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Spring bird migrants cruising through the park are headed north for the season. The Crown Point State Historic Site, under the North Atlantic flyway, hosts a scientist-led bird banding event to track the migrations. This is the 47th annual event and is open to the public until May 20.
I spotted this yellow warbler at a Saratoga Springs marsh on their way north.
‘The Bakery’ concert series ‘Music for Contemplation’ will present four performances this Spring featuring musicians from Keene Valley, New York City, Rochester, and Chazy. Each performance will center on music composed post 1900 including original works and improvisation. The series will be presented in collaboration with Old Mountain Coffee in Keene Valley and will be curated to present music which is meditative, relaxing, and experimental.
Each ‘Bakery’ concert is carefully curated to focus on sharing music and musicians from a wide variety of backgrounds including classical, pop, avante-garde, jazz, and improvisation. ‘The Bakery’ indicates the involvement of Gene and Esther BAKER, but also the idea of a place one can peruse a variety of musical treats and find something new to experience. Past performances have included music by Maurice Ravel, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, and Steve Reich, together with graphic scores, microtones, kitchen matches (yes, you read correctly!), improvisation with text, electronic music, cello duos and more.
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is advising motorists to watch for daytime alternating flows of traffic directed by flaggers on State Route 86 in the Town of Wilmington, in the area locally known as the Wilmington Notch southwest of the entrance to Whiteface Ski Center, starting today, May 16 for drainage work for the next several weeks.
Eggs, more specifically, chicken eggs, are an integral part of traditions, celebratory dishes, and the everyday diet around the globe. Historians estimate that humans have been eating eggs for roughly 6 million years. Originally, people foraged eggs from wild bird nests until they were domesticated around 1500 BCE in Ancient Egypt. Throughout history, eggs have become a symbol of life, rebirth, renewal, and fertility for many cultures.
Today, humans eat about 88 million tons of eggs each year worldwide. China is the top producer of eggs (roughly 34 million tons), then the United States (roughly 6.9 million tons), and then Mexico (roughly 4 million tons). While we may think of them as a staple of the American diet, countries like Japan, Paraguay, China, and Mexico consume more eggs per person each year.
The Ausable River Association (AsRA) has announced the schedule for their free, guided interpretive outdoor programs in the northern Adirondacks this spring.
“We are excited to grow our popular guided watershed tours this year,” said Kelley Tucker, AsRA’s Executive Director. “We’re offering guided tours in all seasons this year, and our spring tours will focus on native wildflowers, birds, bats, and other Adirondack species.”
“This year’s programs include 15 guided trips to locations in the Ausable, Boquet, and Saranac River watersheds,” said Tyler Merriam, Donor Outreach Manager.
Three spring programs kick off the season. The first is a birding walk in a private preserve along the West Branch Ausable River. Dr. Larry Master, conservation biologist/zoologist and past Ausable River Association board chair, and Derek Rogers, ace birder and Stewardship Director with the Adirondack Land Trust, will lead this tour.
I’m writing this from the Ticonderoga Public Library as I’m at the Crown Point Banding Station for two weeks banding birds. We’ve had nets up for four days and banded several birds but very few warblers, including two species of Warbler Palm and Yellow Warbler. Some Yellow Rumped Warblers have been seen in the area, but we have caught none.
Normally we catch more of these than any other bird, but not in the last couple years. Typically, it is a competition between them and American Goldfinch. We have caught several Goldfinch, but Blue Jays are ahead on the leaderboard by far and it doesn’t look like they will be beaten. Still another week and a half to go. These next few hot, sunny days aren’t very good days for catching birds as they fly right over the banding station heading north without stopping.
Each May and June, Motorists Should be on the Alert for Turtles Crossing the Road
Our native turtles are on the move in May and June seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs. In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they migrate to their nesting areas.
Just how big is Quebec’s “green battery” of hydropower? When you add up the surface area of utility giant Hydro-Quebec’s dozens of dammed reservoirs, they are bigger than the Adirondack Park’s six million acres. One impoundment is four times the size of Lake Champlain. Another is 55 times the size of Lake George.
The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.
NEW THIS WEEK:
High Peaks Wilderness:
Snow Conditions, 05/12: There is persistent packed snow on trails above 4,000 feet, especially on north aspects. Trails are very muddy above 3,000 feet. There is high fire danger at the moment. Temperatures may reach hazardous highs this weekend, and thunderstorms are forecast. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.
The gate on Corey’s Road is now open.
The gate at Clear Pond, on the Elk Lake Conservation Easement, is now open for the season. The public is allowed to drive to the Elk Lake parking lot and trailhead to park for access to the Slide Brook Trail (to the Dix Mtns) and the Elk Lake Marcy Trail. Parking is limited to the capacity of the parking lot. No parking is permitted along the Elk Lake Road or in any other pull-offs. If the parking lot is full, hikers must park at the Upper Elk Lake Road parking lot on the west side of the Elk Lake Road approximately 2.3 miles south of the Elk Lake parking lot and trailhead. Please respect the parking rules to help ensure this access is maintained and there are no impacts to fire and rescue access.
I had been eyeing this section of river for a few years now. Its twists and turns carved through the High Peaks anorthosite in an irresistible ribbon of smooth mountain drainage. I used to drive along its banks every day last winter on my way to work at Cascade when it was covered in snow and ice. The way the snow blanketed it was just too tranquil not to dream of paddling the water when it was liquid again. All I needed then was spring and a boat, and I spent the winter scheming up a plan to acquire the latter.
This past summer I had the good fortune of working in the Vermont paddle-tourism industry. Dollars from Massachusetts and Connecticut accumulated in my pockets hoping to be turned into a watercraft. Come November, I took a nice chunk of those dollars over to Tupper Lake and spent them on a Minnesota-made canoe. Late this April, I plunked that canoe into the river here in Lake Placid just a tri-lake over from where I first held a single-blade paddle. How’s that for full circle?
Have you spotted some of the first wildflowers in the forest? Late April into early May is when the famously fleeting flowers we call the spring ephemerals bloom – but only for a brief period of time! Known for bringing the first signs of the season to the forest floor, this group of perennials has only a short window of time to grow, flower, be pollinated, and produce seeds before the towering trees above them leaf out and steal their access to sunlight.
Beyond being beautiful, spring ephemerals are a source of nectar and pollen for many pollinators in a time when food is scarce. In return, pollinators help the plants reproduce and some (like ants) also spread their seeds, inadvertently helping to plant the next generation.
Just a few of the species you may spot include bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), trout lily (Erythronium americanum), red trillium (Trillium erectum), and spring beauty (Claytonia virginica). Many of these flowers are protected species, meaning it is illegal to pick or trample them. If you notice any in your yard, enjoy their brief beauty with only your eyes and camera.
Pictured: A mixed patch of spring ephemerals including trout lily (yellow flower) and spring beauty (pink flower).
AdirondackFoundation this year awarded a record $900,000 in Generous Acts grants to meet pressing needs and drive positive change in local communities across the Adirondack region. This represents an eightfold increase in Generous Acts grant dollars from five years ago.
Of the 110 grant recipients, 60 percent are serving people who are living at or below the federal poverty level. Three-quarters of the successful applicants indicate that receiving a Generous Acts grant will help them leverage additional funds for their work.
Committees made up of AdirondackFoundation board members, community members and staff reviewed and evaluated the applications.
“It is clear that our local communities are still addressing fallout from the pandemic,” said Nancy Monette, AdirondackFoundation trustee and grants committee chair. “We saw lots of applications related to mental health counseling, food assistance, summer programs for teens to reconnect with their peers, as well as heightened emphasis on vital community connections and hubs.”
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