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Adirondack Explorer

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

Adirondack Roots: Stories of Hiking, History and Women
Author: Sandra Weber

Review by: Susan Bibeau

When asked to describe the Adirondacks—the place I’ve called home for the past fifteen years—I invariably speak of its scenic beauty. The majestic High Peaks, pristine lakes, and wild forests are what first come to mind when thinking about my adopted home. I am reminded after reading Sandra Weber’s Adirondack Roots: Stories of Hiking, History and Women, that I am neglecting an equally important dimension: the Adirondacks are steeped in history. Each peak, trail, and waterway has been visited before us and is marked with its own indelible stories. As Weber puts it: “Not the history sprouted in eighth-grade social >>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


January, 2012

Adirondack Civilian Conservation Corps Camps
Author: Martin Podskoch

Review by: Neal Burdick

Go for a hike or a drive almost anywhere in the Adirondacks, and you might come upon a stand of trees, probably red or white pines, of uniform size and age, evenly spaced in straight rows a consistent distance apart. “That’s not natural,” you might think, and you’d be right. You’ve most likely come upon a plantation established during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ideas for putting people to work during the Depression. At its peak in 1933, the corps had 2,600 camps nationwide and employed half a >>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


November, 2011

An Elegant Wilderness: Great Camps and Lodges of the Adirondacks, 1855-1935
Author: Gladys Montgomery

Review by: Neal Burdick

Great Camp—the term stirs impressions of a style, an era, a way of life that passed quickly across the Adirondack stage but left a lasting impression. It conjures images of fabulous wealth, of excess, of changes in the Adirondack social order. And did we mention fabulous wealth? A few Great Camps survive today, under various guises, reminding us of their celebrated time in the limelight. They were the profoundly private retreats of profoundly public figures, built on estates that could encompass thousands of acres and a lake or two or three. The Great Camps often had so many buildings that >>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