The concept of ecological indicator species was foreshadowed long ago by using canaries — small tropical birds, sensitive to invisible gases that could kill miners — to warn the men if carbon monoxide levels were dangerously high. An expression some of us absent-mindedly use, … [Read more...] about BATS: Canaries in the Iron Mine?
I see more Porcupines in the average month around my home in the Adirondacks than I saw in a year and a half of trekking the Eastern and Western Wildways, though on those long conservation journeys I hiked through thousands of miles of forest that looked plenty inviting for … [Read more...] about Porcupines as Sculptors
Be honest now. How many of you have squashed an Eft? That is, how many of you have inadvertently run over the terrestrial, juvenile, bright-red form of the Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)? I know I’m guilty, probably several times over. Unless you’ve transcended the … [Read more...] about Salamanders: Little Things that Run a Forest
Perhaps uncharitably, some of us lucky enough to inhabit Adirondack Park year-round refer to early spring as "Mud Season." Mud, slush, and soft ground surely are parts of the winter-to-spring transition here; but so are rushing rivers, running sap, surging freshets, budding … [Read more...] about Melting, Mating, and Moving: Adirondack Life in Early Spring
A century and a half ago, the great naturalist and wilderness explorer John Muir wrote that if it came to a war between humans and bears, he’d be tempted to side with the bears. So would I, especially after watching nearly half of our country’s voters back a man who seems to … [Read more...] about Protecting Black Bears in New York