FacebookTwitterInstagram Youtube
Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘Natural History’ Category

March, 2017

March Maple Madness at The Wild Center


Each weekend in March, The Wild Center in Tupper Lake will be celebrating all things maple. Tour the sugar shack, try the maple quest, taste some maple treats at the cafe, and special programming celebrate the maple sugaring season. On Saturdays, March 18th and 25th from 8:30 am until 10:30 am visitors can have breakfast at the Waterside Cafe at the Wild Center to celebrate the sweet season of maple sugaring. Breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, hot beverages, and local maple syrup, followed by a day of maple-themed programs and activities. Tour our on-site sugar shack to learn about the >>More


March, 2017

The Seedy Habits of Bird Feeders


In seedy neighborhoods across the U.S., ordinary people are shelling out hard-earned cash to feed a habit of near-epidemic proportions. The fact of the matter is, about 40% of American households are addicted to feeding birds. Things are even worse in the U.K., where close to three-quarters of the population are beset with this malady. In severe cases, people provide birds with dried fruit, suet, and mealworms, and even landscape their yard with bird-friendly trees and shrubs. Most garden-variety bird-feeding addicts, however, go to seed. It often starts innocently: a few sunflower kernels strewn in the backyard or a » >>More


February, 2017

Sprucelets: An Original Adirondack Medicine


Cold and flu season once again has sufferers scrambling for any kind of relief from all sorts of medicines. A little over a century ago, right here on Northern New York store shelves, next to cough drops by national companies like Smith Brothers and Luden’s, was a local product made in Malone. Sprucelets were created mainly from a raw material harvested in the Adirondacks: spruce gum. Like hops, blueberries, and maple syrup, the seasonal gathering and sale of spruce gum boosted the incomes of thousands of North Country folks seeking to make a dollar any way they could. Much of >>More


February, 2017

Outside Story: Winter Bird Rehabilitation


An injured barred owl sat in the back seat of a four-door sedan, staring balefully out the window at its rescuer. “I saw him on the side of the road, just sitting there, trying to fly,” the young woman explained to Maria Colby, director of Wings of the Dawn Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue. “Other cars were stopping and then circling back around to see if I needed help. His eye looks messed up.” Colby nodded, her spectacles perched on her nose and her hands protected by large leather gloves with gauntlets. She opened the car door, wrapping the owl up >>More


February, 2017

Cold Hollow to Canada: Roadways and Wildlife Connectivity Talk


The Lake Champlain Basin Program will host “Why did the Bobcat Cross the Road? Roadways and Wildlife Connectivity” by Bridget Butler, Director, Cold Hollow to Canada, on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at the LCBP office in Grand Isle, VT. Butler will discuss some of the wildlife species that roam the Cold Hollow Mountains as well as citizen projects that can provide data to wildlife biologists. The Cold Hollow Mountains stretch across the northern part of the Champlain watershed, and include the Vermont communities of Fletcher, Waterville, Belvidere, Bakersfield, Enosburgh, Montgomery, and Richford. As part of the Northern Forest, these mountains >>More


February, 2017

An Ill Wind: The Health Effects of Wind


Bad-hair days might be a personal frustration, possibly even a social calamity, but bad-air days can send the population of a whole region into a tailspin. Literally. By “bad air” I don’t mean urban smog, although that certainly merits an article, if not an actual solution. And while the fetid pong in one’s dorm room after an Oktoberfest all-you- can-drink bratwurst bash and sauerkraut-eating contest might bring tears to one’s eyes, that’s not the bad air I’m considering. Under certain weather conditions, air becomes laden with positively charged ions, which is not a plus, as they can adversely affect our >>More


February, 2017

DEC Announces 2016 Bear Hunting Results


The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that bear hunters in New York State killed 1,539 black bears during the 2016 hunting seasons. Hunters took a total of 1,025 black bears in the Southern Zone, about 10 percent fewer than in 2015, but slightly more than the recent five-year average. Nearly equal numbers of bears were killed during the bow season, 379 bears, and regular season, 398 bears. The early season, which occurs only in a handful of management units in the Catskill region, yielded 228 bears. In the Northern Zone, 514 bears were killed, approximately 12 percent fewer >>More


February, 2017

Tipulidae: The Cute Faced Crane Fly


An email chirped in my inbox; “Check out the cute face on this insect we found.” I opened the attachment (yes, from a reliable source). My colleague Professor Peter Hope had taken a spectacular photograph through his microscope. The larva in question had fallen into a pit trap set by our first-year Saint Michael’s College students in Camp Johnson in Colchester. The ‘face’ seemed to have two very circular black eyes, a downturned smile, and a wild cartoonish hairstyle sprouting from lobes radiating in five directions. My esteemed colleague, a gifted botanist, had photographed the rear end of a crane >>More


February, 2017

Great Gray Owls in Northern New York


In most winters great gray owls remain in their great north woods home in Canada, the mountains of the western U.S., northern Europe, and Siberia. But every four years or so, apparently motivated by a shortage of food (primarily voles), many of these owls will move southward in search of food. In northeastern North America, the owls usually stay just north of the border, apparently finding suitable vole populations in southern Quebec and Ontario, but a handful of individuals will sometimes move further south into northern New York and New England. This is one such winter with a number » >>More


February, 2017

Adirondack Researchers Explore Birch Syrup Production


The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the results of a project exploring opportunities for regional maple sugarmakers to produce birch syrup. Four sugarhouses participated in the 2015-2016 birch syrup project; one each in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Jefferson counties. Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center Maple Program transported the sap collected from 61 paper birch trees there 20 miles to the Uihlein Forest sugarhouse for processing. Project leader Michael L. Farrell noted that the trial at Paul Smith’s also produced conclusive evidence that using 5/16-inch spouts will provide significantly more sap than 3/16-inch spouts. In Ellenburg Center, >>More