Conservation

Guest blogger: Alyssa Devlin Outdoor Skating Near Lake Placid If you’re visiting Lake Placid in the winter months, there's probably a good chance you're here to ski – or for a hockey tournament on one of our indoor rinks. But if you’re looking to get out into the wilderness without a huge athletic commitment (say, if ice climbing or alpine skiing isn’t really your thing), then you should check out one of the nearby ponds or lakes for a fun skating adventure! Locals are in-tune with a lot of the opportunities for skating in the area besides the Speed Skating Oval, and we’ll let you in on... continue reading
 
Peter Fish doesn't know how to stop being Peter Fish. Between jokes that would keep any well-intentioned interviewer on his toes — "What brought you to the Adirondacks?" (Answer: "A car") — he spoke of his affinity for the Adirondacks. Something here grabbed a hold of him more than 50 years ago and never let go. He likes open summits, the islands of rock in the High Peaks that, as he put it, "make you feel like you're on a mountain." But there's more to it than that. Peter isn't a peak-bagging junky, hitting the trail just to tally big miles and big elevation gains. During his time working... continue reading
 
 Anna Newman was widely considered the strangest woman in the Adirondacks in her time, and her obituary was headlined as such. But was she that strange? By our standards today, she might be somewhat less odd than she was considered in 1872, when she moved to Lake Placid.  Anna grew up in a wealthy family in Philadelphia, and she was well educated and possessed a variety of artistic talents. She likely could have been a big deal in Philadelphia society had she remained there, between her money, her family’s connections and her drawing and musical skills.  She... continue reading
 
For immediate release LAKE PLACID — New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Marnines and Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan Burgerking jointly announced a long-awaited major decision regarding rails and trails in the Adirondack Park.  Starting this spring, the DEC and DOT will partner together on a plan to install train tracks on popular Adirondack hiking trails.  “We recognize that more than two-thirds of Americans aged 20 or older are overweight or obese, and that number is only growing. The number of elderly people who aren’t capable of... continue reading
 
A Small Secretive Owl Of the three most common breeding owl species in the Adirondacks (the Northern Saw-whet Owl, Barred Owl, and Great Horned Owl), the Saw-whet is the smallest and most mysterious. More often heard than seen, this completely nocturnal owl’s secretive nature makes its habits little known to humans. Relentless Tooting The Northern Saw-whet Owl’s advertising call is rather unusual. The Birds of North America account for this species describes the male’s call as “A monotonous series of whistled notes on a constant pitch." Birders refer to this vocalization as the “tooting”... continue reading
 
Embedded thumbnail for Lake Tear of the Clouds - Source of the Hudson River
“Far above the chilly waters of Lake Avalanche at an elevation of 4,293 feet lies summit water, a minute, unpretending, tear of the clouds — as it were — a lovely pool shivering in the breezes of the mountains and sending its limpid surplus through Feldspar Brook to the Opalescent River, the well-spring of the Hudson.” - written by Verplanck Colvin, 1872, while surveying the Adirondack Mountains.  Highest Source of the Hudson The highest water source that feeds the mighty Hudson River is Lake Tear of the Clouds, located 1,000 feet below the summit of Mount Marcy, the highest point in New... continue reading
 
            What started as a few scattered early reports of Snowy Owls turned into a flood of owls seemingly overnight.  While Snowys are not uncommonly found in places in the northeast during the winter, this year they are staging an invasion.                         A friend and I went birding north of Plattsburgh a few weeks ago looking for Snowy Owls at the beginning of the movement.  We found none, but that day a Snowy was found on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain.  Two days later someone found a Snowy near Chazy, but the owl was gone the following day.  Two more owls were found in... continue reading
 
Winter Bird Watching  I had a few guests in town this Thanksgiving holiday and I took them to see the Gray Jays along the north end of the Bloomingdale Bog Trail.  It is the best place to find Gray Jays in the Adirondacks and the region.  It was a cold day and the trail was quiet as we walked south toward the power lines where the jays are usually found. As we approached the makeshift feeder which folks have constructed there, we saw a lot of bird activity.  Black-capped Chickadees and Blue Jays buzzed to and from the feeder into which someone had poured some sunflower seeds.  As we walked... continue reading
 
            I’ve seen three North American (also called Northern) River Otters a few times recently when I’ve walked Wren at Lake Colby in Saranac Lake.  The otters have been quite curious and yet wary of us and Wren has been intrigued watching them (partly because the one was making snorting noises) as they came to the surface, popping their heads out to look at us and then dived beneath the water again.             Generally when a few otters are found together it is a mother with her pups, in this case fully grow pups.  The pups stay with the mother until the following spring when she’ll... continue reading
 

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