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News stories tagged with "nature"

This is how small a deer tick is. Photo: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tick_male_size_comparison_%28aka%29.jpg">Andre Karwath</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
This is how small a deer tick is. Photo: Andre Karwath, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Deer ticks: How they get on you, how to get them off

Spring and early summer is the prime time of year for encounters with deer ticks, carriers of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. While still uncommon in the Adirondack upcountry, deer ticks are plentiful in the North Country lowlands.

They're hard to see, and hard to remove safely. But not impossible. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about the life cycle of the deer tick, and practical ways to minimize exposure to Lyme disease.  Go to full article
Wood Frog. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemcd/3623351755">Michael McDonough</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Wood Frog. Photo: Michael McDonough, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

State Senate claims wood frog for New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The wood frog is one more hop closer to becoming New York's official amphibian.

The state Senate voted 50-4 on Tuesday to add it to the list alongside other official animals such as the blue bird, beaver, brook trout and snapping turtle.  Go to full article

The return of the black fly

This pest of the northern spring can travel up to twenty miles on the wind. How to get away? Dress in yellow, some suggest, or tie a dragonfly to your hat. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager consult.  Go to full article
Wild morels, a spring treasure.  Photo:  Todd Moe
Wild morels, a spring treasure. Photo: Todd Moe

The cure for morel fever -- stalking the elusive spring mushroom

This is the season when morels are hunted by thousands of people simply for their taste and the joy of the hunt. They're another sign of spring in the North Country. Mushroom hunters say their favorite fungi are popping up earlier than usual this year.

Todd Moe has caught morel fever every spring since he was a child, and headed into his own back woods a couple of years ago to look for these "aristocrats" of the forest.

A reminder about looking for edible mushrooms: even distinctive yellow morels have look-a-likes that are poisonous. The slightest doubt about a mushroom is warning enough not to eat it.  Go to full article
Black bear. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8749778@N06/12033862626/">Eric Kilby</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Black bear. Photo: Eric Kilby, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

DEC adopts10-year black bear management plan

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The Department of Environmental Conservation is adopting a 10-year plan to monitor and manage black bear populations in the state.

Several revisions were made to the plan after public comments were reviewed. One change clarified that the agency plans to assess the pros and cons of using dogs, bait or cable restraints for taking bears, although none of the measures are currently proposed for use.  Go to full article
A bat in Vermont's Aeolus Cave frozen in icicle, Photo: Brian Mann
A bat in Vermont's Aeolus Cave frozen in icicle, Photo: Brian Mann

Biologists check Vermont cave for bat disease rate

DORSET, Vt. (AP) Biologists are analyzing data collected over the winter in a Vermont cave to determine whether more bats are surviving white nose syndrome.

Last fall, biologists glued radio tags to the backs of more than 400 bats outside the Aeolus cave in Dorset and lined the cave with electronic equipment that monitors how many of the bats emerged in the winter.  Go to full article
Eastern hognose snake (<em>Heterodon platyrhinos</em>). Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heterodon_platirhinos_head.jpg">Dawson</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platyrhinos). Photo: Dawson, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Our mildly venomous neighbor, the Hognose snake

The Eastern hognose snake is better known by its nickname, puff adder, derived from its aggressive display when disturbed. Its bite is mildly venomous, capable of sedating small prey, such as toads. Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss this common northeastern reptile.  Go to full article
A Willow Ptarmigan along eastern Lake Ontario. The sighting this week is a first for New York State.  Photo: Jeff Bolsinger.
A Willow Ptarmigan along eastern Lake Ontario. The sighting this week is a first for New York State. Photo: Jeff Bolsinger.

Willow Ptarmigan becomes an avian celebrity near Watertown

Carloads of birders from across the region have visited the shore of Lake Ontario, near Watertown, over the last few days hoping to glimpse a rare avian visitor from the Arctic tundra.

Late last week, Eugene Nichols was birding near Point Peninsula and found an all white bird that didn't belong in northern New York. Nichols contacted Jeff Bolsinger, a bird biologist at Fort Drum, who confirmed that it's a Willow Ptarmigan. Bolsinger says the bird normally lives only in northern Canada and Alaska. He says the sighting this week is the first documented sighting of a Willow Ptarmigan in New York State, and the second recorded in the lower 48 states in a century.

Bolsinger told Todd Moe he's not sure how the bird ended up this far south, but it's become an instant celebrity in the birding community.  Go to full article
SLU junior David Smith is an Environmental Studies major and lives on the school's sustainability farm a few miles from campus.  Chores include tending a flock of chickens. Photo: Todd Moe
SLU junior David Smith is an Environmental Studies major and lives on the school's sustainability farm a few miles from campus. Chores include tending a flock of chickens. Photo: Todd Moe

St. Lawrence junior's coursework includes farm chores

Sometimes spending a college semester abroad means just a few miles down the road. St. Lawrence University junior David Smith, a Potsdam native, is one of nine students living and studying sustainability issues on a 33-acre farm leased from Cornell Cooperative Extension this spring.

The farm, just south of Canton, includes a house, outbuildings, gardens, orchards, a chicken coop and classroom space. Professors visit the farm to teach courses. This spring, students will help prep the gardens that will feed participants in the fall semester program.

Next Tuesday, Earth Day, will be a busy time for Smith, who combines his college studies with environmental activism. Smith is the organizer of NC350, a local chapter of 350.org, an international organization working to address global climate change.

Todd Moe stopped by SLU's Sustainability Semester farm to get one young person's take on helping the planet.  Go to full article
Barred owl in the rain. Archive Photo of the Day 12/19/12: Butch Bramhall, Croghan, NY
Barred owl in the rain. Archive Photo of the Day 12/19/12: Butch Bramhall, Croghan, NY

Natural Selections: Barred Owl

The barred owl is often heard but seldom seen. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss the habits of this nocturnal hunter, and Curt demonstrates his own highly-regarded version of its distinctive call.  Go to full article

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