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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘Natural History’ Category

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


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