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Adirondack Explorer

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Annual Adirondack Loon Census Volunteers Needed

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Adirondack Program has announced a call for volunteers to survey loons on Adirondack lakes as part of the 18th Annual Adirondack Loon Census. The event will take place on Saturday, July 21, 2018, from 8 to 9 am. Participants can choose from a list of available lakes and ponds in the Adirondack region to sign up for and survey. With the help of local Adirondack residents and visitor volunteers, the census enables WCS to collect important data on the status of the breeding loon population in and around the Adirondack Park and across New York >>More


Monday, July 16, 2018

Eastern Musk Turtle: A Stinkpot’s Aposematic Stink Screen

I have always admired turtles and their armored ways; how they bask in the sun and retreat when the world is too much. Last summer, through the perseverance of a nine-year-old boy, I found myself holding a small, golf-ball-sized turtle. It had a pointed snout that had two white lines stretching above and below its eye and an olive-brown carapace with a garden of algae growing on it. Evan had captured this treasure from a local pond. We were using dip nets and strainers and our trays were already filled with dragonfly nymphs, aquatic snails, log cabin caddisfly larvae, and >>More


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Paul Hetzler: More Blissful Ignorance, Please

It’s a rare blessing to have a job I absolutely love, but it’s not all roses. Although some of it is, literally, roses. All too often it is my dubious honor to bring to public awareness a new invasive pest or disease, and history has not always been kind to the bearers of bad news. There is an old saying that knowledge is power, but there is another one that ignorance is bliss, and some days I’d be happy to trade some alleged power for a little bliss. The 5th annual New York State Invasive Species Awareness Week began on >>More


Monday, July 9, 2018

Mallards: A Dissolute Dabbler’s Rise and Decline

Robert McCloskey’s Make way for Ducklings is one of my favorite childhood books. I loved the way Mr. and Mrs. Mallard interacted, their seemingly endless search for the perfect nesting place, the description of classic Boston neighborhoods, and the whimsical names of their eight ducklings. Not until I started reading the story to my own children, several years ago now, did I notice Mr. Mallard ditches Mrs. Mallard after the ducklings hatch, leaving her to tend to eight kids on her own, amid the dangers of snapping turtles and Boston traffic. It turns out Mr. Mallard, with his handsome green >>More


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Stabilimenta: Northeastern Spider Silk Web Decoration

When I was little and tagging along when my dad tended his vegetables, I would sometimes find large black and yellow garden spiders. They were beautiful, and I noticed they had a curious trait: they often added a bright white decorative zigzag to their webs. I always wondered why, if a spider web is meant to catch insects unawares, these spiders would go to such effort to make their webs more visible? To answer this question, I recently spoke with Dr. Todd Blackledge, who researches spider silk and the web decorations of garden spiders. Garden spiders spin orb webs – >>More


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Loon Center to Honor Naturalist Gary Lee

The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation will present its 2018 Loon Recognition Award to naturalist Gary Lee at the View Arts Center in Old Forge on Friday, July 6, from 5 to 7 pm. The reception will feature a presentation showcasing Gary Lee’s extensive contributions to the conservation of loons in the Adirondacks, as well as live music, hors d’oeuvres, and beverages.  The proceeds will benefit the Center’s loon research, rescues, and conservation projects throughout the Park. A retired NYS DEC Forest Ranger, and avid naturalist, birder, and photographer, Gary Lee lives with his wife of 55 years in Inlet >>More


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Gregarious Great Blue Herons

Years ago, friends and I spotted a group of huge nests high in the trees along the edge of a large pond: a great blue heron rookery. From across the water (a respectful distance to avoid disturbing the birds), we observed the goings-on through our binoculars. Adult herons flew in and out of the colony, their long necks and heads folded back onto their shoulders in an S-shape, wings beating slowly, long legs trailing behind. As a parent approached its nest, the young stood up eagerly, jostling each other and clamoring for food. Alighting on the stick platform, the adult >>More


Monday, June 25, 2018

New Hampshire’s Ancient Volcano

North of Concord and south of the White Mountains is an estate romantically named Castle in the Clouds. Reclining on the patio there on a pleasant spring afternoon, you might enjoy the sun as well as the view. While it’s a beautiful view today, 122 million years ago it would have been a lot more exciting: you would have been staring at an active volcano. Some articles about the Ossipee Mountains compare the former volcano that created them to Mount Vesuvius or Mount Fiji, attributing to it an eruption ten times bigger than Mount St. Helens’ last explosion. Nelson Eby, >>More


Monday, June 25, 2018

LGLC Announces Living Lands Series 2018 Season

The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is set to kick off its 2018 Living Lands Series on Wednesday, June 27, with “Adirondack Bear Behavior,” presented by DEC Big Game Biologist Jim Stickles. Stickles is one of six different presenters of the LGLC’s annual talk series, which continues each Wednesday evening at 5:30 pm until August 22 at the LGLC office in Bolton Landing (no presentation on July 4th). Sponsored by Stewart’s Shops, the series includes family-friendly presentations, all of which are free and open to the public. Each topic aims to take an exclusive and up-close look at the wildlife >>More


Monday, June 18, 2018

It’s Tick Season: Tips To Avoid Getting Bit

With the warm weather here and more opportunities to spend time outdoors, it’s important to remember these tips to prevent ticks from affecting your summer. Be sure to protect yourself, pets and your property from ticks. The most effective way to avoid ticks when outdoors is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if you hike, camp, hunt, work or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you can still protect yourself.  Learn more about tick-borne diseases, prevention and proper removal. Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. Wear enclosed shoes. If wearing long >>More