One spring-like afternoon this winter, I was skiing near Middlebury, Vermont. The trail followed Otter Creek, weaving through cedar patches, hemlock groves, and past the occasional hardwood. It was one of those days where you can shed a few layers and still break a sweat when the sun spills through gaps in the canopy. [Read more…] about Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Remains A Threat
On the heels of having passed the 2021 New York State budget, Amanda Babine, Executive Director of Equality New York, has outlined the following issues that affect the LGBTQI community: [Read more…] about NYS Budget: What It Means for LGBTQI Community
In the northern forest, a big gray cat crouches silently in a dense thicket of fir along a snowshoe hare run. Its pointed ears, topped with long tufts of black hair, twitch as it listens intently. The cat’s face is framed by a fur ruff and its yellow-green eyes are alert for movement. Suddenly, the lynx pounces, killing its prey with one quick bite to the neck. As it pads away with the hare, the lynx’s broad furry paws act like snowshoes, supporting it in the deep snow. Its short tail is tipped with black. [Read more…] about Missing Lynx Return to New England
Thump. Thud. Something was hitting our window! It was a bright red cardinal flying at his reflected image in the glass – which he perceived to be an intruder in his territory. The bird kept it up for an hour, until I covered the window. On other occasions that spring, this cardinal attacked his reflection at a different window and in the car’s side mirror. [Read more…] about Singing Cardinals Defend Territories
Hundreds of years ago, haunting bugle-like calls echoed through these hills and valleys. The sounds were made by bull elk to attract mates and fend off rivals.
Elk in the Northeast? Yes, elk were once the most widely distributed of North American hoofed mammals. Millions roamed over much of the U.S. and Canada. Adaptable to a variety of habitats, elk were found in the Adirondacks, and in most ecosystems except the tundra, deserts, and the Gulf Coast. [Read more…] about Remembering Elk, Once A Northeast Native
Sometimes it pays to be an insomniac. One frigid winter night, I climbed out of my restless bed and slipped outside to stand under a sky littered with stars and take in the complete silence of darkness. Suddenly, a ruckus broke out along the edge of the pond near my home. A series of high-pitched yips echoed from the shore. A wild yapping answered from closer to my own yard. [Read more…] about Fox Calls: Yips, Shrieks, and Yaps
Many years ago, Saranac Lake, NY, rallied to fight a deadly disease – tuberculosis – which killed one in seven people in the late nineteenth century.
Highly contagious and with no known cure, fear and stigma surrounded TB. Unlike the new virus we face today, many of its victims were young people in their 20s. Like today, quarantine was often seen as an appropriate solution, and sometimes people were isolated against their will. A person’s ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status affected the kinds of treatments available. [Read more…] about Saranac Lake Local History Has Lessons For Today
Around the middle of March, I begin to feel that springtime urge to hit the road, to lace up the winter-neglected running shoes and start slogging through some miles.
My early-season jogs take me past a wetland area that stubbornly spans both sides of a road near my home. It’s a usual – and very welcome – happening to spot red-winged blackbirds here, even while snow lingers around the cattails and brushy willows. [Read more…] about Red-Winged Blackbird Epaulets Play Important Role
This is such a disorienting time, when all our lives have been turned upside down and shaken. One of the ways my own family is coping is by spending time outside every day.
We stage nature treasure hunts in the woods behind our house. [Read more…] about A Treasure Hunt for Early Spring
While driving south from Isle La Motte one early December, my son and I noticed a fine skim of ice floating down the Alburg Passage. As it collided with the Route 2 bridge supports, it broke into rectangular fragments.
I wondered if what I was seeing was typical, or a symptom of changing climate? But a single observation tells you only about the current weather, and says nothing about climate trends. [Read more…] about Ice-Out Days and Climate Change