It’s practically an aside in the paper’s concluding discussion.
“Today’s annual crossing and re-crossing of the thermal threshold between solid and liquid water has profound effects on cultures and ecosystems alike, and the eventual loss of that transition – i.e. the demise of winter – could produce the greatest climate-driven changes in the region,” they wrote.
I need to preface this article by assuring readers that, contrary to what many people are saying, New York State is not considering passing legislation that would prohibit burning wood or woody biomass products (pellets, scrap wood, sawmill and forest residues) at this time. There is a draft-plan, however, in which the state Climate Action Council’s advisory panel sets out scenarios for an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with overall wood use decreasing within that time frame.
While I hope we are putting the winter weather behind us, a flash of snow last week that left thousands without power was a reminder of the damage that can be caused. It all depends on the kind of precipitation that actually hits the ground.
Using ground observations, soaring weather balloons, tank-like mobile radars and a specialized airplane to collect the data, the scientists hope to develop a better understanding of the fundamental dynamics of storms that sometimes end with freezing rain, sometimes with sleet and sometimes with a heavy snow in April that forces you to find a coffee shop to work from.
While it’s common for forest management activities to be carried out year round, seasons are an important consideration when working with birds.
In the summer, for example, you’ll easily notice if your forest is well-shaded by a large mature canopy, resulting in bare ground underneath. In this scenario, birds that need shrubs and small trees growing on the forest floor, like Ruffed Grouse and Black-throated Blue Warbler, may be absent.
Outdoor Adventurers Encouraged to Prepare for Snow, Ice, and Cold Current snow and cold weather are providing good conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and other backcountry areas. To ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience, visitors are advised to plan ahead and prepare with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice, and cold.
Snow depths range greatly throughout the Adirondacks, with the deepest snow at higher elevations in the High Peaks region and on mountains over 3,000 feet. Snow depths are thinner in the southeastern and northwestern Adirondacks. Ice is also present on high elevation trails, as well as many low-lying trails. Much of the Catskill Mountains are covered in snow, with icy trail conditions.
I don’t claim to be any expert on henges. I’ve simply always found henges to be intriguingly cool. So, one summer I built one, using hand cut stones from old farmhouse and barn foundations on my land.
We all know “Stonehenge”. But what truly is a “henge”? I did some research before building mine. From my study of henges, I determined that most henges are basically a big circle of stones. They are not all built the same way, but they share similar purpose. In a nutshell, it appears most henges are constructed to measure and celebrate the comings and goings of seasons.
It’s officially spring! Warmer weather, longer days, and green leaves are headed our way. That means there’s just a short window of time left to practice your winter tree identification skills in the forest!
Did you get a chance to tune into our walk in the woods with DEC foresters last month where they provided winter tree ID tips for common New York State species? If not, be sure to check it out on our Facebook page.
Photo: Foresters from DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests provided a tour of common New York State trees during a Facebook Live in February.
How to distinguish one leaf-bereft hardwood from another in winter is more of a challenge than summer tree ID, but there are practical reasons – and a few offbeat incentives – to tell one species from another in the dormant season. Hikers and skiers can benefit from such a skill, and in survival situations, hydration and warmth may depend on it. And if you’re among those who adore wintertime camping, you can have more fun when you know common woody species.
In late winter/ early spring, a pathogen-free beverage flows from sugar, silver, and red maples when temperatures rise above freezing in the day. A bit later in the spring yet prior to leaf-out, our native white (paper), yellow, black, grey, and river birches yield copious, healthful sap as well. The same can be said for wild grape stems, although it’s crucial that one can recognize other vines out there like Virginia creeper and poison ivy.
Where agriculture is concerned, dairy is king (or is dairy queen?) in northern NY State. Looking out the window now in late February, though, it looks like we should be growing snow peas or iceberg lettuce. Actually, for farmers, maple producers, foresters and gardeners, there is an up-side to having plenty of winter white stuff.
Snow has been called “the poor person’s fertilizer” because it’s a source of trace elements and more importantly, of plant-available forms of nitrogen, a nutrient often in short supply. When snowmelt releases a whole winter’s worth (i.e., almost six months) of nutrients in a short time, the nitrogen value can add up.
Since air is 78% nitrogen, you’d think plants would have all they needed. But atmospheric nitrogen, N2, is a very stable, inert molecule that plants are unable to use – you might say that for plants, nitrogen gas is broken. Fortunately, some soil bacteria can “fix” gaseous nitrogen, converting it to water-soluble forms that plants can slurp up. Lightning also turns nitrogen gas into plant “food.” But this only accounts for a small percentage of the nitrogen found in snow.
Winter recreation is fun and exciting. It can also be challenging and dangerous. Whether you’re going for a hike, a ski, snowmobiling or ice fishing, Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, guidance on what to wear, and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind.
Food & Water Storage
Proper nutrition and hydration are key to a safe and successful hike, but winter’s cold can bring challenges. In extremely cold temperatures food and water can freeze in your pack. This makes it hard or even impossible to consume what you need to stay hydrated and energized. To avoid food and water freezing, try the following:
This spring, when New York State was in a lockdown due to the pandemic, it was unclear what that meant for the Adirondacks. Would the outdoor tourism industry thrive or falter? Would people still be hitting the trails? Would small businesses survive?
My grandmother loved parsnips, and would use them in her cooking like most people would use carrots. You could find them in her red flannel hash, in soups and stews, and even mashed, in heaping bowls, alongside the mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. Although I did not appreciate parsnips when I was a child, I have grown to love them almost as much as my grandmother did. This simple recipe, which beautifully blends the earthy flavor of parsnips with the sweet acidity of tomatoes and the sharp bite of peppercorns, reminds me of her.
The Town of Newcomb has announced the start of a winter photo contest. Looking for your best Newcomb winter photos of: landscapes, wildlife, landmarks, and activities (limit of three entries in jpeg format).
Deadline: March 1st, 2021, by 5:00 p.m.
Include the following information: Name, address, phone, email, location where photo was taken, and title. Photos can be submitted by email to: email@example.com and not to exceed 10MB.
Photos will become property of Town of Newcomb and may be used for publicity purposes including social media, calendars, etc. More about Newcomb at newcombny.com.
The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.
High Peaks Wilderness:
Weekend Weather Warning: High winds and extreme low temperatures are forecast for summits in the High Peaks this weekend. Friday morning winds are anticipated to reach gusts of 48 mph and temperatures with wind chill dropping to -52 Fahrenheit. Exposure to these elements is dangerous and travel at elevation or above tree line is not recommended. Extreme cold temperatures will continue through the weekend. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.
Unstable Snowpack: There have been several reports of unstable snowpack on open slopes. Practice safe travel when crossing exposed areas.
Colden Caretaker Report 01/27/21: 2.5 feet of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin. Over 3 feet of snow has accumulated on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Skiing is in, including the ski trail, South Meadows Road and the trail to the Flowed Lands. Both Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen.
This old-fashioned recipe is an easy way to make a delicious loaf of yeast bread. I usually use whole-wheat flour and blackstrap molasses, but you can use whatever wheat flour and molasses you have on hand (if you successfully substitute other types of flour for the wheat, please let me know!). It does not require a lot of kneading, and will make your kitchen smell amazing when it bakes.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
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