There are several creatures that serve as symbols of the rugged and majestic character of the Great North Woods, yet none is as fitting as the moose. When initially seen, a moose may be perceived as being quite ugly and an unusual choice to represent the beauty of the northern wilderness. [Read more…] about A Celebration of Adirondack Moose
There are several natural disasters that can alter the ecological make-up of an area. Widespread tree disease, severe winds, and intense ice storms can all seriously damage or destroy the dominant members of a forest community.
However, the most catastrophic force of nature is fire, as a major blaze can significantly impact more than just the composition of trees that cover a given location. [Read more…] about The Ecology of Adirondack Wildfires
The awakening of the many forms of life that passed the winter in a deeply dormant state begins with the melting of the snow, the retreating of the ice sheet covering our waterways, and the thawing of the soil.
Because of fundamental physiological differences among the species and the various preferences that each creature has for a wintering site, some animals are quicker to respond to the onset of favorable spring conditions than others.
In the forested regions of New York, the wood frog is among the first to return to an active state and announce with a distinct chorus of voices that spring has come. [Read more…] about Sounds of Spring: The Wood Frog
It is always difficult to predict when the ice will go out on a given body of water in the Adirondacks, however, it is easy to say when that waterway will be occupied by a loon, as this symbol of the northern wilderness always seems to arrive within hours of the ice disappearing.
The urge to return to its breeding territory is especially strong in male loons. Because of a recent population increase in this species, there can be intense competition for the remote sections of the large lakes and back country ponds that are highly attractive to this bird with the haunting voice. [Read more…] about When Ice Goes Out The Loons Arrive
The gray squirrel is a common member of New York State’s wildlife community.
This bushy-tailed rodent ranks among the most frequently seen creatures, especially if a few individuals in the neighborhood are maintaining bird feeders. Yet, as common as this skilled aerialist may appear, the gray squirrel is not as widely distributed throughout the Adirondack Park as it might seem. [Read more…] about The Gray Squirrel in the Adirondacks
Beneath the ice that covers our many lakes during winter, there exists an arena in which fish prowl their surroundings for something to eat and attempt to avoid being eaten by a larger predator.
One species, when fully grown, that never has to worry about being attacked and gulped down by another creature of the deep is the northern pike. This sizeable, torpedo-shaped beast reigns at the top of the food chain in most lakes and larger ponds. [Read more…] about The Northern Pike In Winter
There are only a few dozen species of birds capable of surviving the rigors of an Adirondack winter, and of these, the wild turkey is one that is more closely associated with the warmer and less snowy regions of New York than those to the north. [Read more…] about The Wild Turkey in Winter
As the bright yellow tops of goldenrod begin to fade in fields, and the foliage of the red maple increasingly begins its change to a bright reddish-orange, gulls engage in a nomadic phase of their life and can often be seen visiting a variety of settings in Northern New York.
Two species of “seagulls” are notable seasonal components of upstate fauna; however, the slightly smaller ring-billed gull is far more common and likely to be observed than the nearly identically colored herring gull. [Read more…] about Ring-Billed Gulls In Northern New York
Yet, back country paddlers that are hoping to encounter fewer surface rocks and other obstacles that become present during times of low water are likely to be confronted with a new navigational hazard – beaver dams. [Read more…] about Wildlife Handiwork: Beaver Dams
As August progresses, numerous subtle signs in nature arise, indicating that the change in seasons is approaching. Yet, of all of the sights, sounds, and smells that characterize the latter part of summer, few elicits as unappealing a response as the appearance of the communal shelters used by the fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea). [Read more…] about New York Insects: Fall Webworms