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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘Natural History’ Category

March, 2016

Trout Power Event At Great Camp Sagamore


On Father’s Day Weekend, June 16-19, 2016, catch-and-release anglers and conservationists can assist in a tw0-day creel study and three-day celebration of wild trout and historic conservation and protection at Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lak. Anglers participating in this Trout Power event will be able to choose from over 10 miles of secluded and rarely-fished sections of the South Inlet Watershed to fish, part of a weekend-long data collection survey of wild fish. Anglers will receive training on how to catch, photograph, and record their catch. Participants will stay at Sagamore, can take part in tours, seminars, and slide >>More


March, 2016

Lawsuit Filed Over Wood Turtle Protection


The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its delay in deciding whether to extend Endangered Species Act protections to the rare wood turtle, found in the Midwest and Northeast. The Center first petitioned for this turtle — along with more than 50 other amphibians and reptiles — in July 2012 arguing that habitat loss and other factors are threatening them with extinction. “Wood turtles are dying out mostly because people are degrading the waterways where they live,” Center biologist Collette Adkins said in a statement to the press announcing the >>More


March, 2016

Lost Brook Dispatches: Moose, Part Twose


(This letter to my father-in-law is a follow-on to my column “You Moose Be Kidding”)  Dear Howard: I’m thinking of you, stuck in your hospital bed, red-legged and bored to death.  I sympathize, but I am very happy that you are where you are, remembering as I do my son Zach’s bout with cellulitis in the Blue Ridge Wilderness some years ago.   Cellulitis is a very serious thing and I’m glad you are out of danger. Still, boredom is its own danger too, potentially injurious to your most excellent mental make-up.  So I thought » Continue Reading. The post Lost >>More


March, 2016

How Northeast Caves Are Created


To enter the cave, we donned hard hats and descended a vertical drop with the aid of a rope. We crawled on our knees and bellies through a wet, narrow passageway, emerging into a large underground chamber that contained a small lake. By the light of our headlamps, we could make out interesting cave formations ― icicle-like stalactites hanging from the cave ceiling and stalagmites growing up from the floor. In the cool, damp darkness, we heard the slow dripping of water. Our underground adventure left us covered with mud ― our skin and clothes were caked with it. This >>More


March, 2016

Trees: White Pine Bears Important Fruit


The old saw “money doesn’t grow on trees” will remain valid unless bartering ever becomes the norm, in which case fruit and nut growers will be awash in tree-grown currency. Figuring exchange rates would be quite a headache, I imagine. Our eastern white pine isn’t considered a crop-bearing tree and it certainly doesn’t sprout cash, but it has borne priceless ‘fruit’ all the same. The tallest trees this side of the Rockies, white pines of up to 230 feet were recorded by early loggers. The current US champion stands at 188 feet tall, and in New York State we have >>More


March, 2016

Adirondack Wildlife: Weasel Evel Knievels


My friend Gordon Russell sent me a letter recently describing a wildlife encounter. He had been following deer tracks along a stone wall when a movement caught his attention. “Almost before its image could travel to my brain,” he wrote, “the white head of a weasel vanished in between the stones.” The animal popped up again, disappeared, and then revealed itself a third time, next to where Gordon was standing. Gordon looked at the weasel. The weasel looked at Gordon. Gordon squeaked. And then: “my day exploded.” “From the wall, to the ground, to my pant leg, to my shoulder, >>More


March, 2016

DEC Seeks Assistance In Locating Black Bear Dens


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wildlife biologists are seeking the public’s help to learn about new black bear dens throughout New York. As part of DEC’s ongoing monitoring of black bears in New York, wildlife biologists routinely check on black bears during the winter den season. The bears may be fitted with a radio collar to help biologists track the bears’ activities throughout the rest of the year and to relocate dens in subsequent years for monitoring cub production, condition, and survival. Bears may den in a » Continue Reading. The post DEC Seeks Assistance In Locating >>More


March, 2016

In Adirondack Forests, Trees Age Differently


Senescence is the decline in vigor that happens to all creatures great and diminutive as they close in on the life expectancy of their species. People my age suddenly find they require reading glasses to see the phone book. Though I suppose by definition anyone still using a phone book is old enough to need glasses, right? The onset of this process varies — you probably know of families whose members frequently retain good health into their 90s, and other families where that is not the case. Of course environment is important. Eating and sleeping well, cultivating gratitude, and laughing >>More


March, 2016

Lake Champlain Sturgeon Program Planned For Thursday


The Lake Champlain Basin Program is hosting “Lake Sturgeon Return!” on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at the LCBP office in Grand Isle. The LCBP will host guest speaker Chet MacKenzie, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Program Manager. MacKenzie will share the life cycle of the sturgeon, photos and images of lake sturgeon, and preliminary results of Vermont’s sturgeon tagging program. The lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), is one of about 25 species of sturgeon, an ancient bottom feeder with a partly cartilaginous skeleton. Lake sturgeons can grow to more than seven feet long and weigh over 240 pounds. Lake sturgeon are >>More


February, 2016

Local Bats and White Nose Syndrome


Context is critical, right? Years ago I took a second job loading trucks at night, and a few guys on the dock had what you might call “white-nose syndrome.” All I had was coffee, so they could work faster than I, though they spent a lot more time in the rest room. I hope they eventually recovered. Addiction is a serious and potentially life-threatening matter, but from a bat’s perspective, white-nose syndrome is something even more devastating. This disease, which is nearly always fatal, has killed 80% of the bats in the Northeastern U.S. in less than a decade. Initially >>More




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