Summer is the season for being on the water, and a canoe or kayak is the perfect way to explore the many ponds, slow-moving rivers and marshes that exist throughout New York State. While these shallow, muddy-bottomed settings may not be great for swimming, the rusty-tan water occasionally covered with patches of floating leaves and strands of submerged vegetation does teem with life. Among the residents of these quiet, weedy waterways is the redbelly dace (Phoxinus eos), a common and widespread member of the minnow family of fish. [Read more…] about New York Fish: The Redbelly Dace
Hit and miss rain showers and scattered thunderstorms have provided much of the precipitation over the New York State during this past month.
This has allowed some locations to maintain an adequate level of soil moisture while causing conditions in other places to become especially dry. [Read more…] about In The Dirt: Earthworms and Drought
From the afternoon into the early evening in mid to late summer, a silence often develops as the heat of the day peaks and then starts to cool; as birds cease to sing and amphibians lose their urge to call.
In the stillness between periods when leaves rustle from light summer breezes, the sound of a grinding or twisting-scraping can be heard coming from a fallen softwood log or a dead standing evergreen. [Read more…] about The Northeastern Pine Sawyer Beetle
Trout fishing is a challenging endeavor, yet it can be the most rewarding backcountry activity, as success ordinarily means a meal or two with a great tasting main course. Because trout require cool, clean waters in which to live, anglers who want to engage in this popular summer pastime traditionally head to those places where conditions remain favorable for these hardy game fish. [Read more…] about Trout Fishing, Drought and Low Water
Spring is a season when the greatest abundance of natural sounds echo across the landscape. During the day, birds are primarily responsible for the variety of musical calls; however as darkness approaches, especially when the weather is mild, the voices of amphibians produce our most captivating sounds. [Read more…] about What’s That Sound? The Gray Tree Frog
As the buds on hardwood trees and shrubs open and New York State’s forests again are cloaked in green, they provide our many herbivores with a welcome change in their diet.
While many plant eaters are able to subsist on woody buds and cellulose laden layers of inner bark throughout winter, leafy matter provides far greater levels of nourishment. The porcupine, a common denizen of the forest, is among our first order consumers of greens when they emerge in spring. [Read more…] about Porcupines And Their Need For Salt
It is traditional backwoods wisdom to avoid getting between a mother and her babies, and while this advice usually pertains to the black bear, it could also apply to several other forms of wildlife.
In late spring many infants are emerging from the safety of their den or nest and most mothers try to provide some form of protection from potential danger to their babies. Perhaps the most remarkable display of parental courage for a creature of its size is seen in the hen ruffed grouse. This bird will aggressively confront and challenge any human that happens to come too close to its recently hatched chicks. [Read more…] about Encountering Angry Ruffed Grouse Hens In Spring
Spending time outdoors in the Adirondacks during spring is a rewarding experience, as the sounds that emanate from our forests, especially in the early morning, are sure to delight.
While the musical calls produced by most birds are relatively short and composed of only a handful of notes, there are a few songs that are considerably longer and more complex. [Read more…] about Winter Wrens in the Adirondacks
Prior to the start of black fly season in the Adirondacks, and continuing for several weeks after the swarms of those tiny, biting demons have faded, there is another insect onslaught.
Shortly after the soil has thawed in spring, ants begin to invade the living space of humans, especially kitchens and dining areas where bits of food are readily available. [Read more…] about Why We Have Ants Inside In Spring