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Adirondack Explorer

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Good Year For Monarch Butterflies

If you’ve noticed a lot of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) lately, you’re not alone. From my own observations and from what people have been telling me, this summer appears to have been a very successful one for them; at least in this part of the northeast. Monarchs have four life stages; egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult (butterfly). The caterpillars feed only on milkweed leaves and seed pods. And, for this reason, adult Monarch females lay their eggs only on milkweed. In fact, the search for milkweed is the sole reason for monarch migration; perhaps the most » Continue Reading. >>More


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Wet, Wild, and Wonderful Bogs and Fens

“Squish, squash.” I was walking gingerly on a soft, spongy carpet of sphagnum moss in a northern Vermont bog. Magenta blossoms decorated the sheep laurel shrubs that lined the edge of the open wetland – beyond them the pointed spires of balsam fir and black spruce reached towards the sky. Ahead of me, the white tufts at the ends of cotton grass waved in the breeze. I took another step. There was a sucking sound, and a cold, wet feeling as my right foot suddenly sank a couple of feet into the bog. It was challenging to get it out >>More


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Near-Term Threats To Forest Health

If you’re tired of hearing about new invasive forest pests, I’m right there with you. Seems they arrive at an ever-increasing pace, and the harm potential ratchets up with each newcomer. At this rate maybe we’ll get a wood-boring beetle whose larvae explode, which would put things in perspective. As distasteful as it is to peer at the cast of ugly new characters, it’s better to know what we’re up against. Novel pests put everyone on a steep learning curve. For the species below, key questions remain unanswered, and some of what we “know” will undoubtedly be proven wrong. Still, >>More


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Water Pennies Have A Unique Approach to Survival

Imagine for a moment that you travel on all fours like other self-respecting quadrupeds. Extend your imagination yet a little more, and with it your body, so that a large dome-shaped shell-like structure extends out to cover you in all directions. From above, a predator would see only a disk with a snug fit to the ground on all sides. Now shrink dramatically and move into the nearest fast-flowing stream: you are well on your way to becoming a water penny beetle larva. If you consider the characteristics just described as distinctly non-beetle like, you are not alone. The same >>More


Monday, September 2, 2019

10th Annual Great Adirondack Moose Festival

The 2019 Great Adirondack Moose Festival in Indian Lake, is set for the weekend of September 28 and 29, 2019. Visitors to the Indian Lake region for the Moose Festival can expect programs, games, contests, exhibitions, guided tours, shopping – all in the theme of the moose. The Great Adirondack Moose Festival (GAMF) is designed to offer visitors of all ages a purely Adirondack experience as a two-day destination event. This year’s GAMF will feature Adirondack style and moose themed activities such as our very popular moose calling contest; guided wilderness hikes; Moose River Plains self-guided driving wilderness tour; fly >>More


Friday, August 30, 2019

Cover Crops Workshop Planned For Queensbury

This summer the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District installed a demonstration market farm plot at SUNY Adirondack to promote soil conservation practices in the Lake Champlain Watershed. The District was awarded funding through the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s Small Education and Outreach Grant to create the demonstration plot and to host a series of workshops on market farms and soil health. In conjunction with the series, the District is hosting a workshop on cover crops with SUNY Adirondack and the Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition of New York. The workshop will focus on cover crop practices for increased soil >>More


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Give Guiltless Goldenrod A Break

While most plants respond to the shorter days of late summer by starting to wind down their business for the season, goldenrod is a “short-day” plant, the kind that is stimulated to bloom by dwindling daylight. It’s a perennial in the aster family, and is widespread across North America. Continent-wide, we have something on the order of 130 species of goldenrod in the genus Solidago. As one of the most abundant blooms of late summer and autumn, this native wildflower is for many pollinators, including numerous bee species, a vital source of nectar as well as of » Continue Reading. >>More


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Insect Apocalypse: What We Don’t Know May Bite Us

Last February you might have seen news stories about an impending insect apocalypse. “Huge global extinction risk.” “Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature.” “Insects are dying off at a scary rate.” And those were just the headlines on online articles from New Scientist, The Guardian, and Fortune. Whew. The source was an article in the journal Conservation Biology by Francisco Sanchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney, Australia, and Kris Wyckhuys at the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing. Reviewing existing studies, they concluded that 40 percent of insect species are declining, a third are endangered, » Continue Reading. >>More


Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Sceince of Amphibian Regeneration

A few times a year, I bring groups of people into the woods to search for red-backed salamanders in the damp netherworld that is the forest floor. Last spring, it was 8th graders. They did their best to follow the cardinal rule of middle school social interaction – thou shalt not appear “uncool” by expressing interest in anything whatsoever that an adult is asking of you – but the salamanders exposed the chinks in their armor. Crouched low over small wooden boards we’d set out to mimic the rotting logs that red-backeds prefer, the students murmured with excitement. Amidst the >>More


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

North American Invasive Species Conference Set For Saratoga

The 2019 North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) conference has been set for September 30th through October 3rd, in Saratoga Springs. Conference sessions, presentations, and workshops will bridge the geographic divide between West to East and North to South, connecting terrestrial and aquatic invasive species management, research, policy, and outreach initiatives and opportunities across North America. The full conference schedule and agenda details are available online. Registration is open now. NAISMA is a network of professionals such as land managers, water resource managers, state, regional, and federal agency staff, and nonprofit organizations. NAISMA’s » Continue Reading. View original post.




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