Gearing up for Golf in the AdirondacksThe sun is out, the snow is melting and in most places the snow has long since retreated. As the season continues to shift towards green, I hear a slight rustle in my closet… feeling forgotten and stacked my golf shoes have been waiting patiently for me to rescue them from the darkness. They long to feel at home once again on the tee box, lost in a gaze over stretching mountain horizons. I allow myself a deep breath, in and out, then pace myself as I exhale swinging all the way through, connecting, pushing straight to the green. Together my shoes and I... continue reading
Pack-fitting for a more comfortable rideHiking, Backpacking, Bushwhacking, Skiing, and Snowshoeing in the AdirondacksFitting a backpack can be very hard work and quite frustrating outside of a well-experienced gear shop. However, many of your best deals can be found online and that is why it’s very important to get some basics down before you take that chance and order something from across the country. It also helps to know what you are looking for before you head into a gear shop so that you can answer the questions that will be thrown at you.Pack SizeYou need to consider the size of the... 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
            The discovery of a rare bird has a way of mobilizing and motivating birders to travel.  How far they will travel generally depends on the bird’s rarity in the region and the likelihood of finding it.  Some good birds are found briefly for one day and never seen in the area again making them less worth the effort.  But the draw of potentially finding a rare bird is strong for many birders – even if the odds of rediscovering it are low.  After all, it is always exciting and fun to find a species which is uncommon in a given area – or more thrilling yet, a species that a birder has... continue reading
Here it is what you have all been waiting for; proper layering for core protection. This part of your body is by far the most important and vital for your survival; it’s where your vital organs reside and is also home to some of your biggest muscles.  Your core, or more importantly your vital organs are protected first; this is the primary goal of your body. This function is one of the reasons your extremities get cold so much quicker and easier. You brain makes your vessels constrict in your fingers and toes allowing more blood flow to the vital organs. So, if you think about it, by keeping... continue reading
            At this time of year as temperatures drop and winter is coming, wild animals are preparing for the cold.  Most of our bird species migrate out of the region.  Bird species that stay as well as mammals that remain eat a tremendous amount of food to build fat reserves.  Many of our mammals drop their metabolism as a means of saving energy and sleep through much of the winter.  Others are active all winter, and a few of them go through a transformation in color to help afford them better camouflage.             Both snowshoe hares and short-tailed weasels change their pelage (the... continue reading
The hands are a very tough subject to grasp, ha-ha, just kidding. Actually the hands are pretty easy to monitor and layer up, because they are usually the first to feel the effects of cold temperatures. However, if in the past you have had frost nip or frost bite to your digits, they are more susceptible to cold issues in the future. It is unfortunate, but a large number of winter enthusiasts suffer from the ill effects of cold injuries; I am one of them.Handwear is one of those products that every company in the outdoor industry produces. Some look great but their function isn’t quite up to... continue reading
            For a long time, the weather in our region lingered in September even beyond the calendar, with warm, sunny days dominating the forecast.  For that matter I swam in Lake Colby in Saranac Lake through the first week of October.  But the warm trend changed swiftly as cold fronts finally began to deliver their stored up Canadian chill and it didn’t take long for the region to feel like November.  Winds stripped the remaining leaves from the trees and scattered them across the ground.  And morning after morning has been marked by frost and touches of snow, and even though a brief... continue reading


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