Saturday, March 25, 2017

Beaver Bird: The Adaptable Hooded Merganser

Imagine ten nearly round white eggs snug in a hollow tree, lined with soft feathers plucked from the mother’s breast. The hen carefully tends the two-inch eggs for about a month until the chicks hatch. Prompted by their mother’s call, downy day-old chicks clamber up to the opening in the tree and leap into space, plunging head-over- tail some 50 feet down to bounce on the forest floor. They follow their mother on a perilous journey, sometimes of over a half-mile, to the relative safety of a marsh, beaver pond or woodland stream. She will protect the chicks for the >>More


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Adirondack Foxes Are Active in Late Winter

The first time I saw the fox last February, I did a double take. It was late morning when I glanced out the window on my way from one task to the next. The unexpected flash of red made me stop and forget about the morning’s to-do list. I watched for several minutes as the fox trotted around boulders and past old apple trees. Every now and then it paused and cocked its head before continuing on a meandering path through the stubbly field. This would be the first of many sightings over the next several weeks. Last February’s fox >>More


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Herbal Remedies: Ancient Medicines, Modern Uses

By late-March it starts to feel as though winter is the only time of year not in a hurry to get somewhere. By comparison, every other season seems to go by with a Doppler-type velocity like an Indy car blurring past. But I realize that any day now, spring could get sprung, and when that happens, plant life will change by the day, if not the hour. Some of the first plants to catch my eye are ones which have historically been used to treat coughs and colds. Good timing, I’d say. Herbal remedies have been part of human culture >>More


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Adirondack Wildlife: The Star-Nosed Mole

For many Adirondack residents, the onset of mud season brings about the annual problem of water in the basement. Run-off from melting snow and rain, unable to percolate into the still frozen soil, pools on the ground and eventually drains to the lowest spot available. The foundation of older homes may collect some of this water, as do surface tunnels created by small creatures like moles and voles. While spring flooding can be a serious survival issue for some subterranean mammals, it is not believed to be of any major concern to the star-nosed mole, one of the least physically >>More


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hawthorn: Leprechaun Trees

My earliest memory of St. Patrick’s Day is how angry it made my mother, who holds dual Irish-American citizenship and strongly identifies with her Celtic roots. It was not the day itself which got her Irish up, so to speak, but rather the way it was depicted in popular American culture: Green-beer drink specials at the bars and St. Patrick’s Day sales in every store, all endorsed by grinning, green-clad, marginally sober leprechauns. Although Mom stuck to the facts about Ireland; its poets, playwrights, and history, my aunts and uncles would sometimes regale us kids with stories of the fairy-folk, >>More


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Program on American Eel in Lake Champlain

The Lake Champlain Basin Program will host, American eel in Lake Champlain – Will They Make a Comeback? on Thursday, March 16, at 6:30 pm in Grand Isle, Vermont. Nick Staats, a fish biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lake Champlain Conservation Office located in Essex Junction, will provide an overview of the American eel’s life cycle, including their connection to the Sargasso Sea. Staats will share American eel observations made by USFW staff in recent years as they monitor Lake Champlain’s fish species. As noted by USFW sources, the American eel is the only species » Continue Reading. The >>More


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Program on American Eel in Lake Champlain

The Lake Champlain Basin Program will host, American eel in Lake Champlain – Will They Make a Comeback? on Thursday, March 16, at 6:30 pm in Grand Isle, Vermont. Nick Staats, a fish biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lake Champlain Conservation Office located in Essex Junction, will provide an overview of the American eel’s life cycle, including their connection to the Sargasso Sea. Staats will share American eel observations made by USFW staff in recent years as they monitor Lake Champlain’s fish species. As noted by USFW sources, the American eel is the only species » Continue Reading. The >>More


Monday, March 13, 2017

Rare Great Gray Owl Draws Birders to Keene

Manhattan resident Kathy Drake has seen nearly 600 different bird species in her life and regularly travels to observe them. So when she recently found out there was a great gray owl in Keene, she decided to drive up to the Adirondacks to see it. After all, it was a lot closer to home than Minnesota, where she spent four days last year unsuccessfully looking for the bird. “You don’t have any idea how magical this is,” Drake said. “It really is.” Drake said she arrived in Keene with her friends in the early afternoon on Wednesday and planned to >>More


Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Unusual Life of Barnabee Bear

Wendy Hall, my wife and co-director of the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehab Center in Wilmington, rescued Barnaby the bear with a Have-a-Heart trap last September. Skinny and gaunt, starving and mangy, riddled with internal and external parasites, and less than thirty five pounds, Barnaby was in real tough shape. For a black bear more than a year old, these conditions could be potentially fatal, and we weren’t sure he would live. Two months later, Barnaby had not only put on 100 pounds, but somewhere between the two months when he began to hibernate in November, and mid-January, Barnaby turned >>More


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Research On Native Adirondack Fish Species Continues

Two years ago a research team from Paul Smith’s College published a paper about the possibility that yellow perch could be native to the Adirondacks, after finding its DNA in sediment from Lower St. Regis Lake that dates back more than 2,000 years ago. Now similar sediment core sampling is being done on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid. In late February Paul Smith’s College students under the tutelage of Paul Smith’s College Professor Curt Stager – who led the original study – teamed up with Ausable River Association Science and Stewardship Director Brendan Wiltse to take sediment samples that will >>More


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