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
DEC’s Division of Water has asked people who recreate on or near waterways in Central New York to participate in the Citizen Recreational Evaluation of Environmental Quality (CREEQ) citizen-science initiative.
The CREEQ initiative is a research project by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry sponsored by DEC. [Read more…] about Volunteers Sought Central NY Water Quality Research
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
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
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
This week on The Historians Podcast, Dan Weaver discusses his latest book containing 60 of his local history columns, most of which first appeared in the Amsterdam Recorder — Between the Cracks: Forgotten Stories of Amsterdam, N.Y. and the Mohawk Valley (2020). [Read more…] about Forgotten Mohawk Valley Stories (Podcast)
Oneida County History Center’s 2020 Historical Selfie Scavenger Hunt is now underway through August 31st.
This interactive event invites the public to explore local history and document their journey with a selfie at historic sites, monuments, and markers in Oneida County or Utica. [Read more…] about Oneida Co Historical Selfie Scavenger Hunt Underway
Humanities New York’s (HNY) has announced the Amended podcast, a six-part series about the ongoing struggle for women’s voting rights.
Launching on August 26, 2020, Amended travels from the 1800s through to the present day to explore the quest for women’s full equality, one that has been as diverse, complex and unfinished as the nation itself. [Read more…] about ‘Amended,’ A Women’s History Podcast Series