The winter season presents a series of challenges for wildlife, such as food shortages, colder temperatures and large snowfalls. Fortunately, native wildlife has developed unique physiological and behavioral traits to help them survive and thrive in New York’s cold winter climate. [Read more…] about How Wildlife Adapts To New York Winters
On a clear mid-winter day several years ago, my student Sarah Wakefield and I pulled on snowshoes, donned backpacks, and headed up through Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont.
Our destination was Big Spring, which rises from Mount Mansfield’s bedrock before flowing east for 100 yards and entering a culvert under Route 108. When it emerges from the culvert, the spring water joins a stream fed by surface runoff and snowmelt. [Read more…] about Life In Groundwater Fed Springs in Winter
While most natural winter sounds tend to carry only short distances, there is one that is loud enough to travel well over a hundred yards.
Even when the limbs and boughs are coated with an audio-absorbing layer of snow, the voice of the pileated woodpecker periodically breaks the silence and resounds through our mature woodlands. [Read more…] about Pileated Woodpeckers: Denizens Of Our Old Forests
Most of the invertebrates that populate this climatic zone are well suited to deal with sudden thaws in winter by experiencing a type of dormancy known as diapause.
In summer, when temperatures are ideal and there is an abundance of food, the countless species of bugs continually eat and then reproduce. But as environmental conditions begin to change, most species prepare for that time when food eventually vanishes and when temperatures cause the transition of water into ice. [Read more…] about Diapause: How Insects Survive A Winter Thaw
With plenty of snow on the ground and a full moon on Saturday, this weekend promises to be one of those occasions when enough natural light will exist to venture outside and explore the nocturnal side of nature.
Taking a night time stroll can be quite exciting, especially during the latter part of February, as this is the time of year when the yelps and howls of the coyote, that signals the onset of its mating season, can often be heard. Likewise, both the red and gray fox will soon be entering their breeding periods, and their vocalizations may also break the stillness of the night.
There comes a time in every mammal mother’s life when her young leave. For some, this comes in a matter of weeks, for others it might be years. As I follow bobcat tracks through snow on a mid-winter day, dispersal is on my mind. My 18-year-old son is preparing to fledge, and I ponder this transition as I track the cat through a tangle of wetland shrubs. Is this lone cat one of the kittens I watched play not far from here last summer? Is it, like my son, on its way to new horizons, to set down its mark, and fill its belly with the meat of the world? [Read more…] about Bobcat Dispersal: When The Kittens Leave Home
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and others who may traverse slides or steep, open terrain in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions.
The Adirondack Mountain Club has closed Adirondak Loj and the High Peaks Information Center, both at Heart Lake in the High Peaks, indefinitely over COVID concerns.
In a February forest, evergreens provide welcome color. But look more closely on the bark of trees, both conifers and hardwoods, and you’ll find other bright hues, from sunny yellows to blue-greens. These are lichens, common but often overlooked members of the winter woods.
Lichens have varied and intricate growth patterns, but with their small stature, they can be easy to miss. While they often seem plant-like, they are actually a symbiosis between fungi and one or two other kinds of organisms, algae and cyanobacteria. They are tough customers, surviving in habitats that thwart many other organisms, including the arid and exposed surfaces of rocks. [Read more…] about Lichens in Winter
With its long legs, the white-tail deer has the ability to travel through a snow bound forest when there is up to 12 to 16 inches on the ground. As the snow pack becomes denser, crusted, or deeper, the mobility of this hoofed creature becomes greatly restricted. [Read more…] about Deep Snow And White-Tail Deer Mortality
Although the number of Sullivan County hotels open during the winter months increased significantly beginning in the 1940s, there were attempts to market the county as a winter resort long before that. [Read more…] about The Borscht Belt in Winter: Catskills Winter Resorts