Tamarack is a tree with a number of aliases – hackmatack, eastern larch, or if you’re from Northern Maine and feeling contrary, juniper. Whatever you call it, this scraggly tree, easy to overlook for most of the year, lights up the November forest. Weeks after leaf season has passed us by, the tamarack turns brilliant yellow and then orange, blazing like a torch amid the evergreens and fading, broad-leaf browns. [Read more…] about Our Native Tamarack in November
The study’s authors say it’s the first of its kind to cover the Western Hemisphere during the year-long life cycle of North American migratory birds that feed on vegetation, seeds, nectar, insects, or meat. The findings were published in the Journal of Animal Ecology. [Read more…] about Study: Most Migratory Birds Rely On a Greening World
A walk in the woods during fall is likely to reveal an array of forest fungi. Ranging from delicate, tan mini-umbrellas to fleshy, white softballs to foot-long, orange-yellow shelves growing out of rotten logs, they come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Fungi are critical to the health of the forest, decomposing woody debris and helping trees obtain required nutrients. [Read more…] about Forest Fungi: Native Mushrooms and Forest Health
Why Bears Don’t Write Poetry
First of all, bears sleep up to six months,
probably with no notebook by their bed.
If they wrote anything, that might be
long grocery lists of wishful thinking.
No doubt some bears dream in menus,
you’d guess from restaurants in states
known for raising beef cattle—or for
traditional bears, buffalo-ranch states.
Besides, bears are staunch omnivores,
at home as carnivores or herbivores.
I have all the respect in the world for science, and those who practice its various disciplines, but scientists are not exempt from getting drawn into petty battles over whose ideas should prevail. I’m told there was a long-simmering dispute, apparently resolved for the moment, over how to define hibernation. The consensus now is that any critter able to actively slow its metabolism is a hibernator. Actively slowing down sounds like an oxymoron, but let’s not resort to name-calling. [Read more…] about Winter Brumation Sweeps Across Northern Latitudes
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the recent acquisition of 525 acres in the town of North Collins, Erie County, to create the Clear Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
The land offers hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife viewing, and other recreational opportunities and becomes the largest State-owned WMA in Erie County. [Read more…] about NYS Acquires 525 Acres at Clear Lake, Erie County
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the Lower Fly-Fishing Section of the Salmon River will be open for catch-and-release fishing starting Saturday, October 31st, marking the success of actions taken by the Salmon River Flow Management Team to mitigate the impacts of low-water flows at the start of the salmon run.
Recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 remain in effect to ensure the health and safety of the public. [Read more…] about Salmon River Lower Fly-Fishing Area Opening
In observance of Bat Week, an internationally recognized week-long focus on raising awareness about the important role bats play in our environment, avoid visiting caves and mines that may serve as seasonal homes for hibernating bats at this time of year.
Human disturbance is especially harmful to the State’s bat populations since the arrival of the disease known as white-nose syndrome, a fungus that has killed more than 90 percent of bats at hibernation sites in New York. [Read more…] about Bat Week: Protecting Bat Populations
From the onset of November, periods of mild weather become fewer and further between; however, there are always occasions when hats and coats can be left in the closet, and the fire in the woodstove can be allowed to die out for a day or two.
It’s during such balmy spells when several species of hardy moths take to the air and can be seen after dusk fluttering around a porch light or a window next to a lamp. These small, drab gray insects are all closely related, belonging to the Geometridae family of animals, and are best typified by the fall cankerworm (Alsophila pometaria). [Read more…] about That Late Season Moth: Fall Cankerworm
With the recent finding of spotted lanternfly (SLF) on Staten Island, it’s never been more important for people to be on the lookout for this invasive. Since SLF spreads primarily through human activity, we really can make a difference. [Read more…] about Spotted Lanternfly Look-Alikes