Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Close Look at Science of Fall Colors

Fall Foliage by Adelaide TyrolWhere I live, autumn typically starts in late August, when pockets of red maples start to turn scarlet around the marshes and lakes. Uh oh. As they say in Westeros, “winter is coming.”

But not before we get to enjoy fall. Yes, a Northeastern autumn is a postcard cliché. Yes, the tour buses and land yachts full of leaf peepers clog the roads. But, really, who can blame them? No matter how many you’ve seen, fall in the Northeast is still one of nature’s most awesome spectacles.

And, so, so ephemeral. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Brook Trout Found In ‘Fishless’ Lake Colden

Brook Trout by Greg DowerThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation (ALSC) have announced the confirmation of brook trout in Lake Colden in the Adirondack High Peaks.

Considered fishless for decades due to the negative effects of acid rain, the discovery of the brook trout population in Lake Colden is being attributed to improved water quality directly resulting from state and national standards to prevent the airborne pollutants that cause acid rain, notably sulfur dioxide. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Firewood Physiology and the Woodstove

This week feels like fall proper. It’s gray, drizzly, 50s; the kind of weather that makes you realize you’d better batten down the house for winter.

We’re going to get to the first fire of the year in a moment, that pathetic, smoldering pile of hissing wood in your woodstove that you made such a big deal about. “Come here kids!” for the ceremonial lighting of the hearth, which turned into the ceremonial opening of the doors and windows to let the smoke out of the living room. (Write what you know, the English professors advise.)

But first let’s talk about the physiology of a tree. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Botflies

botfly by adelaide tyrolGrowing up in a rural town, I was exposed to a lot of the wonders in nature through hunting. Specifically squirrel hunting, which is how many kids get their start.

I don’t do much anymore, but I try to get out a few times each autumn on those first cool days. With luck, I can put up enough squirrels for a deer camp stew in November, over which the people in camp can reminisce about being young. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Outdoors: Helicopsyche Caddisflies

Helicopsyche borealis by Adelaide TyrolWhile sampling in the LaPlatte River, students noticed what looked like rough black pebbles about the size and shape of well-worn pencil erasers.

I suppressed my mild distress as they started to discard the ‘pebbles;’ when sampling aquatic insects, I discard little. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Study Tracks Massive Loss of Birdlife Since 1970

bird decline chartA study published in the journal Science reveals that since 1970, bird populations in the United States and Canada have declined by 29 percent, or almost 3 billion birds, signaling what has been considered a widespread ecological crisis.

The results show tremendous losses across diverse groups of birds and habitats — from iconic songbirds such as meadowlarks to long-distance migrants such as swallows, and backyard birds such as sparrows. More research is needed to pinpoint primary causes for declines in individual species. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Saw-whet Owl Banding at John Brown’s Farm

Saw-whet owl immediately after its release from banding Dr. Nina Schoch, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer at the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation and conservation biologist, zoologist and photographer Larry Master will be banding saw-whet owls at the John Brown Farm during October.

This banding is part of Project Owlnet. Project Owlnet facilitates communication, cooperation and innovation among a rapidly growing network of hundreds of owl-migration researchers in North America and abroad. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Skunks, Raccoons, Bats Could Be Added To Dangerous Animals List

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is planning to expand the list of animals regulated as “dangerous” in New York State.

Skunks, raccoons and bats would be added to the Dangerous Animals List, joining a much expanded list of more dangerous species of reptiles and mammals.  The revised list adds all other non-endangered or threatened primates, and Canid and Felid species, except domestic dogs and cats and fennec foxes to the list of animals which cannot be kept as pets.  » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Color Remote: Adirondack Bushwhacking Photos

Color RemoteErik Schlimmer’s new book Color Remote: Bushwhacking the Adirondack Mountains (Self Published/Beechwood Books, 2019) looks back at his nearly 1,000 peaks and more than 10,000 miles hiked in the Adirondack Mountains through

Schlimmer grew up in Poughkeepsie until 1985, when he was 12 years old.  “At the time,” he says, “moving to the North Country seemed like a very bad idea. I thought I was being dragged to the Tibetan plateau.”

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Pitcher Plants Turn Food Chain Upside Down

pitcher plant As a kid, I was fascinated and terrified by the idea of carnivorous plants. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, my only exposure to this particular subset of the plant kingdom was the ravenous, larger-than-life Venus fly trap in Little Shop of Horrors.

If I stumbled upon a carnivorous plant in real life, I wondered, would it have teeth? If I ventured too close, would it grab on to my finger and never let go? » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Trout Stream Management Meetings Planned

spawning lake troutThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is developing a new plan for inland trout stream management based on updated scientific information and public meetings held across the state in 2017.

Prior to completing the draft plan, DEC fisheries managers would like to meet with trout stream anglers to explain the proposed approach, answer questions, and solicit feedback. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Good Year For Monarch Butterflies

monarch pupates in the relative safety of a firewood pile by Richard Gast If you’ve noticed a lot of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) lately, you’re not alone. From my own observations and from what people have been telling me, this summer appears to have been a very successful one for them; at least in this part of the northeast.

Monarchs have four life stages; egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult (butterfly). The caterpillars feed only on milkweed leaves and seed pods. And, for this reason, adult Monarch females lay their eggs only on milkweed. In fact, the search for milkweed is the sole reason for monarch migration; perhaps the most remarkable migration in nature. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Wet, Wild and Wonderful Bogs and Fens

bog by adelaide tyrol“Squish, squash.” I was walking gingerly on a soft, spongy carpet of sphagnum moss in a northern Vermont bog. Magenta blossoms decorated the sheep laurel shrubs that lined the edge of the open wetland – beyond them the pointed spires of balsam fir and black spruce reached towards the sky. Ahead of me, the white tufts at the ends of cotton grass waved in the breeze. I took another step. There was a sucking sound, and a cold, wet feeling as my right foot suddenly sank a couple of feet into the bog. It was challenging to get it out without falling in entirely, but I finally extricated my muddy boot and vowed to buy some high rubber boots for future wetland exploration. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Near-Term Threats To Forest Health

spotted lantern flyIf you’re tired of hearing about new invasive forest pests, I’m right there with you. Seems they arrive at an ever-increasing pace, and the harm potential ratchets up with each newcomer. At this rate maybe we’ll get a wood-boring beetle whose larvae explode, which would put things in perspective. As distasteful as it is to peer at the cast of ugly new characters, it’s better to know what we’re up against.

Novel pests put everyone on a steep learning curve. For the species below, key questions remain unanswered, and some of what we “know” will undoubtedly be proven wrong. Still, it’s worth the effort to take stock of the near-term threats to our woodlands. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Water Pennies Have A Unique Approach to Survival

Water pennies Imagine for a moment that you travel on all fours like other self-respecting quadrupeds. Extend your imagination yet a little more, and with it your body, so that a large dome-shaped shell-like structure extends out to cover you in all directions.

From above, a predator would see only a disk with a snug fit to the ground on all sides. Now shrink dramatically and move into the nearest fast-flowing stream: you are well on your way to becoming a water penny beetle larva. » Continue Reading.