Posts Tagged ‘Wetlands’

Monday, October 8, 2012

Adirondack Amphibians: Spring Peepers in Autumn

On calm, mild evenings in autumn, such as those that occurred last Wednesday and Thursday, a familiar sound may be heard coming from a stand of trees close to an alder thicket or a woodland swamp. A crisp, one-note “peep” infrequently breaks the silence in these wooded settings at night and during the day when the air is unseasonably warm and moist.

This distinct call can perplex anyone who has visited a wetland in spring. Can it possibly be a spring peeper, known for producing the seasonal chorus of natural music after the soil thaws in April? Following a summer of silence, the male spring peeper redevelops an urge to announce its presence, this time in the area in which it may have spent the past several months.
» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Native Adirondack Wetlands:
Cardinal Flower And Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds

ruby-throated hummingbird and cardinal flowerThere is nothing like the scarlet red color of a cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, in bloom along a stream bank or lakeshore right now in late summer.  If you have been out and about in the last month or so, paddling, boating, or hiking, you might have been lucky enough to happen upon this stunning beauty during your outing.

Besides being one of my favorite flowers, it is also a favorite of the ruby-throated hummingbird. And while as many as 19 species of plants found in the Eastern US have probably  co-evolved with hummingbirds, the cardinal flower is the most well-known.  The range of the ruby-throated hummingbird and the cardinal flower are very similar, demonstrating how closely the two are linked. The long tubular flowers of cardinal flower and the long, narrow bill of a hummingbird are a perfect match.  By reaching all the way down into the bottom of the five-petaled flower in search of nectar, the hummingbird gets food, and in return, the cardinal flower gets pollinated. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lake George West Brook Restoration Project Slated

This fall the Lake George Association will begin a project to stabilize a long section of streambank in the village of Lake George, on West Brook, which was severely eroded during last August’s Tropical Storm Irene. A $10,000 grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program is making the project possible. The project will also restore some of natural sinuosity of the stream to protect the streambanks in that section of the brook. Once complete, the project is expected to keep exposed sediment from further eroding into West Brook, and ultimately into Lake George.

“Because West Brook is one of the major tributaries to Lake George,” said LGA Project Manager Randy Rath, “it is a very high priority for us. In the last 30 plus years, the delta in Lake George at the end of West Brook is estimated to have grown to over 7000 square meters. We would like to limit as much additional growth as possible,” he continued. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beetles Take Bite Out Of Purple Loosestrife

For over a decade, I have been battling purple loosestrife, an aggressive wetland invasive plant that has cost the United States millions of dollars in damage, and is known to impede recreation and degrade wildlife habitat.  As a Conservation Educator for Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, my efforts include manual management and a new biocontrol program.  On June 26, my coworker and I released 500 beetles along the Sacandaga River in the Town of Lake Pleasant to take a bite out of purple loosestrife. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lake Champlain Lampricide Treatments to Begin

The Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative (Cooperative) will be applying lampricides to kill lamprey in portions of five tributaries to Lake Champlain and two deltas during the months of September and October.  Treatments are scheduled to begin with the Saranac River delta on September 10th, but weather conditions may affect planned treatment dates.

“While trout and salmon populations of the lake are the primary beneficiaries of these efforts, lake sturgeon, walleye, and many other species also benefit from sea lamprey control,” according to a Cooperative statement to the press. “Sea lamprey control also generates economic activity by increasing angling opportunities and the time that boaters, anglers, and their families spend in the Lake Champlain area.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Adirondack Fish: The Redbelly Dace

Summer is the season for being on the water in the Adirondacks, and a canoe or kayak is the perfect way to explore the many ponds, slow-moving rivers and marshes that exist throughout the Park. While these shallow, muddy-bottomed settings may not be great for swimming, the rusty-tan water occasionally covered with patches of floating leaves and strands of submerged vegetation does teem with life. Among the residents of these quiet, weedy waterways is the redbelly dace (Phoxinus eos), a common and widespread member of the minnow family of fish. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Caitlin Stewart: Meet the Invasive Milfoils

With the summer vacation season right around the corner, folks are getting ready to launch their motor boats, kayaks, and canoes, excited to enjoy a day on the lake.  They may be unaware that they could be transporting hitchhikers.  Not human hitchhikers, but the green, leafy kind.

Meet Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) and variable-leaf milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum), two perennial, submerged aquatic invasive plants that pose a threat to Adirondack lakes.  They can hitchhike from lake to lake on boat trailers, motors, or on canoe and kayak deck rigging.  These plants can degrade aquatic ecosystems, impair recreation, and are expensive to manage. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lake Champlain Basin Flood Resilience Conference

The Lake Champlain Basin Program will be hosting the Lake Champlain Basin Flood Resilience Conference Monday, June 4th through Tuesday, June 5th at the University of Vermont. The results of this conference will provide Vermont, New York and Québec governments with technical and policy information about the flood events from Lake Champlain’s spring 2011 record high water level and tropical storm Irene last August. Speakers from all three jurisdictions will share their knowledge with researchers, government officials and the public.

Bill Howland, LCBP Program Manager noted, “This two day conference draws information from two technical workshops held in Quebec in February and New York in May.” Howland stated that many topics will be covered including flood response for rivers and lakeshores, emergency response, flood vulnerability assessment, as well as impacts to agriculture, and more. It is through the cooperative effort of many lake and river partners, including the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, that this conference will be made possible. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lake-Friendly Living Open House on Saturday

The Lake George Association will offer a Lake-friendly Living Open House on Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 10 am – 2 pm at the Lake George Association office at 2392 State Rt. 9N in Lake George. The open house is free.

Product representatives and installers will be available to share ideas for living green, including: permeable patios and driveways, alternative septic systems for tough spaces, rain gardens, shoreline buffers, native plants, wooden deck stains, green motorboat oil, environmentally friendly cleaning products, stormwater solutions,  geo-thermal heating and cooling, and lake-friendly landscaping. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Late Spring and the Gray Tree Frog

Spring is a season when the greatest abundance of natural sounds echo across the landscape. During the day, birds are primarily responsible for the variety of musical calls; however as darkness approaches, especially when the weather is mild, the voices of amphibians produce our most captivating sounds.

Around the alder-laden shores of ponds, marshes and rivers, choruses of tiny spring peepers regularly drown out the songs sung by all other creatures. During the latter part of May, after dusk, toads can be seen heading to similar shallow wooded waterways to engage in their nocturnal serenade. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Adirondack Amphibians: The Spotted Salamander

The recent series of rain events that has occurred over the past several weeks has elevated the level of streams and rivers, reduced the threat of wildfires, and brought trail conditions back to a more typical spring muddy state.

This wet period has also helped greatly in rejuvenating vernal pools that are critical breeding areas and nurseries for many forest dwelling amphibians and has created the damp soil conditions essential to these wet-skinned animals. Among these moisture loving vertebrates that commonly occurs in stands of mature forests throughout the Adirondacks is a sizeable dark colored creature known as the spotted salamander. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Environment: Living Machines and Water Resources

What follows is a guest essay by Layne Darfler, a junior at Paul Smith’s College majoring in Environmental Studies. She is from Hudson Falls, NY. This is part of our series of essays by young people from Paul Smith’s College.

What if there were a way to become more sustainable and recycle more than the everyday paper, plastic, or cans? What if we could recycle nature? It seems almost impossible since the guy on TV just told us the Earth is dying, but in reality there is a lot we can still do to help our planet. How about recycling the rain? » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Native Foods: Adirondack Ramps

Following the maple run, ramps – also known as wild leeks – are one of the first harvests available from the our north country earth. Using a serving spoon or just your fingers, you can easily and gently loosen the bulb and roots from a ramp cluster in rich (and usually moist) forest soil.

You’ll find bright-green aromatic leaves around 4 to 6 inches high that look like those from a lily of the valley, as it’s of the lily family. Be careful not to remove an entire cluster, as you want the ramps to rejuvenate the following year. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Adirondack Wildlife: The Belted Kingfisher

The early break up of ice on ponds, lakes and marshes, along with a very healthy flow of water in streams and rivers, has made conditions far better for fishing this April than in recent years. Humans, however, are not the only creatures that prowl the banks of remote streams, or visit the shores of backcountry ponds, in an attempt to snag a small brook trout. Throughout the Adirondacks, there are numerous forms of life that are well adapted for catching fish, and among the most colorful and noisy is the belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon).

With its large head, long, thick bill, jagged crest, and white band around its neck, the kingfisher provides a silhouette that is easily recognized. However, it is not the unique appearance of this stout bird that initially draws attention to its presence. Most anglers and individuals that simply spend time outdoors commonly become aware that a kingfisher is in the immediate area by noting its distinct rattling call. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

DEC Seeks Input on Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

Hunters are invited to submit recommendations for the dates of the Fall 2012 duck hunting seasons to regional Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced. DEC will evaluate the task force recommendations in setting waterfowl seasons, which must comply with federal rules.

DEC is soliciting recommendations for the Fall 2012 hunting seasons, including opening and closing dates, split seasons and a special hunting weekend for youths. The recommended dates must be within federal guidelines established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). For Fall 2012, DEC expects the USFWS to allow a 60-day duck season, split into no more than two segments per zone, opening no earlier than September 22, 2012, and closing no later than January 27, 2013. » Continue Reading.