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Adirondack Explorer

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Are Earthworms An Invasive Species?

Aldo Leopold, the famous conservationist, once wrote: “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” This whole idea puts nature writers in an odd position. On the one hand, it’s our job to raise the alarm when we see something amiss, but on the other, we run the risk of spending so much time dwelling on nature’s wounds that we end up giving people the impression that everything has gone to hell, which of course it has not. So what to make of earthworms? We’ve been told for years that >>More

Thursday, July 25, 2013

National Moth Week: The Great Sphinx Moth

This week is National Moth Week, recognition that aims to promote the conservation, increased awareness, study, and appreciation of moths, along with their incredible biodiversity and importance to ecosystem health. Here’s a picture of a Great Sphinx Moth, with about a 4 inch wingspan. I found it hanging out around my tomato plants. I captured this image with my Fuji Finepix HS10, 6mm focal length, 1/50 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 80. The post National Moth Week: The Great Sphinx Moth appeared first on The Adirondack Almanack.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ironman Lake Placid Set For Sunday

This Sunday, more than 2,800 athletes will compete in the 2013 IRONMAN Lake Placid, one of nearly 30 events in the global IRONMAN Series, is the oldest IRONMAN event in the continental U.S. and features one of the most scenic courses on the circuit. The two-loop swim course takes place in Mirror Lake, followed by a unique transition in the Olympic Speed-Skating Oval. The 112-mile bike route leads athletes along state, county and local roads. The spectator friendly marathon (26.2 miles) run through downtown Lake Placid. The event offers a total professional prize purse of $25,000 and 60 coveted slots >>More

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dan Crane: Classify New State Lands Wilderness

Last Friday was the deadline for submitting comments on the classification of the former Finch, Pruyn properties that New York State recently purchased from the Nature Conservancy. Fortunately, I got my email off to the Adirondack Park Agency with a couple hours to spare. For me, deciding between the seven proposed alternative classification plans was a no-brainer. Can you guess my recommendation? Come on, I know you can! True to form, I recommended implementation of Alternative Plan 1B, the plan calling for the largest Wilderness area among all seven proposed alternatives. I realize this puts me in the minority, as >>More

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adirondack Farmers’ Markets and Low Income Consumers

Each year, millions of dollars are wasted in uncashed food assistance program checks  representing dollars that could be benefiting low-income consumers, local farmers and the physical and economic health of our communities. These lost opportunities make it very important to effectively communicate information about these programs to consumers and farmers. Four government programs offer payment options beyond the usual cash, check or credit card to eligible low-income consumers at farmers’ markets. Those options are: 1. Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) recipients 2. FMNP checks for senior citizens enrolled >>More

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lakes History: The Fulton Chain Mail Boats

Probably the most unique post office in the United States was the postal station operating in boats on the Fulton Chain during the first half of the 20th century.  Visitors today can actually relive this operation by riding the “President Harrison”, the current mail boat operated by Old Forge Lake Cruises.  Though no longer a post office station, this vessel delivers mail in the same fashion as that provided by Capt. Jack Sheppard on his steamer “Fulton”, begun during the Benjamin Harrison administration (1889-1893). When the Forge House was built in 1871, it replaced Arnold’s as the major stopover for >>More

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Adirondack Fish: The Smallmouth Bass

The prolonged period of hot and humid weather that the Adirondacks have recently experienced has warmed the waters in our many lakes and ponds to their highest temperatures of the season. This is a welcome occurrence to those that enjoy swimming and simply wading in our waterways, however it can create a challenge to those aquatic creatures that are better suited to the cool waters of our mountain wilderness. Among the fish impacted by high water temperatures is a popular game species sought by anglers for its feisty temperament after being hooked and its mild and flavorful taste after being >>More

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Saranac Hollow’s Civil War Veterans Memorial

 In the tiny town of Saranac, sometimes referred to as Saranac Hollow, stands a monument to the town’s Civil War veterans. What makes it unique is that, during the war, the townspeople sent over three and a half times its draft quota to the Union Army. With a population of 3,600 people, 416 veterans are honored on the monument. Walking around an Adirondack cemetery may seem like something straight out of horror films or reserved for a spooky Halloween night, but standing tall in Independence Cemetery is a war memorial that far exceeds any school lessons covering the United States >>More

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Slide Climbing: Dix Mountain’s Buttress Slide

A spectacular white scar snakes 900 vertical feet down into the rugged defile of Hunters Pass on the west side of Dix Mountain. The Buttress Slide, triggered in 2011 by Tropical Storm Irene, adds to the multitude of slides already decorating the High Peaks. This diverse backcountry challenge begins just below the crest of Dix’s southwest buttress and wishbones into dual tracks about halfway down to the pass. The debris reaches with a few hundred feet of the marked trail. I dare say it is one of the Adirondack’s most adventurous and difficult slides, one that bridges the gap between >>More

Monday, July 22, 2013

New State Lands: Proposed Upper Hudson River Dams

Like many readers of the Adirondack Almanack, I have been closely following the public meetings, discussions, editorials, and position statements concerning the land use proposals for the former Finch-Pruyn lands encompassing the Essex Chain of Lakes and the Upper Hudson River. I do have my favored position, as does everyone who loves and appreciates the Adirondacks.  But my intent here is to talk about the “near losses”. That is to say the geographic area of our concern, over the many years, would have been very different, if a few politicians, and engineers had their way. Of course the real loss >>More