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Adirondack Explorer

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


Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Slow Start for Snapping Turtles

One moonless May evening, my husband and I walked down to our local pond, flashlights in hand, to look for toads. We were delighted to discover hundreds of them, floating, darting, and jockeying for position in an explosion of courtship. Their surround-sound trills left our ears ringing. The toads were frenzied, focused only on each other, and highly concentrated in one small, shallow section of the pond, which prompted my husband to wonder if they weren’t awfully vulnerable to predators that way. I’d barely had time to contemplate his question when I spied a snapping turtle lurking beneath a cloud >>More


Thursday, June 14, 2018

More Adirondack Lake Trout Monitoring Needed

Lake Trout are designated species of Greatest Conservation Need in NY, based on the reduction of cold, well oxygenated waters in lakes due to climate change. Lake Trout, Salvelinus namaycush are one of two native salmonines to the interior Adirondacks, Brook Trout, S. fontinalis being the other. However, unlike Brook Trout, which can be found from small headwater streams to deeper lakes, Lake Trout reside in the hypolimnion (bottom) of lakes during the majority of the year, where water temperatures are most suitable. The depth of the hypolimnion depends on many factors, including latitude, size of the lake, and the >>More


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Findings On Relocated Adirondack Loons

Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) has announced results of its five-year loon study Restore the Call. Among the findings was that a male loon chick relocated from the Adirondack Park to the Assawompsett Pond Complex (APC) in southeastern Massachusetts in 2015 returned to the APC lake from which it fledged. The identification of this loon (through color bands) marks the first confirmed account of an adult loon returning to the lake to which it was translocated, captive-reared, and then fledged. David C. Evers, Ph.D., BRI’s executive director and an expert on loon ecology and conservation called it “a major milestone in >>More


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tent Worms: Eastern Tent or Forest Tent?

Like a B-grade horror film, they’re back. Writhing en masse, draping cobwebs, and raining tiny “peppercorn” poop onto us, tent caterpillars have returned. Known variously as tent worms, army worms, and a host of other names not suitable to print, there are actually two species of tent caterpillars. Eastern tent caterpillars (ETC) make a proper tent and prefer trees in the rose family such as cherry, apple and pear. Because of this, ETC females lay eggs almost exclusively on those trees. The ETC is a hairy, brown-ish caterpillar lined with blue, and sporting a single white stripe running down its >>More




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