On August 13th, 1689, New York Governor Leisler wrote “Scharachtoge [Saratoga]…there are six or seven families all or most rank French papists that have their relations at Canada and I suppose settled there for some bad designe and are lesser to be trusted there in conjunctione of tyme than ever before the bad creatures amongst us gives me great occupatione.” [Read more…] about When Saratoga Was An American Frontier
Aside from humans, perhaps no other species can modify its surroundings for its own purposes as much as beaver.
Throughout much of North America, these busy critters take down trees and dam streams to create waterways safe from predators and to lay up enough woody food stores to last the winter.
This exuberant activity is why beavers are known as “ecosystem engineers,” or species that profoundly change their environment in out-sized proportion to their numbers. [Read more…] about How Beavers Modify Forests: New Understandings
The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and Preservation League of New York State have announced that applications are now available to eligible municipalities and nonprofit organizations to compete for 2020 Technical Assistance Grants (TAG). [Read more…] about Historic Preservation Funding Available
The Ballston Terminal Railroad in Saratoga County, NY, opened on August 6, 1898.
At 4:05 pm, the George West made its inaugural run from the Village of Ballston Spa to the Pioneer Mill in West Milton. This was a six mile trip. On the return trip to Ballston Spa, the trolley stopped at the Power House in Factory Village to allow the company to review the machinery. Then everyone boarded again to arrive back at Middlebrook Avenue at 5:10 pm. The total round trip took one hour and five minutes. [Read more…] about The Ballston Terminal Railroad: A Short History
I first became acquainted with my neighborhood red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) when it visited my bird feeders last winter. Sporting a black-and-white-striped back with a red nape, this medium-sized woodpecker certainly made a visual impression.
Its call was also memorable, a loud kwirr that sounded nothing like the other birds in my backyard. Over time, I’ve watched as it has become a regular feeder, as dependable as the black-capped chickadees and blue jays. [Read more…] about Red-Bellied Woodpeckers Move North
Schuyler Mansion, located at 32 Catherine Street in Albany’s historic South End, was the 18th century home of Revolutionary War Major-General Philip Schuyler (1733–1804) and his family.
The Mansion has reopened to the public, by reservation only. All tours will be an Open House (self-guided) format, directed by staff, and limited to 10 people max. [Read more…] about Schuyler Mansion Reopens for Reserved Tours
The Ten Broeck Mansion, home of the Albany County Historical Association, has reopened for tours.
The Mansion is featuring new exhibits in its museum spaces. New exhibits include displays in the 1880s Butler’s Pantry, an exhibit comparing dining in the Federalist period to the late Victorian era, an exhibit on the Ten Broeck Mansion gardens, and display of a historic Dutch family Bible. [Read more…] about Ten Broeck Mansion Announces Tours, New Exhibits
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Warren County.
While not unexpected given the EAB’s spread, this marks the first confirmed case of EAB within the Adirondack Park. The affected trees were identified by Department of Transportation personnel at the Warren County Canoe Launch on the Schroon River in the town of Chester. A sample has been sent to Cornell University Insect Diagnostic Lab for further review. [Read more…] about Invasive Emerald Ash Borer Found in Adirondack Park
The term psithurism (sith-er-ism) doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it’s not meant to. The word, from the Greek psithuros (whispering), indicates the melody that rolls off pine needles in a gentle wind. It also means the sound of “proper” leaves shaking in the treetops.
Obviously, we need another word, because these two things – whispering pines and rustling leaves – may both soothe us, but they sound quite different. [Read more…] about The Wind in The Trees, or Learning to Speak Pine
A half-century of controversy over two popular bird species may have finally come to an end. In one corner: the Bullock’s Oriole, found in the western half of North America. In the other corner: the Baltimore Oriole, breeding in the eastern half.
Where their ranges meet in the Great Plains, the two mix freely and produce apparently healthy hybrid offspring. But according to scientists from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, hybridization is a dead end and both parent species will remain separate. Findings from the new study were published in The Auk. [Read more…] about Bird Study: Oriole Hybridization Is a Dead End