New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that most small game hunting seasons open on Friday, Oct. 1, across New York State.
Season dates, bag limits, and other hunting regulations for New York’s small game species are available in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which can be obtained from a license-issuing agent or on DEC’s website.
Hemlock grove of old trees, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
As my friend and I hiked underneath groves of large eastern hemlock trees in the part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve called Wilcox Lake Wild Forest we thought about what this forest is and the vast ecological system – the community of life – that the forest and we are are interdependent parts of.
What towered above us, hemlocks well over a century in age, are dwarfed in scope by the vaster yet unseen root and fungal synapses and microbiota that sustain this wild forest in the soil beneath our feet.
The watershed feeding Tenant Creek flowing downslope of the trail we were on is one of thousands upon thousands of watersheds, large and smaller, whose ability to store and slowly release water were once under threat by deforestation and which motivated passage in 1894 of New York’s “forever wild” provision in its State Constitution, now encompassing 3 million acres in both Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, more than 100,000 acres in size, is part of that forever wild system.
For 2021 Climate Week, Sept. 20-26, DEC is highlighting two green initiatives in the Adirondack Region.
Solar Installation on Lake George Island
A new solar installation on Lake George Island now powers the caretaker cabin. The solar installation replaces an underwater power line that is used to provide electricity to the cabin. Not only is this green energy solution better for our climate, it is also more resilient.
Electric Car Chargers at DEC Campgrounds
Electric car chargers have been installed at Meadowbrook Campground in Ray Brook and Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian, and Day Use Area in North Hudson. Meadowbrook has one dual charging station with a solar-powered streetlight. Frontier Town has four single-car chargers. These stations are used by both visitors and campground staff. There are plans for more chargers to be installed at additional facilities in the region.
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.
- The trail from Lake Arnold to Feldspar Brook is experiencing extensive flooding. Crossing flooded areas on floating logs and old pieces of bridging is dangerous and should be avoided when possible. Seek alternate routes. If you must cross, be prepared to wade through deep water.
- The ladder on the Basin Mountain trail has a damaged top rung. DEC staff are working to repair the ladder, but hikers should use caution in the interim.
- Per the conservation easement agreement with Elk Lake Lodge, the Gate at Clear Pond will be closed to Public Motor Vehicles as of Oct. 12 and will not open until after mud season in May of 2022. Hikers will need to park at the Upper Elk Lake Road Parking Lot on the west side of the Elk Lake Road approximately 2.3 miles south of the Elk Lake Parking Lot and Trailhead. From the evening of Oct. 22 until the morning of Dec. 6, no hikers may enter the Elk Lake Conservation Easement.
Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:
More than a year ago, my painting exhibition, Live Streaming, was postponed due to the pandemic shutdown of New York City galleries. On September 7th those painted waterways finally started flowing in the city. Thirty-five paintings and drawings can now be seen at the Blue Mountain Gallery on 27th Street through October 2. What a relief to finally be able to share them. Although the Delta variant is making art-lovers more cautious and vaccinations are required to enter all galleries, the New York art scene is reviving. At the reception I am pictured (above) with “In Suspension,” which was featured in a previous Almanack article, Art in the Pandemic – Distraction, Solace and Direction.
North Creek, NY – Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve convenes its 11th Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, September 24, 2021, at Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek. The meeting begins with Adirondack Wild’s program report at 1 PM.
The meeting is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested. Tannery Pond Community Center, located at 228 Main Street, North Creek, requires that face masks must be worn and social distancing practiced during the meeting.
At 1:30 pm the meeting features guest speakers Chad Dawson, an Adirondack Wild board member and former APA Member, and Andrea Hogan (pictured here), current APA Member and Town Supervisor of Johnsburg. Their focus will be on the current state of the Adirondack Park Agency at 50 Years (1971-2021) and reimagining the APA in the Next 50 Years.
This Saturday, September 25, is North Country National Scenic Trail Day (NCNST Day), as well as National Public Lands Day. Each year, hundreds of thousands of volunteers come together on National Public Lands Day to assist with various projects designed to restore and enhance public parks, forests, waterways and more. These trail “holidays” coincide each year to bring awareness, use and volunteerism specifically to the longest National Scenic Trail in America: the North Country Trail.
SARANAC LAKE – North Country Live will explore and celebrate the art and music scenes in our communities with a series of free, online programs set to begin Sept. 23.
Hosted on Zoom by North Country Community College and its partners, North Country Live was launched in spring 2020, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide programs that enrich our communities, spark conversation, and foster intellectual exploration. Since then, more than 25 free webinars, presentations and panel discussions have been presented on a wide range of topics including wellness, personal finance, history, and the outdoors.
The upcoming edition of North Country Live, sponsored by the North Country Community College Foundation, will focus on art and music. Each of the following sessions will take place at 7 p.m. on Zoom. All these programs are free and open to the public:
This is the third 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.
The annual parade of vibrant, colorful fall foliage continues its journey across New York State this weekend, with the Lake Placid, Wilmington, and Tupper Lake areas of the Adirondacks expected to see the most notable leaf changes, and color change is underway in most other parts in the region. Leaves are also significantly changing in the northwest portion of the Catskills, along with parts of the Chautauqua Allegheny, Central New York, and Thousand Islands – Seaway regions, according to volunteer observers for the Empire State Development Division of Tourism’s I LOVE NY program.
Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 14, at 11:14 a.m., Essex County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a hiker with a knee injury on the summit of Hopkins Mountain in the Giant Mountain Wilderness. Rangers Lewis, Morehouse, Martin, and O’Connor responded. Rangers Lewis and Morehouse stabilized the hiker’s knee and carried him down the trail where he was transferred to a 6×6 UTV. The hiker was taken to the trailhead where he was met by his spouse and then driven to a hospital. Resources were clear at 4 p.m.
The Autumnal Equinox
This year, the autumnal equinox falls on the 22nd of September. It typically occurs on the 22nd or 23rd but, due to differences between the calendar year and the solar year (365 days versus 365 and 1/4 days), may take place anytime between Sept. 21st and Sept. 24th. The last time an autumnal equinox was on the 21st however, was in 1931. And the next Sept. 21st equinox isn’t until 2076. The last time one occurred on the 24th was in 1907. That won’t happen again until 2303.
An equinox takes place when the Earth’s axis is turned neither away from nor towards the sun, which when seen from the equator rises due east and sets due west. Day and night are of approximately equal length everywhere in the world. The word equinox comes from the Medieval Latin word equinoxium, which means equality of day and night.
September days traditionally mark a goodbye to summer as warm nights wane and are replaced with the cool mornings and falling leaves of autumn’s approach. As we wave a “see you next year” to summer, many opportunities await us in the month ahead for a more sustainable September.
- Swap or borrow: Need something for school or a tool for a fall project? Before buying new, check with family, friends, neighbors, or community groups to see if they have what you’re looking for. Swapping or borrowing saves money and can help keep items that have already been purchased in use longer.
- Go secondhand in September: Whether you’re searching for furniture, sports equipment, or on the lookout for a new outfit, great finds in good condition are out there through shopping secondhand at thrift stores, garage sales, or even through online community marketplaces. Shopping secondhand can be more affordable and helps extend the life of an item or product.
- Share garden extras: Do you have a garden that produced more than you can eat? Don’t let it go to waste! Share what you can with coworkers, neighbors, and family. Still have too much? Check out some recipes to cook up what you’ve got, including the scraps! You can also look into donating to a food pantry or other similar food assistance program, but be sure to call ahead to check what is currently being accepted.
- Plant native: Fall is a popular time for landscaping projects. Choose plants that are native to your area.
Recycle Right: Make sure recycling bins at home, work, and school have signage that helps everyone recycle right. Find out what can and cannot go in your recycling bin by checking your local recycling guidelines.
Looking for more ideas? Visit DEC’s Living the Green Life for tips.
Saint Albans Vermont based author, artist and aquatic biologist, Corrina Parnapy has released a new book compiled from over a decade of scientific research within the Adirondacks and Vermont, and articles she’s had published regionally and nationally, all focused on the connection between water quality and algae. From road salt, acid rain, invasive species, sewage waste, fertilizers, to lawn care practices; all have a connection and impact on algae populations.