Posts Tagged ‘ice’

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ice Boating On Lake Champlain Lecture Thursday

Adirondack Ice BoatingThe 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.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Winter: Part Of Adirondack Cultural Identity

White Stuff = Green StuffClimate change threatens not only the winter economy of the Adirondacks, but also the cultural identity of the region.

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.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Schroon Lake Snowshoer Drowns

Ice On Schroon LakeOn 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.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Saranac Lake Ice Palace Construction Begins

Dean Baker Measures Ice Thickness for Saranac Lake Ice Palace Construction on the palace will continue until the start of the carnival on February 5.

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.

The construction of the Ice Palace is a community effort by those dedicated to keeping this tradition alive. Volunteers are subject to cold temperatures and inclement weather, all while handling ice and snow. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Chemistry And Physics Of Lake Ice

Skating on Thin IceLast night, the floodlights were on at my favorite skating lake. Several children wearing plastic skates and shiny helmets were gliding on the ice, shepherded by young parents. A father pulled a Nordic-looking sled with upturned runners, his bundled-up cargo insisting, “More!” each time he stopped. They were enjoying one of winter’s greatest gifts: the smooth, frozen surfaces of our northern lakes and ponds.

The gift is ephemeral. Some winters, our skates never leave the basement. Other years, the snow holds off and there’s black ice before Christmas. We skate as much as we can, knowing our days of clear ice are numbered. As winter progresses, rain may turn the surface to water — but the temperature plummets again and the resurfaced plane draws us back. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

How A Warm Winter Impacts Local Wildlife

20160104_tdpt_decDuring a mild winter in our northern forests, there are those of us who cheer our lower heating bills and those who scan the forecast, hoping for cold and snow. In a classic El Niño year like this one, when we often get unseasonably mild weather well into February, there are winners and losers in the natural world, too.

El Niño refers to a natural warming of Pacific waters. This phenomenon occurs every three to seven years, when prevailing trade winds, which drive the direction and force of ocean currents, slow down. As a result, cold water from the depths doesn’t get mixed with surface water, the ocean’s surface temperature rises, and global weather patterns can be altered. This year’s strong El Niño is being complemented by a low pressure system in the far north – called the Arctic oscillation – that’s keeping polar air trapped around the North Pole. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Frost Flowers: The Frozen Beauty Of Nature

image003These are one of the stranger ice formations found in the woods; crystallofolia are delicate ice formations that form from water emitted along a stem during a hard freeze in late fall/early winter. From Latin crystallus for ice and folium for leaf these are commonly called “frost flowers” or “feather frost”.

A typical example looks like a small puff-ball of cotton candy, a few inches across, made up of clusters of thin, curved ice filaments.   The petals of frost flowers are very delicate and will break when touched. They usually melt or sublimate when exposed to sunlight and are usually visible in the early morning or in shaded areas. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Climate Change is Altering Nature’s Clock

Salamander-Stager-600x383Scientist Curt Stager walks along the edge of the woods, his flashlight shining into the shallow water of a leafy, roadside pool on a dark night in Paul Smiths. It’s late April, and he’s out looking for spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and spring peepers that have migrated to shallow vernal pools to breed. After poking around for a minute, he lets out an excited shout: “There’s a salamander! There he is! He’s early!”

In the water is a dark, four-inch-long creature with bright yellow spots. In the same pool not far away, wood frogs float on the surface. In another week, pools like this will be a filled with breeding frogs and salamanders, which will leave behind egg sacks that hatch into larvae.

Spotted salamanders spend most of the year underground, so seeing them is rare except during these annual breeding migrations. Their journeys are triggered by the first rains of spring. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Giant Ausable River Ice Pile Creates Concern

AsRA - Wilmington Dam IceThe Ausable River Association is concerned that an enormous pile of ice below the Wilmington Dam could exacerbate spring flooding and may have hurt the trout population.

The ice pile on the West Branch of the AuSable River was created in recent weeks by construction crews working to replace the Wilmington Bridge, built in 1934 and located just upstream. The crews broke up ice and moved it below the dam in order to create open water so they could work off river barges. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

DEC: Fishing Shanties Must Be Removed Saturday

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding ice anglers that all ice fishing shanties must be removed from water bodies by March 15.

Shanties that fall partially through the ice may be difficult to remove and also create hazards for snowmobiles and other motorized vehicles on the ice. Shanties that remain after the ice has gone out also present navigation hazards for boats. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Are Snowshoes, Microspikes Damaging Alpine Zones?

BW - Algonquin Snowshoe Trail Close(1)The last several years have seen a boom in winter hiking in the Adirondacks.

The Adirondack Mountain Club and Adirondack 46ers both report more people on the trails in the High Peaks Region. Along with this hiking boom there’s been an increasing number of winter traction devices hitting the market. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ice Palace Construction To Begin

Clearing and Marking the IceConstruction of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace will begin on January 22.  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 6.

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.  The construction of the Ice Palace is a community effort by those dedicated to keeping this tradition alive. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How Ice Storms Impact Trees

TOS.treesandiceIce storm.

If you live in northern New England, those words can send a chill up your spine. They portend demolition derbies on the roads, power outages and the ominous cracking sound of limbs breaking and trees falling in woods, parks and urban streets.

Snow we’re up for. Ice, not so much. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lake George From Green Island Bridge

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Cutting Road Salt On Adirondack Roads

Plow-600x382Standing next to a small, unnamed stream near where it empties into Mountain Pond on a cool September day, scientist Dan Kelting reads a sensor he just dipped in the water to measure electrical conductivity, which is used to gauge road-salt concentrations.

Pure water is a poor conductor of electricity, but road salt, or sodium chloride, increases conductivity. Based on the conductivity reading (285 microsiemens per centimeter), Kelting calculates that the water contains 80 milligrams of chloride per liter. This means the stream contains roughly 160 times more chloride than a similar size stream a few miles away.

Why the difference? The stream near Mountain Pond, north of Paul Smith’s College, is downstream from Route 30, a state highway that is heavily salted in the winter. The other stream, which Kelting refers to as Smitty Brook, runs through the Forest Preserve and is upstream of roads. » Continue Reading.