Autumn heralds its arrival with all manner of colorful cues: Tree leaves explode into brilliance; gray squirrels feverishly hoard food supplies; yellow school buses come out of hibernation, and most remarkably, blackbird flocks practice their aerial gymnastic routines. [Read more…] about Migrating Red-Winged Blackbirds
Digital Equity Webinars Start Sept 10th
The New York State Library and State Education Department, in partnership with the METRO Library Council and the Northern New York Library Network, have announced a series of webinars on Digital Equity beginning September 10th. [Read more…] about Digital Equity Webinars Start Sept 10th
Saratoga Museum Has New Name, New Mission
The Saratoga County Historical Society at Brookside Museum has reinvented itself as the Saratoga County History Center.
It’s the intention of the Saratoga County History Roundtable to work closely with the History Center as the new vision takes shape in coming months. [Read more…] about Saratoga Museum Has New Name, New Mission
Garnet Douglass Baltimore: Troy’s Landscape Master
By the middle of the 19th century, Americans realized that parks provided a spot of nature and greenery amidst an increasingly busy and industrialized world. Many men, women and children worked six days a week, and never had the time or resources to get away.
Yes, parks were beautiful, but they were also very important for mental and physical health. Cities that wanted to thrive began looking for space and funding for public parks. [Read more…] about Garnet Douglass Baltimore: Troy’s Landscape Master
Troy’s Media Sanctuary Marks WikiLeaks Film Anniversary
The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY, is marking the tenth anniversary of WikiLeaks’ Collateral Murder: U.S. Soldier Ethan McCord’s Eyewitness Story, the community media arts production facility’s most watched film.
In it, McCord narrates military footage depicting the indiscriminate slaying of more than a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff. [Read more…] about Troy’s Media Sanctuary Marks WikiLeaks Film Anniversary
In Pursuit of Giant Puffballs
Puffball is the generic name for a large group of mushrooms with similar characteristics. They come in many sizes and are usually spherical or globular in shape.
Puffballs are distinguished from other mushroom groups by the fact that they lack many of the features or characteristics that other common mushrooms possess. A puffball has no stem. It has no cap. And no external gills. All of the spores are produced inside of the fruiting body. The most common way in which they release their spores is through impact; the external force of rain or falling debris landing upon them or of animals stepping on or brushing against them, thereby compressing and/or breaking the peridium; the protective layer that encloses the spore mass inside the fungus. When that happens, as the name puffball implies, the spores are ejected in a large puff. [Read more…] about In Pursuit of Giant Puffballs
Horsehair Worms: Nasty Nematomorpha
Some of my favorite children’s books describe life cycles as heroic tales of persistence and redemption. From The Ugly Duckling to The Very Hungry Caterpillar to A Seed is Sleeping, these stories have brought the miracles of growth and maturation to life for generations of readers.
I can’t say, however, that I know of a single children’s book describing the impressive hero’s journey of Nematomorpha, commonly known as horsehair worms. [Read more…] about Horsehair Worms: Nasty Nematomorpha
Clam Bakes Were Once A Popular Tradition
Clambakes were very popular during the early years of the twentieth century. Family and community bakes attracted large gatherings.
For example, a huge clambake sponsored by the Jonesville Methodist Church in Saratoga County, NY, was a Labor Day tradition in that historic hamlet for over 65 years. Church members and others from the community pitched in to serve as many as 600 people. The Jonesville bakes were famous and anticipated every year. [Read more…] about Clam Bakes Were Once A Popular Tradition
Garter Snakes: A Primer On Surprise Guests
One summer day I lifted the black plastic top of our composter and jumped back, startled – a large snake was curled up on top of the compost.
The yellow stripe down the center of its dark back and two yellow stripes along its sides identified it as a garter snake, our most common snake, found around rock piles, under logs, or – sometimes – even inside a house. [Read more…] about Garter Snakes: A Primer On Surprise Guests
Henry Kissinger: A Political Biography (Podcast)
This week on The Historians Podcast, Vanderbilt University professor Thomas Schwartz discusses his book Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography (Hill and Wang, 2020). Learn about Kissinger’s early life and the successes and failures in the years Kissinger played a major role in American foreign policy. [Read more…] about Henry Kissinger: A Political Biography (Podcast)