forecast.

Redpoll photo courtesy of Derek Rogers/CATS


Monday, November 16, 2020

Netwing beetles: Beautiful and toxic to predators

With over 350,000 described species, the beetles are insects with many different attributes. The scientific name for the beetles, Coleoptera, is based on the Greek word “koleopteros,” meaning sheathed wing. Beetles in the Adirondack region show that this sheath can take a variety of forms.

The outer pair of wings located on a beetle is known as the elytra. For the ironclad beetles, the elytra are so hard that some of these specimens can resist being run over by cars. Ironclad beetles native to New York tend to be small, brown denizens of rotting trees. The drab hardness of ironclad beetles contrasts sharply with the flexible, flashy wings found on net-winged beetles. There are several species of net-winged beetles in New York, including the banded net-winged beetle Calopteron discrepans Newman (Coleoptera: Lycidae), the reticulated net-winged beetle Calopteron reticulatum Fabricius (Coleoptera, Lycidae), and the end band net-winged beetle Calopteron terminale Say (Coleoptera, Lycidae), which is shown in the picture. The transverse depression across the wings, combined with the equal heights of its wing ridges, are the diagnostic features of the end band net-winged beetle.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 16, 2020

DEC Announces Tie for State Record Pumpkinseed

Pumpkinseed Caught in January confirmed through DNA Analysis
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the state record for a pumpkinseed has officially been tied by a catch on the Black River earlier this year.

“It took some time, but I want to personally congratulate Jordan Tontarski, the angler who caught the pumpkinseed last winter in Jefferson County, tying a state record set 25 years ago,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “New York has some of the most outstanding year-round angling opportunities in the nation and we encourage residents and visitors alike to enjoy this relaxing and family-friendly sport.”

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 16, 2020

Investing in the story of the Adirondacks

As 2020 starts to wind down (sad, right?), I find myself reflecting on how the Adirondack Explorer has evolved this year. We’ve come a long way, and not just in learning how to work effectively as a remote newsroom during a pandemic.

As busy as we’ve been gathering and reacting to the news and compiling recreational insights, it’s easy for me to forget how different we were as a magazine and website a year ago. That’s around the time that Ry Rivard joined us to cover Adirondack waters. His addition gave us a sharp focus on the emerging (and sometimes improving) environmental threats to the lakes, streams and groundwater that we consider among our park’s greatest assets, especially in a changing climate that is harming or drying supplies elsewhere. Ry’s January magazine piece about harmful changes in our biggest water — Lake Champlain — signaled the kind of big-picture thinking we’re developing. But he has also drilled down on topics of immediate concern to individuals who get their water from wells.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Local food: Venison Meatloaf

This comfort food recipe, courtesy of Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s Wild Harvest Table, is a fantastic way to showcase ground venison. Ground venison is a fantastic source of inexpensive, locally-sourced lean protein that is a staple in many North Country homes. If you do not have ground venison, you can easily substitute ground beef or turkey for equally delicious results!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb. ground venison (OR ground beef or turkey)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of quick oats
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley, if available
  • Salt and pepper to taste (~1/2 tsp each)
  • ¼ cup ketchup or barbeque sauce for top

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Poetry: Leaf Pile

Leaf Pile

Oh, how good it is to play.

Dumping the bones on a gentle slope
planted in tinted violet, pale pink to rose,
candy corn yellow leaves, as parents stand
by armed with rakes and shovels, observing
with their crotchety independence how good
it must be to be a child again. To be free again,
to see a December sunset cast its ochre-brown,
saddle-shaped, conspicuously veined light,
eyelash like thin, over the gelatinous flesh of a
family’s front yard. Siblings sunken in soil, that
rich manured soil, soon to become melting snow
banks, scattered on rich, brain-shaped humus.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Newsletter survey: Share your thoughts

Wanted: Your feedback
At the Explorer, we’ve added to our slate of newsletters this past year, and we’d love to hear from Almanack readers on how we’re doing.
Whether you are only subscribed to the daily Almanack news digest or if you are signed up for all the topics-based newsletters, please take a moment to share your thoughts.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Click here to take the survey

And as always, I welcome you to send along your story ideas and topics you’d like to see covered in the Almanack. Contact me at [email protected].


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Adirondack weekly roundup

Here’s a roundup of interesting features and other Adirondack news from around the Web:
» Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Dairy Cows, Milkmaids, and the First Vaccine 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented worldwide societal and economic instability. We’re facing an astonishing loss of human life and unprecedented challenges to public health, economies at every level, food systems, employment, and education. And global extreme poverty is rising for the first time in more than 20 years.

While nations everywhere struggle to prevent the further spread of the virus, developing a Covid-19 vaccine has, apparently, become the number one priority in the world right now. Several candidate vaccines are in development, including a few that are currently in phase 3 trials in the US. The first two were halted briefly after safety incidents, but the FDA has since allowed them to continue. The results are promising.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Historic buildings and the Forest Preserve

HISTORIC PRESERVATION: A proposal to take down the Debar Lodge as part of proposed management changes to the more than 88,000-acre Debar Wild Forest Area in Franklin County, has drawn some attention. Gwen Craig’s story was the top-read article in the Explorer this past week. READ IT

As the Lodge is a 1940 Adirondack camp on the State and National Register of Historic Places, historic preservation organizations have rallied around it. See this commentary from AARCH that ran this week in the Almanack. From the Almanack archive, Peter Bauer digs into the “historic” classification of buildings in the Forest Preserve in a three part series that ran on the Almanack in 2018. The first dealt with buildings used for administrative purposes and the effort to retain the inner Gooley Club. The second focused on buildings that are classified as Historic and how this group of buildings is growing. The third deals with public residential use through a formal lodging network.

From 2012, Explorer editor Phil Brown looks at dams in the wilderness, and whether the state should preserve of take them out.



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