Posts Tagged ‘nature’

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.


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.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Gray Squirrels, Oaks, and Acorns

grey squirrel by adelaide tyrolTucked behind a stonewall on the edge of a hardwood forest, my six-year-old students and I spy on an Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) as it climbs out of a tree cavity and scurries down to the ground.

There is a dusting of snow. My students, bundled in vibrant snowsuits, are the only flash of color on this cold winter day. They are astoundingly quiet as they watch the scampering squirrel.

We see it slide to a halt, stand on its hind legs, flick its tail, and then it’s off again until it stops to dig into the cold winter ground. As it pulls out a nut-brown acorn, I hear a buzz of excitement travel through my fellow squirrel professionals. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Feeding Birds This Winter: A Primer

Tutfted Titmouse by Nicolas Main Macaulay LibraryWith the right feeder setup, winter can be one of the best — and coziest — seasons for bird watching.

You can read all about Adirondack birds here, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has put together this list of articles on bird feeding how, why, and what to dos: » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Study Finds Bird Migration Timings Changing

Long-billed Curlew by Nick SaundersA team of researchers has found that the timing of spring bird migration across North America is shifting as a result of climate change. The study, one of the first to examine the subject at a continental scale, is published in Nature Climate Change. The work was done by scientists at Colorado State University, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the University of Massachusetts.

Using 24 years of weather radar data, the study found that spring migrants were likely to pass certain stops earlier now than they would have 20 years ago. Temperature and migration timing were closely aligned, with the greatest changes in migration timing occurring in regions warming most rapidly. During fall, shifts in migration timing were less apparent. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Amazing Chickadee

chicadees by adelaide tyrolBlack-capped chickadees are one of the most frequent visitors to our bird feeders in winter, but do we really know them? This common bird exhibits some remarkable behaviors and winter survival strategies.

Undoubtedly you’ve heard the familiar “chicka-dee-dee-dee” call in the winter woods. Soon after spotting the caller, with its black cap and bib, you’ll often notice more chickadees showing up on the scene, all calling. This is known as mobbing behavior. The chickadees are investigating to see if you are a potential threat. The birds don’t usually get too worked up when they see a human. (In fact, individual chickadees can become quite tame around people that provide food.) But they do get alarmed when they spot a perched hawk or owl. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Hetzler: Go Ahead, Paint That Oak Stump

leaf and whole tree symptoms of oak wilt in a red oak treeEach time I present on invasive pests, it begins with a slide of Chicken Little, a character who fomented mass hysteria by convincing other animals the sky was falling. It’s usually good for a chuckle. Inevitably I then proceed to unload a barrage of bar graphs, pie charts, alarming statistics, and photos of mayhem wrought by the featured pest. A final slide shows the position of the sky, with arrows in the direction of gravitational pull at 9.8 m/s/s, proof that the sky is indeed falling. For some reason, fewer people laugh at the end. Go figure.

Threats to forest health posed by invasive species are no joke. Yet I think we educators often come across like Chicken Little, squawking about yet another threat to trees. It would be hard to blame the average person for asking themselves, gosh – how many times can the sky fall, anyway? » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Invasives Viewpoint: Add ‘Frozen Boat Permits,’ Educate Visitors

Adirondack Watershed Institute steward watches over the Second Pond boat launch near Saranac LakeAquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to the economy and the environment, not only in the Adirondacks, but in all of New York State.

The current debate over a voluntary vs. mandatory boat inspection program is the classic “carrot or stick” scenario. Forcing a mandatory program on the boating public in the Adirondacks, without even considering other intermediary options, is a mistake. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Invasives Viewpoint: Make Boat Inspections Mandatory

boat inspection station provided by adk explorerYes, everyone should be educated and make sure their boat is clean, drained and dry, inspected and decontaminated, to stop the spread of invasive species and preserve Adirondack Park lakes, ponds and rivers. The park is a national treasure we must protect for future generations, as our ancestors did for us. That means taking seriously our obligations to protect clean water, native wildlife, aquatic life, allowing people to live in harmony with the wilderness.

Some suggest that this could be done with education and voluntary programs alone, without a law, regulations or enforcement. We can all wish that were true, but it isn’t. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 2, 2019

Evergreen Ferns Can Be Enjoyed Year Round

Christmas Fern by Adelaide TyrolWalking through the woods on a crisp December day, I spotted a flash of green among the rocks, snaking up through the snow. Greenery in a forest full of gray and white is a treat, and so I stooped to study the fern frond that was firmly attached to a rock.

In the Northeast, there are four common evergreen ferns: rock polypody (Polypodium virginianum), Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), marginal wood fern (Dryopteris marginalis), and intermediate or evergreen wood fern (Dryopteris intermedia).

Clearly this was a fern, and there are only four common ones to choose from, but how to tell which fern was peeking up at me through the rocks? Some clear differences help identify these evergreen neighbors. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

All About Antlers

antler by adelaide tyrolThe blast of a gunshot: a deep bass roar she feels in her chest, followed by a treble ringing in her ears.

The buck drops.

The hunter remains in her crouch, watching the animal’s last breaths through her scope. When he is still she rises, trembling from the cold and the moment, and approaches. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

DEC Announces Winners of I Bird NY Challenges

adventure new yorkNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the four top winners of DEC’s annual I Bird NY challenges for beginner and experienced birders.

DEC announced the annual I Bird NY Beginner’s Birding Challenge in May and encouraged children 16 years of age and younger to identify 10 common New York bird species. DEC also offered the I Bird NY Experienced Birder Challenge, requiring birders of all ages to identify at least 10 of 50 listed bird species found across New York State.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Poetry: Deer and Heron

Deer and Heron

I am in his power.
He flys away. Seconds
passed before he looked
at me. Before he decided
I could not be trusted.

Ashamed of everything
in his world, I look at the
deer in the same way,
only minutes before
it sprinted
into, what was for me a sad
and delirious neighborhood.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Friday, November 29, 2019

Owl Meet-up, Book Signing in Saranac Lake

Mark Manske and owlThe Village Mercantile (formerly The Community Store) in Saranac Lake is set to host Adirondack Raptor proprietor Mark Manske for a book signing and a meet and greet with one of his owls on Saturday, December 21 from noon until 2 pm.

Mark Manske has written two mystery novels for youth centered around Marvin Stone, “Stoney,” and his buddy Bill Short as well as a mysterious owl, a modern-day treasure hunt, and a skunk. » Continue Reading.



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Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.