Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Youth summer theater returns to Keene

zoom theater sessionThe Book & Blanket Players, sponsored by East Branch Friends of the Arts (EBFA), has been producing youth musicals-in-a-week summer theatre for 11 years in Keene Valley, usually at Keene Central School.
Last summer they moved their rehearsals online (pictured here) and premiered their recorded musical as a Pop-Up Drive-In at The Bark Eater in Keene.
This year the adventure continues with an emphasis on flexibility and outdoor rehearsals and performance. The Keene Valley Library will serve as the hub and the performance will be outside at the Neighborhood House the weekend of July 17. All COVID safety precautions will be observed. The production will be a new and improved original musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice.”

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Hey bugs! Fear This!

colorado potato beetleNo offense, but Franklin D. Roosevelt should maybe bug off with his assertion that “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” because fear is good for gardeners and farmers.

According to entomologists Nicholas Aflitto and Jennifer Thaler of the Cornell University-based New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSPIM), it can be harnessed as a weapon against destructive pests. Turns out it’s possible to scare harmful insects out of gardens and crop fields.

Ascribing human feelings to bugs may be a stretch, but if something makes the critters run away and hide, it seems fair, not to mention simple, to call that fear instead of “a consistent generalized avoidance response in reaction to certain stimuli” or some such thing. After all, it took biologists a few hundred years to establish that various animals from elephants to birds and turtles really and truly play, and for no other reason than to have fun. Perhaps one day we’ll figure out that invertebrates have emotional lives, too. I suppose that might raise ethical issues around pest control, but let’s not go there just yet.

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Monday, April 26, 2021

DEC announces initiatives to boost recycling, prevent food waste

  • compostDEC Announces Additional $500,000 for Statewide Effort to Improve Food Scrap Recycling and Prevent Food Waste
  • $2 Million Total to Bolster New Regulations to Reduce Landfilling of Food Scraps and Connect Hungry New Yorkers with Edible Food
  • DEC Accepting Public Comments on Proposed Food Waste Regulations until April 27
  • The New York State Center for Sustainable Materials Management Launches Recycling Website on Earth Day

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Go Fish: Stocking Saranac River Salmon

salmonRegional fishery folks are testing new ways of getting salmon ready for the Saranac River, a river salmon once thrived in but were blocked from 200 years ago by dams.

I explored the relationship among the river, the dams and the salmon in a series of stories last year. This spring, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation plans to stock salmon in the river, which it has done for years, but this time keep some in a pen for several weeks. In the pen, the fish, who were born in a hatchery, will be fed and cared for by Trout Unlimited. The idea is these fish will have a better chance to survive and learn the river before they leave it for Lake Champlain. That learning, called imprinting, might make it more likely for the salmon to return to the river to spawn in years to come.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

You don’t have to be a hunter to enjoy this camp dinner

A Great Pre-Cooked First Night In Camp Meal

*Author’s Note: As we look all eagerly look forward to packing our gear and heading into camp, I thought I’d share a Monroe family “First Night in Camp” meal tradition: “Hunter’s Stew.”

 I first drafted this piece shortly after my “Cliff the Bear” story was featured by Adirondack Life magazine for the second time (once in print, once on-line). For a variety of reasons, I never submitted it.

Sometimes writing, like a good recipe, has to sit & simmer awhile. This one has, so I thought now might be a good time. I hope folks enjoy it. I know everyone, hunter and non-hunter alike, who visits our camp for a meal sure does!

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Brood X – The Emergence Has Begun 

molting cicadaBrood X is coming. In fact, by many accounts the invasion has already begun. The emergence of Magicicada septendecim; a species of 17-year periodical cicadas; the largest periodical emergence of insects on Earth.

    Periodical cicadas are large, fat, dark brown, flying insects averaging about 1 1/2 inches in length, with a 3 inch wingspan. Pigmented veins form a noticeable ‘W’ on the outer end of their front wings. Their eyes are bright red.

    Different broods of periodical cicadas emerge at different intervals. Some appear annually, some at 2 and 4 year cycles, others every 13 or every 17 years. According to Jody L. Gangloff-Kaufmann, a Cornell Entomologist working in community (non-agricultural) integrated pest management (IPM), Brood X (broods are labeled with Roman numerals), sometimes referred to as the Great Eastern Brood, “is one of 15 broods of periodical cicadas that appear regularly throughout the eastern United States.” Each one is distinctly different.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

HPAG Report: Hamlets as Hubs and Financial Support

This is the sixth article in a series examining the ideas in the final report of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Group (HPAG) that outlines a plan to build a new and improved management program for the High Peaks Wilderness Complex (HPWC). This article focuses on the ideas cataloged in the last two parts of the report “Hamlets as Hubs” and “Stabilizing Financial Support.”

The “Hamlets” section attempts to lay out ideas for how communities that are overwhelmed by people seeking to hike in the High Peaks can better manage the associated impacts, such as the Town of Keene, and how other communities can attract more visitors, such as North Hudson and Newcomb. Adirondack communities unevenly experience the impacts of the hiking surge in the High Peaks and other parts of the Forest Preserve. The “Hamlets” section is one of the biggest sections in the HPAG report. It includes 30 recommendations for action, more than a dozen alone to manage human and animal waste better.

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Orgs Release “Toolkit” for New Yorkers Fighting Climate Change

solar panels stock photoFree, Easy-to-Use Guide Provides Resources to Build Support for Local Wind and Solar Projects to Reap Community Benefits

To help community members who want to build support for local clean energy projects, The Nature Conservancy in New York and New Yorkers for Clean Power have published a toolkit to support their efforts. Entitled Building Out a Clean Energy Future, the free, online toolkit provides background, strategies and resources for New Yorkers regardless of prior knowledge about clean energy.

Identifying common barriers and outlining actions to manage and overcome them, the toolkit shares steps that community members can take to support renewable energy projects in their city, town, or village and help bring about the many benefits of clean energy including cleaner air to breathe, a stronger economy with good-paying local jobs, and less carbon pollution, the driver of climate change.

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Gearing up for gardening

cilantro

Will the pandemic home gardening trend continue?

If you weren’t a gardener before, the COVID-19 pandemic may have inspired you to start a veggie garden. Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Fairfield, Maine, saw a 270% jump in orders the week the coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency. Many local nurseries sold out of vegetable transplants fast last spring, citing they couldn’t keep up with demand.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Geezers Make a Raquette at the Falls

A hike to Raquette River Falls

(All photos are property of the author)

Raquette Falls walk

Since it is difficult to determine what the weather and conditions will be like in early April, the car was loaded with all manner of equipment. Snowshoes, crampons (spiky additions to boots), two flavors of hiking boots, hiking poles, and a sled filled the hatchback, along with the usual packs full of necessities.

Raquette Falls was the goal. A view of the cascade on a beautiful September day caused Jim and Randy to wonder what the river would look like during the spring runoff.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

ANCA Seeks New Executive Director

kate fishKate Fish announces retirement after 12 years leading regional nonprofit

The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) Board of Directors announced that Executive Director Kate Fish will retire later this year, after nearly 12 years leading the organization. The regional economic development nonprofit has launched a nation-wide search to fill the position.

“Kate is leaving a lasting legacy at ANCA and Adirondack North Country,” said Board President Jim Sonneborn. “Her vision and bias toward action have helped ANCA become a real leader in sustainable economic development. ANCA’s Clean Energy Program and Center for Businesses in Transition are models for other rural areas, and we have Kate’s innovative thinking to thank for that.”

Founded in 1955, ANCA works to build prosperity across northern New York by creating and sustaining wealth and value in local communities through three core program areas: Clean Energy, Food Systems and the Entrepreneurial Economy. In 2019, ANCA took on operation of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative when state funding enabled the hiring of its inaugural director.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Outdoor conditions (4/23): Spring snow

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.

High Peaks Wilderness: On Wednesday, April 21, 5 to 6 inches of snow accumulated at low elevations in the region. Hikers should expect over a foot of new snow accumulation on top of the 2 to 3 feet of existing snow pack at higher elevations. Be prepared for winter conditions and expect poor trail conditions this weekend.

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: Moose Pond Road is now open.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Latest News Headlines

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

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Screech Owls are Cute Killers

screech owlThere is an amusing scene in the comedy “My Cousin Vinny”, where the Joe Pesci character, an inexperienced lawyer from Brooklyn, where local wildlife tends towards pigeons, rats, crows, and stray cats, is staying in a remote back woods Alabama cabin, preparing for the big murder trial, and is startled by a blood curdling shriek in the dead of night. He explodes out the front door, wildly firing a pistol, as the camera suddenly focuses down on a small screech owl in a tree.

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