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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2013

The Crossley ID Guide & Hawks in Flight
Author: Crossley ID Guide: Richard Crossley, Jerry Liguori & Brian Sullivan & Hawks in Flight: Pete Dunne, David Allen Sibley & Clay Sutton

Review by: Edward Kanze

There can be no greater thrill on an Adirondack hike in autumn than to stand on a summit and have hawks and falcons stream over your head. Perhaps there’ll be an eagle or two shooting past for good measure, and an osprey or harrier, too. Fall colors and prime hiking weather coincide with migration season for day-flying raptors. What you see on particular hikes is a matter of hit or miss, but if you hit just right, you may get exciting close looks at birds otherwise difficult to admire close up in the wild. While migrating long distances, hawks, eagles, >>More


May, 2013

Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England & Eastern Alpine Guide
Author: Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman (Kaufman Guide) & M.T. Jones and L.L. Wiley, Editors (Eastern Alpine Guide)

Review by: Ed Kanze

Nature rare and common HOW IS THE INTREPID Adirondack explorer to make sense of all the flora, fauna, and fungi out there? In the past, the typical way was to carry field guides, which, in the grand tradition of nature books, tended to tackle one subject at a time. A generalist wanting greater knowledge of the life along the Van Hoevenberg Trail up Mount Marcy might stuff a pack with guides to birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, trees, shrubs, wildfl owers, ferns, and more. A single field guide might weigh two or three pounds. To carry half a dozen or more >>More


May, 2013

Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians
Author: By Karl B. McKnight, Joseph R. Rohrer, Kirsten McKnight Ward, and Warren J. Perdrizet

Review by: Ed Kanze

A must for moss mavens Field guides don’t get much more specific than the beautiful new Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians, the latest in the excellent series of field guides published by Princeton University Press. The identification of mosses, aside from distinguishing a few easily recognized common species, has long been the exclusive province of botanists specializing in mosses and of a few rabid amateurs. Collecting samples in the field and carting them back to a laboratory, where they are scrutinized under a microscope, has always been an inescapable part of the game. Even most botanists are unwilling >>More


July, 2012

Peterson Field Guide Mammals of North America
Author: Fiona A. Reid

Review by: Ed Kanze

Another fine new field guide useful to Adirondack naturalists is Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East by Dennis Paulson (Princeton University Press, 2011). This book contains such a wealth of detail and natural history that it may initially overwhelm the user. Still, it’s hard to argue with the author’s efforts to show and tell all we need to know. Dragonflies make themselves known in every corner of the Adirondacks in every season but winter. Paddlers may duck as big ones fly by, or they may pause to admire the dazzling colors of a northern bluet, a tiny and delicate damselfly, >>More


July, 2012

Dragonflies and Dameselflies of the East
Author: Dennis Paulson

Review by: Ed Kanze

Another fine new field guide useful to Adirondack naturalists is Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East by Dennis Paulson (Princeton University Press, 2011). This book contains such a wealth of detail and natural history that it may initially overwhelm the user. Still, it’s hard to argue with the author’s efforts to show and tell all we need to know. Dragonflies make themselves known in every corner of the Adirondacks in every season but winter. Paddlers may duck as big ones fly by, or they may pause to admire the dazzling colors of a northern bluet, a tiny and delicate damselfly, >>More


July, 2012

Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America
Author:

Review by: Ed Kanze

Every once in a long while a new field guide comes along to revolutionize and reinvigorate its particular corner of the genre. Such a book is the new Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America, just out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Despite the presence of his name on the cover, the author is not Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996), who helped inspire millions to chase and study birds and wildflowers during a long and distinguished career. Peterson launched the series, but credit for this book goes to its Canadian coauthors, David Beadle and Seabrooke Leckie. Moths, you say? I >>More


May, 2012

How to Be a Better Birder
Author: Derek Lovitch

Review by: John Thaxton

My heart leaps when I behold a birder way farther over the top than me, a wonk of such maniacal assiduity that he makes me feel like my commitment to avian studies consists of half-heartedly glancing at one of my bird feeders every now and again, a birder, alas, to whom I can point and announce to friends: “You consider me a crazy birder? Hey, check out this dude.” A birder since elementary school, Derek Lovitch started to get serious early in high school, went nuts in college, and after graduation took a job, or rather a dizzying string of >>More


March, 2012

Forests and Trees of the Adirondack High Peaks Region
Author: E.H. Ketchledge

Review by: Edward Kanze

When botanists speak of a woody plant, they describe its “growth habit”: the way a particular species sprawls like trailing arbutus, climbs like Virginia creeper, grows upright in a shrubby sort of way like highbush cranberry, or reaches skyward in the form we call a tree. Trees—red spruce, white pine, sugar maple, American beech—are the grandest of our plants. In the Adirondacks they monopolize nearly every corner of the landscape. Just as we insist, for good reason, that every child growing up in the Adirondacks learns to read, so each of us would do well to make conscientious study of >>More


November, 2011

A Coming of Winter in the Adirondacks
Author: Brian J. Heinz

Review by:

This book is called A Coming of Winter in the Adirondacks. It’s really good!!! My favorite part of the book was the pictures. The first time I opened the book my first word was “Whoa!’’ All the pictures were … awesome!!! The rabbit and the mouse looked SO realistic I wanted to pet them! They just looked SO cute and fuzzy! My favorite picture was of the mountains on the very last page. Usually when people draw mountains they draw them all gray and really boring. But Maggie Henry (she’s the illustrator) drew the color of the trees! The detail >>More


September, 2011

Hawks at a Distance: Identification of Migrant Raptors
Author: Jerry Liguori

Review by: Ed Kanze

Is there a thrill in birdwatching— and for that matter in hiking and mountaineering— half as electrifying as standing atop a rocky summit on a crisp fall day, watching a hawk, falcon, or eagle shoot low over your head? You peer into the raptor’s keen eyes with awe and a touch of fear. Fear—because you sense that the predator is sizing you up. If it were bigger and you smaller, the encounter might end differently, and both you and the bird know it. Autumn hiking and watching hawks go together like clams and chowder. The reason is practical. Raptors traveling >>More