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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘Natural History’ Category

June, 2018

Gregarious Great Blue Herons


Years ago, friends and I spotted a group of huge nests high in the trees along the edge of a large pond: a great blue heron rookery. From across the water (a respectful distance to avoid disturbing the birds), we observed the goings-on through our binoculars. Adult herons flew in and out of the colony, their long necks and heads folded back onto their shoulders in an S-shape, wings beating slowly, long legs trailing behind. As a parent approached its nest, the young stood up eagerly, jostling each other and clamoring for food. Alighting on the stick platform, the adult >>More


June, 2018

New Hampshire’s Ancient Volcano


North of Concord and south of the White Mountains is an estate romantically named Castle in the Clouds. Reclining on the patio there on a pleasant spring afternoon, you might enjoy the sun as well as the view. While it’s a beautiful view today, 122 million years ago it would have been a lot more exciting: you would have been staring at an active volcano. Some articles about the Ossipee Mountains compare the former volcano that created them to Mount Vesuvius or Mount Fiji, attributing to it an eruption ten times bigger than Mount St. Helens’ last explosion. Nelson Eby, >>More


June, 2018

LGLC Announces Living Lands Series 2018 Season


The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is set to kick off its 2018 Living Lands Series on Wednesday, June 27, with “Adirondack Bear Behavior,” presented by DEC Big Game Biologist Jim Stickles. Stickles is one of six different presenters of the LGLC’s annual talk series, which continues each Wednesday evening at 5:30 pm until August 22 at the LGLC office in Bolton Landing (no presentation on July 4th). Sponsored by Stewart’s Shops, the series includes family-friendly presentations, all of which are free and open to the public. Each topic aims to take an exclusive and up-close look at the wildlife >>More


June, 2018

It’s Tick Season: Tips To Avoid Getting Bit


With the warm weather here and more opportunities to spend time outdoors, it’s important to remember these tips to prevent ticks from affecting your summer. Be sure to protect yourself, pets and your property from ticks. The most effective way to avoid ticks when outdoors is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if you hike, camp, hunt, work or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you can still protect yourself.  Learn more about tick-borne diseases, prevention and proper removal. Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. Wear enclosed shoes. If wearing long >>More


June, 2018

A Slow Start for Snapping Turtles


One moonless May evening, my husband and I walked down to our local pond, flashlights in hand, to look for toads. We were delighted to discover hundreds of them, floating, darting, and jockeying for position in an explosion of courtship. Their surround-sound trills left our ears ringing. The toads were frenzied, focused only on each other, and highly concentrated in one small, shallow section of the pond, which prompted my husband to wonder if they weren’t awfully vulnerable to predators that way. I’d barely had time to contemplate his question when I spied a snapping turtle lurking beneath a cloud >>More


June, 2018

More Adirondack Lake Trout Monitoring Needed


Lake Trout are designated species of Greatest Conservation Need in NY, based on the reduction of cold, well oxygenated waters in lakes due to climate change. Lake Trout, Salvelinus namaycush are one of two native salmonines to the interior Adirondacks, Brook Trout, S. fontinalis being the other. However, unlike Brook Trout, which can be found from small headwater streams to deeper lakes, Lake Trout reside in the hypolimnion (bottom) of lakes during the majority of the year, where water temperatures are most suitable. The depth of the hypolimnion depends on many factors, including latitude, size of the lake, and the >>More


June, 2018

New Findings On Relocated Adirondack Loons


Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) has announced results of its five-year loon study Restore the Call. Among the findings was that a male loon chick relocated from the Adirondack Park to the Assawompsett Pond Complex (APC) in southeastern Massachusetts in 2015 returned to the APC lake from which it fledged. The identification of this loon (through color bands) marks the first confirmed account of an adult loon returning to the lake to which it was translocated, captive-reared, and then fledged. David C. Evers, Ph.D., BRI’s executive director and an expert on loon ecology and conservation called it “a major milestone in >>More


June, 2018

Tent Worms: Eastern Tent or Forest Tent?


Like a B-grade horror film, they’re back. Writhing en masse, draping cobwebs, and raining tiny “peppercorn” poop onto us, tent caterpillars have returned. Known variously as tent worms, army worms, and a host of other names not suitable to print, there are actually two species of tent caterpillars. Eastern tent caterpillars (ETC) make a proper tent and prefer trees in the rose family such as cherry, apple and pear. Because of this, ETC females lay eggs almost exclusively on those trees. The ETC is a hairy, brown-ish caterpillar lined with blue, and sporting a single white stripe running down its >>More


June, 2018

What the… Adirondack Turkey Vultures


“Mom, there’s a really big crow in the compost,” my son said one day early this spring, followed closely by, “Wait. What is that bird? It’s huge!” I peeked out the back window to find a bird, huge indeed, a red head atop of cloak of dark feathers, sitting on a corner post of the garden fence, peering into the compost heap. Two others perched behind the garden, high in a tall white pine tree. The red head, naked of feathers, easily gave the birds away as turkey vultures. While we see these vultures often during the warmer months, soaring >>More


June, 2018

McNulty Named Int’l Field Stations Group President


Stacy McNulty has been elected president of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS), a more than 50-year old international organization that supports research, education and outreach at field stations. SUNY ESF’s Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC) has been a member for about 25 years according to McNulty, who is an ecologist and associate director of the AEC. Prior to becoming president, McNulty served as board secretary, member-at-large and chair of the Human Diversity Committee. Members of OBFS operate field facilities for scientists, students, teachers and the public to pursue understanding of environmental changes and challenges. The practice of place-based observation >>More




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