Now that the weather has finally warmed up, we can appreciate ice a little more. Among other things, ice greatly improves summertime drinks, and an icy watermelon is hands-down better than a warm one. And in this part of the world, ice also provides us with unique wildflower meadows.
Along stretches of riverbank in the Southern Adirondacks, rare Arctic-type flowers are blooming now in the fragile slices of native grasslands that are meticulously groomed each year by the scouring action of ice and melt-water. » Continue Reading.
In his recent essay for Adirondack Explorer’s column, “It’s Debatable,” that was later re-published in the Almanack, John Droz presented more than an opinion that wind energy is a bad idea for the Adirondack Park.
He also slipped in a mention of the “AGW hypothesis,” meaning that the scientific consensus on “anthropogenic global warming” is mere guesswork. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding anglers to be cautious when ice fishing.
After 1 to 2 feet of snow fell over most of the Adirondacks Saturday and Sunday, on Thursday temperatures reached near 40 in some areas melting ice and leaving slushy ice conditions with large puddles of water on many frozen waterbodies. » Continue Reading.
Come mid-January, when I’m acclimatized to winter, I enjoy an occasional stroll on the icy surface of Lake Champlain. I favor bays sheltered from the brunt of winter winds where the ice has had ample time to thicken. I pull microspikes on over my boots and off I go.
There’s room to roam between Burlington and the breakwater that parallels the shoreline. The lake ice locks spectacular natural art in place. Bubbles trapped under December ice are entombed as January’s ice forms below. Crystalline patterns resembling minute stars form during the various freezing and thawing cycles that occur as lake ice interacts with fallen snow. » Continue Reading.
In folklore and literature, Jack Frost is often portrayed as a mischievous guy, sort of Old Man Winter’s younger self. He’s a personification of everything cold. In our region he’s a busy guy, at least for half of the year.
And an artistic one.
He gets credit for painting the trees orange and yellow and red in the fall. And we’re all familiar with ground frost, that harbinger of winter that looks like a dusting of snow. This phenomenon occurs when the temperature of objects near the ground falls below freezing. Water in the air freezes onto objects, sometimes as what looks like frozen dewdrops, sometimes as branched crystals. » Continue Reading.
Skating out into Bolton Bay, Ted Caldwell stops to lift a custom-made, kite-shaped canvas sail rigged to ash spars jointed where the mast and boom cross. He hoists it above his head, then brings it down so that the boom rests on his shoulder. Tilting the sail into the wind, he moves off with a steady glide. Within minutes, Caldwell himself is barely visible, a swiftly moving swatch of white canvas against Dome Island.
This is what we observed a few years ago, when a long, hard freeze and little snow produced 2 ½ weeks of black ice, the ideal conditions for skating, ice boating and skate sailing. » Continue Reading.
Construction of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace began Friday, January 27th. Construction involves harvesting ice from Lake Flower, transporting it to the shore and assembling it according to a blueprint. Construction on the palace will continue until the start of the carnival on February 3. The 2017 Winter Carnival will take place February 3rd to the 12th.
The Ice Palace is built by volunteers, organized by a group informally known as the Ice Palace Workers 101 (IPW 101). The public is welcome to volunteer and roles are assigned based on comfort level, skill and ability. » Continue Reading.
A Franklin County angler died after his utility-task-vehicle broke through the ice on Union Falls Pond, according to state police.
Gregory N. Manchester, 59, of Franklin drove his vehicle onto the ice on Sunday to go fishing. He was reported missing the following morning.
A state police helicopter flew over the area and spotted his UTV partially submerged. State forest rangers followed footprints to a seasonal cabin and found Manchester lying on the floor, suffering from severe hypothermia. He was unresponsive.
More than thirty years ago, Don Mellor was in a plane flying over the High Peaks region, taking photos for his rock-climbing guidebook, when he spotted a large streambed in Chapel Pond Canyon. He returned the next winter with Steve Wisenand, one of his students at Northwood School in Lake Placid.
The streambed was now a huge mass of ice, about eighty-five feet high. With Mellor leading, they climbed the frozen flow with ice axes and strap-on crampons, then the only kind available.
They named the route Positive Reinforcement, an allusion to the behavioral theory of the psychologist B.F. Skinner, whose utopian novel Mellor had assigned to his English students. The name also is a tip of the helmet to Positive Thinking, a classic ice route on Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain.
Positive Reinforcement was the first ice-climbing route in Chapel Pond Canyon. Since that winter day in 1982, climbers have established nearly twenty additional routes in the canyon, yet Positive Reinforcement remains one of the best and most popular. Though it’s considered only moderate in difficulty, many variations are possible, some harder than others. » Continue Reading.
The bare ground of the trail wound through dead leaves and patchy snow. At a short overhang in the trail, I noticed spiky threads of ice growing up from the soil in crunchy clusters. A careless boot revealed how fragile these formations are; the fine ice threads crumbled readily. This was needle ice, a common sight in the woods this winter.
Curious about the phenomenon, I got in touch with Dr. James R. Carter, a professor emeritus from Illinois State University. Dr. Carter has spent the last ten year observing these ice formations. His photographs and descriptions of different examples of needle ice are available here.
Carter explained that while needle ice somewhat resembles frost, it is a completely different phenomenon. Frost forms when water vapor is deposited onto a growing ice crystal; the water molecules move directly from the gas phase to the solid phase without ever becoming a liquid. Needle ice, on the other hand, forms from liquid water when a process called ice segregation occurs in the soil. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program will present a talk about ice boating on Lake Champlain by Andrew Sajor, an ice boat sailor and earth science educator. The free program begins at 6:30 pm on Thursday, February 25, 2016 in the Lake Champlain Basin Program Office and Vermont Fish and Wildlife Building, 54 West Shore Road, Grand Isle, Vermont, located just north of the Grand Isle ferry entrance. Homemade desserts will be served. For further information, contact the Lake Champlain Basin Program at the LCBP at (802) 372-3213. Photo: An ice boat outing on Mirror Lake.
Lake Placid twice hosted the Winter Olympics, in 1932 and 1980, and continues to capitalize on its history, attracting a variety of winter-sports events such as the Winter Empire State Games and international skiing and sliding competitions.
The Adirondack Park has spawned a number of Olympic athletes. Drive through tiny Vermontville and you’ll see signs celebrating that it is home to Billy Demong, who won the gold medal for Nordic combined in 2010. » Continue Reading.
On Wednesday Edward Vandercar, 66, of Schroon Lake, was reported missing to the New York State Police in Schroon Lake. A search by State Police, the Department of Environmental Conservation, State Forest Rangers, and members of the Schroon Lake Fire Department was launched.
On Thursday morning a Trooper located snowshoe prints leading out onto Schroon Lake from the Horicon State Boat Launch. The Trooper was able to follow the print that led to an area of the lake that had open water. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to Almanack founder and editor John Warren.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.