As the sunset colors fade from purple to black an eerie sound breaks the forest calm. It is not the long, low, slow howling of wolves that can be heard further north, but the group yip-howl of coyotes: short howls that often rise and fall in pitch, punctuated with staccato yips, yaps, and barks. [Read more…] about Coyotes: Decoding Their Yips, Barks, and Howls
One of the most horrific anti-Semitic events in United States history happened in Marietta, Georgia. On August 17, 1915, Leo Frank, former director of the local National Pencil Company factory who was falsely convicted of murdering a teenage female factory worker, was dragged out of a state prison cell, taken to Marietta, and lynched.
A decade later, while Congress was sharply restricting immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe and a revitalized Ku Klux Klan was attracting adherents nationwide, Ernest Louis, a Jewish pharmacist living and working in Freeport, NY, on Long Island, was falsely accused of molesting a local teenage girl and forced to flee the Long Island town with his family. [Read more…] about When The Klan Ruled In Freeport, Long Island
There’s a story about an early tourist to New England from New York City who stopped his horse and buggy to watch a farmer harvesting a spring crop of rocks from his land.
The farmer was loading rocks onto a sledge drawn by oxen. [Read more…] about Our Glacial Landscape: Drumlins and Erratics
The United States Hotel in Saratoga Springs, built in 1824 on the southwest corner of Broadway and Division Street, grew over the years to have more than 500 rooms. On Sunday, June 18, 1865, the guests were preparing to take carriage rides out to Saratoga Lake, a favorite diversion of the time, when a fire broke out. The flames spread quickly, devouring the hotel in a spectacular blaze. A year later the community’s other massive hotel, Congress Hall was also destroyed by fire. [Read more…] about Saratoga’s Other Grand Hotel, The Clarendon
The Town of Colonie in Albany County, NY, owns the Stony Creek Reservoir located in southern Clifton Park, just above Vischer Ferry in Saratoga County. It was completed in 1953 at a cost of $1,800,000 and covers 297 acres holding 1.4 billion gallons of water that is carried by pipes under the Mohawk River to the residents of Colonie.
The Latham Water District closed the floodgates on the dam across Stony Creek in the beginning of June 1953. By June 14 the lake began to form with a depth of 12 feet. [Read more…] about Stony Creek Reservoir: A Short History
I grew up on a street lined with tall, stately elms. While walking to school one day, I found a bird’s nest that the wind had blown down. The nest was a beautiful, silky gray pouch. My teacher helped me identify it as a Baltimore oriole’s nest. Over the years, I found a couple of similar nests, as elms are a favorite nesting tree of orioles. [Read more…] about The Decline of Lord Baltimore’s Orioles
Many of us avoid close encounters of the eight-legged kind, but if you’ve ever come eye to eye with a spider, you’ve probably noticed they have several more eyes than we do: most have four pairs. What do they do with so many eyes? Well, it depends on the spider. [Read more…] about Spider Vision: Those Eyes Are Watching You
On June 2nd, 1791 the very first meeting of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors took place at Mead’s Tavern in Stillwater. Earlier that year, the New York State Legislature passed a law creating Saratoga County by carving out an area from Albany County.
At that time, the new county was divided among four towns. Each elected a single supervisor to represent them on the county board. Beriah Palmer came from Ballstown (now Ballston), Benjamin Rosekrans from Halfmoon, John B. Schuyler represented Saratoga and Elias Palmer from the host town of Stillwater. All were prominent men of their communities. [Read more…] about Saratoga County’s First Supervisor’s Meeting
On Friday, May 24, 1861 President Lincoln received two visitors: a Senator and a reporter.
Years later the reporter gave this account of the occasion: “As we entered the library we observed Mr. Lincoln before a window, looking out across the Potomac….. “Excuse me,” he said,” but I cannot talk.”… Then to our surprise the President burst into tears, and concealed his face in his handkerchief… After composing himself somewhat, Mr. Lincoln sat down and invited us to him. “I will make no apology, gentlemen,” he said, “for my weakness; but I knew poor Ellsworth well, and held him in great regard.” [Read more…] about Elmer Ellsworth: Lincoln’s Friend, Killed By A Confederate Sympathizer
Some people have life birds, species of birds they’ve waited their whole lives to see in the wild. I don’t have one of these, but I do have a life mole. I’ve been waiting to catch a glimpse of Condylura cristata, the star-nosed mole, ever since I learned about this animal during a small mammals course in graduate school.
Can you imagine a palm-sized mole whose pink, star-shaped nose contains 22 fleshy tentacle-like appendages, living right underfoot? [Read more…] about Star-Nosed Mole: A Nose That Knows