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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘Natural History’ Category

May, 2019

What Shall We Call This?


Anyone who’s spent time in the woods has seen them, a tree growing on top of a large stone or boulder, with its roots winding down around the stone to find nourishment, finally, in the surrounding earth. The tree could be a yellow birch or a spruce and we see them in many stages of their lives from seedlings growing out of a bed of moss and ferns to very mature trees. They are one of the great curiosities of the woods, often causing one to stop and examine, marveling at » Continue Reading. View original post.


May, 2019

Fish Scales and American Shad


It’s tempting to simply view fish scales as armor, but there’s more to them than that. They provide camouflage; they also play a role in locomotion. For scientists working on the recovery of American Shad in the Connecticut River, scales provide a record of a fish’s life history and a way to measure the success of restoration efforts. American shad is our largest river herring. The males, called bucks, run up to six pounds. The females, or row shad, up to four. Like their cousins alewife and blue-backed herring, shad are anadromous, spending most of the year in the ocean, >>More


May, 2019

A New Tick in Town


Black flies bite, but ticks really suck. Enough complaining – that never helps. After such a long winter, we are all grateful that spring has finally sprung, even though the price of warm weather seems to be the advent of biting insects. Swarms of mosquitoes can drain the fun from an evening on the deck, but a single black-legged or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) can take the shine off an entire summer if it infects you with Lyme disease and/or another serious illness. As recently as a decade ago in Northern New York it was rare to find a single >>More


May, 2019

Tick-Borne Diseases Are On The Rise


Eighteen years ago, when I moved back to New Hampshire, I rarely came across ticks. The dog didn’t carry them unwittingly into the house, and I could spend the day in the garden or on wooded trails and not see a single, hard-shelled, eight-legged, blood-sucking creepy-crawly. Not so anymore. Now, from the time of snowmelt in the spring to the first crisp snowfall of autumn – and often beyond – we find ticks everywhere: on the dog, crawling up the front door, along kids’ hairlines, on backs or arms or legs, and occasionally (and alarmingly) walking along a couch cushion >>More


April, 2019

Poetry: Tracks


I know these tracks in my tendons. I know this forest. How it pounds into the shale, like a crumbling ravine of snow the color of mink fur. I know this forest. Its wisdom returns to me from vanished glaciers, and I hear the sleep of beasts in tombs of rotting Hemlock. I know that I am not alone, but these embers of tradition cannot be shared. Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE. View original post.


April, 2019

Visiting A Floodplain Forest


Visiting a forest along one of our major rivers, such as the Connecticut River, in late spring, is like entering a special world. Big silver maples tower overhead, with arching branches and roots reaching deep underground. Cottonwoods up to five feet in diameter and vase-shaped American elms are scattered about. Scars on the upstream side of some tree trunks bear testament to the chunks of ice that crash through when the river floods every spring. Silt stains on the trunks and dead leaves, trash, and other debris caught in crotches of trees show the height of the floodwaters. Many trees >>More


April, 2019

Can North America’s Favorite Birds Drive Conservation Interest?


Cross-referencing a decade of Google searches and citizen science observations, researchers say they have identified which of 621 North American bird species are currently the most popular and which characteristics of species drive human interest. Study findings have just been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In an announcement sent to the press lead author of the study Justin Schuetz said: “Google Trends data describe how often people search for birds and provide a snapshot of public interest in different species. In general, large birds, such as hawks and grouse drew more attention than small birds. >>More


April, 2019

Study: Some Woodpeckers Imitate a Neighbor’s Plumage


In the first global test of the idea, scientists have found evidence that some woodpeckers can evolve to look like another species of woodpecker in the same neighborhood. The researchers say that this “plumage mimicry” isn’t a fluke – it happens among pairs of distantly related woodpeckers all over the world. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, was conducted by researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, SUNY Buffalo State, the University of British Columbia, and Manchester University. Study authors combined data on feather color, DNA sequences, eBird reports, and NASA satellite measures of vegetation for all 230 >>More


April, 2019

New Exhibit on Taxidermy in the Adirondacks


Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, is set to exhibit approximately 100 pieces of extraordinary taxidermy on loan from private Adirondack collections and camps as well as mounts, photographs, and manuscript materials from its own collection, beginning May 24th. The exhibition will include taxidermy as well as advertisements, business ledgers, and period photographs of Adirondack trophy lodges, camp interiors, and taxidermists and their studios. Taxidermy and the law; hunting and fishing trophies; Adirondack style and taxidermy; natural history; beastly fables and fantasy, and taxidermy today will be among the topics covered. The exhibit will include the work of >>More


April, 2019

Top Cities Where Lights Endanger Migratory Birds


An estimated 600 million birds die from building collisions every year in the United States. Scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have published new research highlighting artificial light at night as a contributing factor. The research was published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. It combines satellite data showing light pollution levels with weather radar measuring bird migration density. Researchers ranked metropolitan areas where, due to a combination of light pollution and geography, birds are at the greatest risk of becoming attracted to and disoriented by lights and crashing into buildings. <img class="wp-image-150384 » Continue Reading. >>More




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