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Adirondack Explorer

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tim Rowland: Filling The Feeder Is For The Birds

Somewhere I read that up here in the Adirondacks you should not feed the birds after March 31st. I forget the exact logic. The article provided one of those explanations that, you know, sounded quasi-plausible, but might have just been something that a guy would tell his wife so he wouldn’t have to go out into the yard and top off the feeder for the 7,000th time this year. I think it had to do with birds needing to fend for themselves, and several other sundry character issues that I hadn’t thought of as applying to wildlife. I sort of >>More


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Moles and Voles and Yards with Holes

It’s spring. Days are getting longer. The weather’s getting warmer. The sun is sitting higher in the sky. And, as I write this, the persistent snow in my yard is finally giving way to bare ground. This is the time of year when the consumer horticulture season really begins in earnest at Cooperative Extension. It often starts with questions from anxious callers about recently discovered lawn, landscape, and garden damage; often from wildlife pests. Questions about mice, squirrels, and chipmunks are frequent. But, perhaps because of their tenacious tunneling activities, the most noteworthy culprits of concern to frazzled callers are >>More


Friday, April 20, 2018

Make A Simple Leopold Bench

One of the most memorable occasions I have had with my children is an afternoon workshop at the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) in Newcomb. The day was spent skiing the free AIC trails, sipping hot chocolate while counting birds at the window feeder, and building a Leopold bench. The workshop was a celebration of Aldo Leopold, a man many consider a father of wildlife ecology. One of his most popular ideas, The Land Ethic, is an essay tying together our responsibility for the natural world. Extending values to go beyond respect for human life, Leopold included the earth, water, » >>More


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Forest Pests: Velvet Longhorn Beetles

Some invasive insects appear to be trying to win us over through sly public-relations moves. Emerald ash borer (EAB), the Asian beetle killing our ash trees, arrived looking like it just came from a Mary Kay convention, all bright, glitzy and glitter-coated. And it could have been simply called the green ash borer, but instead managed to get itself branded “emerald,” something everyone likes. A new forest pest on the horizon seems to have taken a page from EAB. Trichoferus campestris, better known as the velvet longhorned beetle, has cleverly brought the cuddliness of the Velveteen Rabbit and the romantic >>More


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Thatcher’s Remains: Lyrid Meteor Shower April 16-25

In the pre-dawn hours of April 22, the Lyrid meteor shower will peak. About 15 to 20 meteors will be visible each hour, which  is really not very many. By comparison, the Perseid meteor shower in August averages about 60 to 70 an hour, and the Geminid in December can top 120. But I’m most fascinated by the Lyrid. Here’s why: More than 2,700 years ago, someone in China looked to the heavens, observed this meteor shower, and left a written record of what they saw. And so this yearly event has been happening for millennia – it is perhaps >>More


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Northern New York Audubon Invites Public Comment

Northern New York Audubon (NNYA) is seeking public comment and input into the organization’s future goals and activities. A non-profit organization solely focused on bird-related conservation and education, NNYA is one of 27 New York State Chapters of the National Audubon Society. NNYA serves North Country habitats and communities with birding field trips, a conservation grant program, a birding newsletter, and more. If interested, click here to complete a brief, 7-10 minute survey. This survey will be available until April 25, 2018. For more information on Northern New York Audubon, visit their website, or email nnya@nnya.org. View original post.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cornell Researchers Advancing Industrial Hemp

As farmers across the state get ready for the 2018 growing season, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is preparing to oversee a second year of industrial hemp field trials across New York State. Cornell has been funded to develop, support, and advance the best management practices for optimal growing and processing of industrial hemp. Cornell scientists and research technicians are continuing to study and evaluate potential production barriers (e.g. disease and insect pests) and to » Continue Reading. View original post.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Radar-Based BirdCast Tracks Migratons In Real Time

Most songbirds migrate in darkness, usually when weather conditions are favorable. Tailwinds can produce massive migratory movements. Rain can shut down flights entirely. “Knowing when and where a large pulse of migrants will pass through is useful for conservation purposes,” says Benjamin Van Doren, a former Cornell undergraduate and now Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oxford. “Our forecasts could prompt temporary shutdowns of wind turbines or large sources of light pollution along the migration route. Both actions could significantly reduce bird mortality.” “This is the most significant update since we first began using radar to study bird movements,” notes >>More


Monday, April 9, 2018

A Porcupine’s Salt Cravings

When I was growing up, my family rented a vacation home on a mountain in southern Vermont. One night we were awakened by our dogs barking. Soon we heard a persistent gnawing on the outside of the house. My Dad went to investigate. His flashlight beam revealed a large porcupine with black, beady eyes. My father scared it away, but it returned other nights. Why would a porcupine chew on a house? It’s not so much the wood they’re after; it’s the finish. Most paints, stains, and wood glues contain salt. And porcupines crave it, just as we humans crave >>More


Friday, April 6, 2018

Adirondack Fish Hatchery Springtime Visits

Though trout and salmon season may have opened on April 1st, the fluctuating temperatures have not made anyone in my family interested in early season angling. Though fishing may not be on my children’s agenda, a visit to the Adirondack Hatchery is always a springtime tradition. Each of the 12 DEC operated fish hatcheries raise specific species of fish, with the Lake Clear hatchery’s specialty being landlocked Atlantic salmon. It was much to my surprise that in addition to the state-run facilities, two additional fish hatcheries reside within the Blue Line. Instead of being managed by the NYS Department » >>More


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