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Adirondack Explorer

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bear Denning: Bears Are Making Their Beds

The fields around our home are something of a bear buffet from mid-summer through fall: wild blueberries in July followed by blackberries, then apples come September, with beechnuts falling from the trees skirting the mown area. In our 13 years here, we’ve seen a mother bear noshing on fallen apples while her cubs scampered around in the tree above her, heard bears climbing and snapping the occasional apple branch while we lay in tents 20 yards away during a backyard campout, and even witnessed two cubs playing in our kids’ sandbox. I’ve often wondered where the neighborhood bruins – otherwise >>More


Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Curt Stager Lecture at Whallonsburg Grange

The Whallonsburg Grange Hall will host a lecture by scientist, educator, and author Dr. Curt Stager on Sunday, October 29 at 3 pm. The Paul Smiths College professor will be speaking on “Leaving a Trace: Humans in the Adirondacks,” the final lecture in the fall Lyceum series “What’s the Big Idea?” Dr. Stager will be discussing his own research and the growing body of evidence about early habitation in the region – evidence that shows that human roots run deeper in the Adirondacks than those of the forest itself. Dr. Curt Stager is the author of three books on climate >>More


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Following This Fall’s Bird Migration

Each fall, migrating birds can be seen flying south to their wintering grounds. This is the ideal time of year for New York residents and visitors to head to Bird Conservation Areas across the state for great bird watching opportunities. Visitors can search fields and forests for warblers, sparrows, and other songbirds and explore lakes, ponds, and beaches to see waterfowl and shorebirds. While exploring, visitors can hawk watch to witness the raptor migration. To view the latest bird migration forecasts, click here. For more information about I Bird NY, and check to for upcoming bird events, click here. Photo provided. View >>More


Monday, October 16, 2017

Adirondack Wildlife: Osprey Exit the Park

As the temperatures in the many lakes and ponds that dot the Adirondacks begin to cool, the fish inhabitants of these waterways start to spend more of their time at greater depths. While this change in the routine of these gilled vertebrates impacts the way late season anglers pursue them, it also affects the life of our region’s most effective surface fish predator – the osprey. With its 4 to 5 foot wing span and 2 foot long body, the osprey is a bird that is difficult to overlook as it soars over a picturesque mountain lake, or perches on >>More


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cultivating Mushrooms in the Adirondacks

I absolutely love mushrooms. They add real zest and excitement to all sorts of recipes. I’ve been cooking with them all of my adult life. They’re the perfect choice for hearty, intensely satisfying, really-good-for-you, low-calorie meals. Great if you’re watching your waistline! It’s easy and fun to cultivate edible mushrooms using logs, stumps, or other mediums (i.e. straw, corn cobs), and the moist shade of your wooded property. Each mushroom variety offers its own unique, often nutty flavor. And they’re packed full of nutrients; things like B-vitamins, including riboflavin (an essential dietary nutrient which plays a major role in red >>More


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Chirp, Click, Buzz: An Insect Orchestra

This time of year, I keep the windows cracked open on even marginally warm nights, savoring the sweet air that sifts through the screens. On that air comes the sound of others relishing the last bit of warmth before frost settles in: namely, crickets and katydids. With trills and chirps, clicks and buzzing, these winged insects – all members of the order Orthoptera, along with grasshoppers – woo potential mates. This music is ancient – and has been a key to the insects’ survival for some 200 million years. “It may be noise to you and me,” said Daniel Howard, >>More


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Adirondack Birding: The Great Warbler Migration

For most birds, autumn is a time of migration. As is the case in spring, not all species engage in their bouts of long distance travel at the same time; some are known for heading out early while others linger in the region for several additional months before starting their journey. Among the birds that are quick to depart the North Country are the warblers, a large group of small, delicate creatures that abound in the vast expanses of forests when daylight is at a maximum and bugs are at their peak. Even though periodic stretches of pleasant, summer-like weather >>More


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Poisonous Mushrooms: An Aura of Amanita

One of our big collective cultural fears about nature involves poisonous plants. Our mothers implored us to NEVER put anything from the woods in our mouths, but in reality, you can sample most of what’s out there with relative impunity. Your taste buds will give you a good indication of edibility, and if you ignore them you might pay the price of some diarrhea and stomach cramping. Put another way, the poison in most so-called poisonous plants is about as harmful as the thorns they might carry – not something you want to go out of your way to mess >>More


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Paul Hetzler: In Praise Of A Messy Yard

On my twice-monthly drive on Highway 416 between Prescott and Ottawa, I pass the sign for Kemptville, a town of about 3,500 which lies roughly 40 km north of the St. Lawrence. It has a rich history, and no doubt is a fine place to live, but one of these days I need to stop there to verify that Kemptville is in fact a village of surpassing tidiness. (It’s Exit 34 in case anyone wants to take some field notes and get back to me.) Most of us would prefer not to live in totally unkempt surroundings, but Western culture >>More


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Painted lady butterflies making mass migration

The Adirondack Park is tinted with a new hue of brown this past week, and not from the changing foliage of deciduous trees for winter. The painted lady butterfly with its cinnamon orange wings outlined by mocha appendages is making moves South for what is seemingly the “most massive migration since the ’80’s” as Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch claims. Commonly mistaken for the monarch butterfly because of the similar coloration, the painted lady finds residence on all continents except for Australia and Antarctica. In the United States, extremely well breeding populations are found in the North, West and Eastern >>More


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