Posted on September 12th, 2012 4 comments Add a comment >>
As I often do, I climbed Baker Mountain on my lunch hour today and was surprised by the amount of leaves that already have come down. As you can see from the photo above, the trail was covered in places.
It struck me as a little early to see so many leaves on the ground. Did they die early because of the dry summer?
I did a little Googling and discovered—no surprise—that I am not the first to ask that question or to wonder how the summer drought might affect coloration of the foliage this fall.
It appears the leaves are turning color earlier than usual. WKTV, a Utica television station, reported a few weeks ago that the leaves were already changing in Old Forge. Also, in an article on the AccuWeather website, a writer says drought during the growing season can cause leaves to fall early.
Whether it will be a colorful or drab autumn will depend in large part on the weather leading up to the peak of the foliage season. However, a professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry thinks the signs are pointing toward lots of color.
“Right now, without knowing what’s going to happen in the middle of October when the fall colors start to peak regionally, it looks like it’s going to be a good year for fall colors,” Donald J. Leopold, a dendrologist at ESF, told Science Daily in late August.
Let’s hope he’s right.
Posted on September 12th, 2012 Add a comment >>
Conservation leaders from the Garden Club of America will be meeting in the Adirondacks over the next week and discussing a variety of issues with environmentalists, scientists, local farmers, and others.
Nancy Howard, a former owner of the Wawbeek on Upper Saranac Lake, arranged the annual field trip and lined up an impressive array of speakers. There are too many to list them all, but they include Ross Whaley, former chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency; Mike Carr, executive director of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy; Hilary Smith, head of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program; Jerry Jenkins, author and naturalist; Brian Houseal, executive director of the Adirondack Council; Congressman Bill Owens; and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward.
All told, about seventy members of the club’s National Affairs and Legislation Committee and Conservation Committee will be visiting from Thursday through next Tuesday. During their stay, they will visit the Ausable Club, Essex Farm, Paul Smith’s College, Great Camp Sagamore, and the Wild Center, among other places.
The committees research and report on a variety of conservation issues and meet each year with legislators in Washington. During one such meeting, Howard says, then-Senator Hillary Clinton called the Garden Club “conservation’s secret weapon.”
The Garden Club has two hundred clubs throughout the country, representing some eighteen thousand members. To learn more about their conservation work, click here.
Howard and other members of the Essex County Adirondack Garden Club had been planning the field trip for about a year and a half. The aim, she said, was to allow the visitors “to learn as much as possible in a limited amount of time—to see, hear, and feel this place.”
Posted on August 2nd, 2010 5 comments Add a comment >>
I paddled the Jessup and Kunjamuk rivers near Speculator this weekend and saw lots of wildflowers on the banks and in the water, including cardinal flowers, pickerelweed, buttonbush, and pond lilies.
I need some help identifying the flowers shown here.
The purplish flower was photographed on the Kunjamuk in a marsh above Elm Lake. I saw it frequently on both rivers. I think I know what it is, but I want to be sure (and don’t want to prejudice anyone with my speculation).
The white flowers to the right also were a frequent sight along the river’s edge, often mingled with alders. The plants often have red stems. There are two opposing leaves just below the flowers and more leaves along the stem.
If you are familiar with these flowers, please let us know.
Posted on September 21st, 2009 Add a comment >>
We should be hitting peak foliage soon. Last weekend, I climbed the slide on East Dix and saw lots of color, mostly yellow, in the forest. But what really caught my eye were the succulent red berries of the American mountain ash.
E.H. Ketchledge, in Forest and Trees of the Adirondack High Peaks Region, calls the mountain ash “one of our loveliest trees.” In June, it blossoms with clusters of white flowers. In the fall, the flowers transform into berries (actually, they are pomes, a false fruit) that resemble cranberries. The fruit can last into winter.
He also writes: “The fleshy seed is heavy, and it can travel great distances only via the stomach of the Canada jay or a few other birds.”
As its name suggests, the mountain ash grows on our upper slopes, along with balsam fir, red spruce, and paper birch. But the name is misleading in one sense: this tree is not a true ash. Its narrow leaves, arranged in pairs along the branch, resemble those found on true ash trees, thus accounting for the common name.
As a story in the next Explorer will point out, an invasive insect, the emerald ash borer, threatens to destroy all the ash trees in the country. (Less than 5 percent of the trees in the Adirondacks are ash.) Fortunately, the insect does not attack mountain ash.