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Adirondack Explorer

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Do Your Part For Pollinators

Pollinator Week may be over, but efforts continue to educate on the global and regional importance of pollinators and to show people what they can do to help. Events will be going on throughout the summer to educate the public, including lectures by Dr. Christina Grozinger, Director of Penn State University’s Center for Pollinator Research, July 19 at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake and July 20 at View Arts in Old Forge; showings of the film “More Than Honey” about why bees are facing extinction; gardening and beekeeping workshops and opportunities for learning to identify and monitor pollinators. See >>More


Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Anatomy of Bird Feet

As spring’s crescendo of birdsong mellows now to a steadier summer trill, I listen for melodies I don’t recognize and try to figure out which birds are singing. I look through binoculars at their feathers, the color variations along head and chest, the size of their beaks, the shape of their wings, and the tilt of their tails in my flailing attempts to distinguish one species from another. Rarely have I considered feet in my casual observations, although this part of a bird’s anatomy can be highly specialized for various uses. “When you look at the foot of a bird, >>More


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Garden Blight: Better Never Than Late

It’s not too early to start thinking about late blight. No relation to early blight, with which it shares a last name, late blight has become a perennial disease since infected tomato plants were shipped from southern greenhouses to the Northeast in May 2009. Prior to that, late blight was uncommon, but now we seem to be able to bank on its arrival each August. The fact that it is a seasonal immigrant is worth noting, since most garden diseases (such as early blight) are already here in the soil. Gardeners and produce growers make a fuss about late blight >>More


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pollinator Project Passing Out 30,000 Wildflower Seed Packets

ADKAction has spent the past three years helping spread the word out about the importance of milkweed. With the distribution of over 20,000 free seed packets now Adirondack roadsides, gardens, and community parks are thriving with the Monarch butterflies only food source. According to ADK Action Executive Director Brittany Christenson, the organization began the Milkweed project at the time when the plight of the Monarchs was also receiving a lot of national press. At the time, some people couldn’t even recognize Monarchs, let alone understand that milkweed was the only plant where Monarchs laid eggs. “The timing of the project >>More


Monday, June 19, 2017

Whiteface Field Station Science Lectures Planned

The 2017 Atmospheric Sciences Research Center’S (ASRC) Falconer Science/Natural History Lecture Series will be held Tuesday evenings at 7 pm at the ASRC Whiteface Field Station, 110 Marble Lane, Wilmington. These lectures are free and open to the public. July 11 Blacklegged Ticks – Populations and Preventions, presentation by Lee Ann Sporn, Ph.D. Professor, Biology Paul Smith’s College. Information about blacklegged ticks in the Adirondacks, and the disease-causing agents they carry. In a collaborative study with the New York State Department of Health, she, her students and interns monitor tick populations throughout the North Country, and test them » Continue >>More


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Non-Native Jellyfish Found In Newcomb ‘Heritage Lake’

A SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry undergraduate received the Hudson River Foundation’s Polgar Fellowship this summer to conduct water sampling in Wolf Lake on SUNY-ESF’s Huntington Wildlife Forest (HWF) under my guidance. Sampling will be conducted to determine if water quality changes observed over the past few summers in Wolf Lake might be due to a relatively unknown but widespread organism, the freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbii. During a fall 2016 fisheries practicum field trip, Wolf Lake’s zooplankton community was qualitatively assessed because the lake had turned green in 2015 and 2016 with no known cause and we were >>More


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Striders: Summer Insects Who Skate On Water

Scanning a sunlit pond floor for crayfish, I was distracted by seven dark spots gliding in a tight formation. Six crisp oval shadows surrounded a faint, less distinct silhouette. The shapes slid slowly and then, with a rapid motion, accelerated before slowing to another glide. I can remember seeing this pattern as a child, in my first explorations of pond life. Water strider shadows are far larger than the insects casting them. To visualize the surprising proportion of legs to body, it may help to think in human scale. For mathematical simplicity, picture a six-foot-tall man lying flat on the water >>More


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Adirondack Pollinator Project Celebrating Pollinator Week

The Adirondack Pollinator Project (APP) is a new initiative of AdkAction in partnership with The Wild Center, The Lake Placid Land Conservancy, and Common Ground Gardens, that features an extensive program of educational activities and events throughout the summer. The program will kick off at area farmers’ markets and The Wild Center during National Pollinator Week, June 19-25th. Film showings, hands-on beekeeping, gardening and citizen science workshops, and free public lectures by pollinator researchers are planned throughout the Adirondacks to help inspire individual and collective action to help pollinators thrive. Highlights of the programming are two free public lectures from >>More


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Woodcock Focus of Habitat Management Workshop Planned

Audubon New York has invited Tug Hill and Adirondack forest landowners to register for an upcoming free workshop to learn how to manage their properties to maximize benefits for birds and other wildlife, especially the American Woodcock, a species of conservation need in New York State. By working with private landowners and organizational partners, Audubon New York aims to restore and maintain critical habitat for American Woodcock and other wildlife. The landowner workshop scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 6 to 8 pm, at the Boonville Municipal Building’s Town Conference Room, 13149 State Route 12, Boonville, will offer participants the chance >>More


Monday, June 12, 2017

Adirondack Fisher Cats Don’t Fish; Not Cats

The “fisher cat” is neither of those things. Doesn’t fish. Isn’t a cat. In fact, a lot more of what people think they know about the fisher is wrong. It’s almost like we made up the animal. The fisher, Pekania pennanti, is a big forest-dwelling weasel, related to the American marten, and native to North America. The common name has nothing to do with fish, but instead derives from French and Dutch words for the pelt of a European polecat, to which it is distantly related. Native American tribes had their own names for the animal, many of which translate >>More