Monday, December 23, 2019

David Henderson: The Prince of Adirondac

Henderson MonumentIt was June and I was ensconced in the Adirondack Museum library, fortuitously avoiding an unusually muggy early summer afternoon.  I had gone there to do a little research for a work of historical fiction that I thought I might write.  By then my interest in Adirondack history was in full thrall, which made holding the document I had been presented by librarian Jerry Pepper something close to a religious experience.

It was an original letter, written in 1826, well preserved though the paper was a bit brittle and slightly darkened with age.  The script was beautiful; fluid and robust but not embellished or overly fussy.  The writing was sincere, filled with a youthful wonder and spirit of adventure but at the same time composed with a powerful energy and purpose.  Its tone was mellifluous, phrased but unforced, the work of a superb natural writer.  All in all it was – and is – a remarkable document, a singular account of a journey from the early written history of the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Bald Eagles In Winter

bald eagles by adelaide tyrolA couple of decades ago, I spent several winters living in Crested Butte, Colorado, where I learned to peer into the cottonwood trees between Route 135 and the East River on the rare occasion when I needed to travel south to the closest “big” town. There, just downstream from the local fish hatchery, I would often find a group of bald eagles perched and waiting for their dinner to swim by.

Growing up in the Northeast, I’d never seen a bald eagle close to home – and certainly not a dozen of them in one cluster of trees. But the birds that serve as our country’s emblem have made a remarkable comeback in recent decades and are now dispersed across the United States, north into much of Canada, and south into parts of Mexico. In northern New York and New England, adult bald eagles tend to stick around their territories throughout the winter, with younger interlopers from other areas passing through. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Stony Creek Intergenerational Snowshoe Event

intergenerational snowshoe hikeCornell Cooperative Extension has announced an intergenerational snowshoe trip has been set for Tuesday, January 7th in Stony Creek.

This event is the first of Cornell’s 2020 intergenerational Wellness Through the Generations events. This guided easy and short snowshoe event is open to people of all ages and abilities, and will be the first of many similar opportunities throughout the year. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival King, Queen Nominations

2019 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival King Philip Griffin and Queen Roseann HickeyThe Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee has announced they are seeking nominations from the public for the 2020 Winter Carnival king and queen.

The king and queen selection is based upon volunteerism within the community. Candidates should demonstrate a long-term and broad-based commitment to making life more livable, pleasant, and enjoyable – both for the people who live there and for those who visit. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Weasel: Black and White and Curious All Over

short-tailed weasel in winter fur by Steven HintIn my humble opinion, one of the most adorable animals in our Adirondack woods is the weasel in winter. To be more precise, it’s two animals: the short-tailed weasel, or ermine (Mustela erminea), and the long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata). Both animals, with their pristine white fur, black-tipped tails, black button noses and alert black eyes, embody the essence of cute and curious, while at the same time filling the role of efficient predator.

Most of us, upon encountering a weasel, would be hard pressed to say if it was the long- or short-tailed variety, mainly because the encounter is likely to be fleeting.
» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Vintage Adirondacks: Oval Wood Dish Products

adirondack wooden platesThe Oval Wood Dish Company was founded in 1883 in Delta, Ohio. Four years later, the company relocated to Mancelona, Michigan. There they manufactured wooden dishes, made of a single piece of wood, scooped out to form a bowl a sixteenth of an inch thick.

The bowls were disposable containers used by butchers as temporary containers for the ground beef and other meats purchased by customers. Eventually, the company replaced the wasteful method of scooping out the bowls with a wood veneer, cut and stapled to form a bowl. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

It Came From The Cupboard: Larder Beetles

Larder beetlesIt was small. Black … with a reddish band across the middle. It scuttled across the kitchen counter on six short legs. I had to swat at it more than once to kill it. It was… a larder beetle.

Larder beetles (Dermestes lardarius) are also known as bacon beetles, and, as you may have guessed, they are frequently found in our kitchens. A member of the scientific family Dermestidae, these insects, while at once creepy and revolting, serve an important function in the world: they clean up messes. That’s right. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Poetry: Light Rising

Light Rising

Ancient woods nestle softly,
Beneath their down of glistening snow.
Imperceptibly, the Adirondack Dome rises,
The cloaked giant ascends,
Reaching toward the North Star, shining star,
Over millions of years.
Durant’s trains are silenced now,
And the logging camps are dormant.
But the mountains live and the conifers breathe.
Chains of lakes sparkle like glittering molten glass,
Moose River Plains run wild,
Animals forage and the black bear sleeps,
Sheltering, waiting.
Pines dressed in white lacy skirts surround
Wooden Camps glowing warmly from within.
This is the season of peace,
Of hope, of continuity, of life cherished,
Of expectancy,
Of renewal by a blessed light rising,
Making all one,
As it has always done.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Friday, December 20, 2019

The Adirondacks Around The Web This Week


Friday, December 20, 2019

Giving More When We Need Less

One of the things I like the most about the holidays, besides the fact that I get to decorate my house with Victorian gaudiness, is that people don’t question other people’s need for food and gifts.

We give to Toys for Tots, Holiday Helpers, Tri-Lakes Humane Society, and “run” Turkey Trots for food pantries. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 20, 2019

This Week’s Big Adirondack News Stories


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Viewpoint: Rethink Boreas Ponds Motor Vehicle Access

Large washout on Gulf Brook RoadThe Adirondack Park Agency’s decision to classify the magnificent Boreas Ponds Tract to authorize motorized use of Gulf Brook Road is a done deal.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC’s) management plan to improve that road, establish parking, and allow permitted cars to drive to within a couple hundred yards of the Boreas Ponds is in the implementation phase.

In other words, the governmental custodians of the Boreas Tract will be allowing vehicular access deep into the Boreas Tract. Now the only question is whether the Adirondacks itself will allow vehicular access deep into the Boreas Tract. I would not be too sure about that. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Dec 19)

adirondack conditions 12-19This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon and updated on Friday.

Contribute Your Knowledge: Add a comment below, or send your observations, corrections, updates, and suggestions to [email protected]

Learn and practice the seven Leave No Trace principles. Plan ahead and prepare. Carry out what you have carried in. Do not leave gear, food, or other items at lean-tos and campsites. Take the free online Leave No Trace course here.

BE PREPARED! Start slow, gain experience. Carry proper safety equipment and weather protection and bring plenty of water and lights, and a map. When on the trail, stay together, monitor the time, and be prepared to turn back. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods in cold temperatures. Accidents happen to the most experienced people. Always carry food, a space blanket, emergency whistle, first aid kit, fire making tools, extra clothing layers and socks, a map and compass, and the knowledge to use them. Inform someone of your itinerary and before entering the backcountry or launching a boat check the National Weather Service watches, warnings, and advisories here. Follow Adirondack weather forecasts at Burlington and Albany and consult the High Elevation, Recreation, or Lake Champlain forecasts.

December 19th, 2019 – SPECIAL NOTICES » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

4-H Adirondack Guide Program Begins Soon

4h fire startingWarren County 4-H has announced they are accepting registrations for their 2020 Adirondack Guides program.

The program features camping, fire starting, map and compass skills, outdoor cooking, wildlife identification, hiking, and more, and is open to all youth between the ages of 12-19. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Adirondack Chipmunk in Winter

chipmunk by Charlotte DemersSeveral years ago, a friend of mine from England came visiting with his wife. I was living in rural central New York at the time, and it was summer. Because I was gone most of the day at one job or another, David and Karen had lots of time on their hands to explore.

One of the things they enjoyed greatly was watching the many birds and squirrels that lived around the property, especially the chipmunks. I was surprised when David told me that in England chipmunks were sold as pets in the pet stores. Jokingly I told him we could make our fortune: I’d send him chipmunks, he could sell them and we’d split the proceeds. » Continue Reading.



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