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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘Natural History’ Category

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


April, 2019

Paul Hetzler: Mountains of Molehills


Just as we began to doubt the existence of soil, snow began to give way in early April to reveal, well in many cases, a brown mess. As backyard glaciers recede, some homeowners may find an outbreak of mole-volcanoes in the lawn as if an army of subterranean rodents spent the winter detonating explosives. The star-nosed mole and the hairy-tail mole are the two species that live in our area, and as their soil mounds indicate, they’re active all winter. If they’ve turned your once-flat lawn into a relief map of the Badlands, don’t panic – it’s » Continue Reading. >>More


April, 2019

A Tale of Two Sugar Making Seasons


The 2019 maple sugaring season has, for most, just ended in the Northeast. And so sugarmakers are tallying up their sap and syrup volumes to see how they made out. My sense, as a sugarmaker myself, is that most did well. In tallying our own numbers, it was interesting to look at this year compared to last, as things unfolded in very different ways. In 2018 we collected our first sap on February 19, and our last on April 4. Within that 45-day window, we collected sap on 25 days. This year we collected our first sap on March 12 >>More


April, 2019

American Robins: Harbingers of Spring


“The early bird catches the worm.” It’s an old adage that most likely refers to the American robin (Turdus Migratorius). This year, I first saw robins in late March, right around the time that maple sap started running. As I write this, they’re still showing up, almost daily, apparently looking for fly nymphs resting on the ice and snow alongside the river. Just up the road, they’re already hopping around on bare areas in lawns, gardens, fields, and pastures; cocking their heads from side to side as they try to find a big, fat, tasty worm to » Continue Reading. >>More


April, 2019

Wild Edibles Program In Warrensburg May 18th


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County is set to present a program on wild edibles on Saturday, May 18th from 9 am to 4 pm at the CCE Education Center in Warrensburg. This interactive class, open to the general public at the cost of $20 per person, will cover identification, harvest, and preparation techniques of a number of safely edible wild plants. Note that this class will be held, rain or shine, so make sure to dress accordingly. Participants should plan to pack a lunch. Registration is required and can be done by calling the CCE office at (518) 668-4881 >>More


April, 2019

Springtime Forging: Free Range Shopping


Despite a very long winter that has not yet left this area, spring is now gracing us all with the presence of dirty snow banks and ice. It is those ugly snowbanks that are a harbinger that spring’s Free Range Shopping is coming soon. What is Free Range Shopping? It is a means of freely foraging nutritious and delicious food. By mid to late April, as top layers of soil are visible and warmed by the sun, delicious morsels will be offered. Some of the earliest available plants will include dandelion, sunchokes, and ramps. Dandelion, taraxacum officianle, roots may be >>More


April, 2019

Northeastern Wolves: Then and Now


On a moonlit night two hundred years ago, a dog-shaped shadow slipped through the Vermont woods. The large, shaggy canid emerged onto a hilltop pasture, raised its muzzle, and howled – a deep, throaty howl that reverberated through the hills. A chorus of wolves responded. Wolves were common in the Northeast and most of the U.S. when European settlers arrived. And it didn’t take long for the settlers, who were steeped in folklore that portrayed wolves as evil, to wage war. Towns enacted bounties, to which livestock owners were legally bound to contribute, for every dead wolf brought in. In >>More


April, 2019

Race to the Bottom: Water Bears and Moss Piglets


Pint-size pets were practical, once upon a time. A hunter using a wolf-like dog to ferret out game would bring home less bacon than one who used a terrier for the same tracking services. Presumably, small hunting dogs mating with dust-mops is what gave rise to Shih Tzus and other foofy mini-dogs, which sadly are no longer in high demand now that Roombas can do the same job for cheaper. Recently there was a “teacup mini-pig” craze, but we but dumped them when they turned out to be ordinary piglets which would soon outgrow teacups, buckets, and bathtubs. Now it >>More


April, 2019

Conservation Minute: The Backyard Conservationist


Whether you own acres of land or have a small flower garden, you have an important role to play in creating spaces that support wildlife. As our forests become more fragmented, its critical to start looking toward our front and back yards, and even our patios, to consider managing these spaces for biodiversity. There are countless ways we can encourage wildlife to thrive in our yards, but plants are the most important resource to consider. Many insects and wildlife species have specific dietary and habitat needs. If their needs are not met, then your property cannot support those species. The >>More