Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Jim Montanus took these beautiful photos and shared his thoughts:
“Dramatic Sunrise over Lake Ontario this morning (March 17, 2013). A big line of Lake Effect squalls had just passed through and this was the trailing edge of the clouds.”
by Brian Mann, NCPR in the box
(Editor’s note: This is political, but it’s a fascinating look at US population mapped out.)
A fascinating new visual essay on the problems of the electoral college is sparking conversation. It envisions what the 50 states might look like if they were drawn up on lines that put an equal part of the population in each.
The idea “ends the over-representation of small states and under-representation of large states in presidential voting and in the US Senate by eliminating small and large states” according to the map’s creator, Neil Freeman.
The states are named after major geographic features, which led to the dubbing of “our” state as Adirondack. In this imagined equal-representation world, we’re bordered on the east by Casco and to the south by Pocono.
If nothing else, it is an intriguing visual representation of just how we break down as a society in terms of population — where we live, how our political boundaries no long reflect the demographics of our nation.
Check out the full article and the national map here. I’m more or less on board with this idea. My only question is whether Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau would insist on his village being the capital of this new state?
The southern reaches of the Genesee River is a wonderful place to paddle – much different from the big Genesee that pours over waterfalls in Letchworth and Rochester. To Paddle it any time on your own, pick up a copy of the guidebook “Take A Paddle – Western new York Quiet Water For Canoes & Kayaks.”
The Open Space Institute announced today the acquisition of two properties totaling 13.6 acres that will help the New York State Office of Parks fill in the gap between Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park and Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve.
The acquisition of the two parcels, which are located on Jaycox Road in Philipstown, Putnam County, builds on the goal to create a hiking corridor between Fahnestock and Hudson Highlands—parks to which OSI has added thousands of acres over the past three decades.
“OSI has added nearly 7,000 acres to Fahnestock State Park—more than doubling its size—and we’ve added close to 1,500 acres to Hudson Highlands,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “It has been a longtime goal to link these two state parks, and the public is now one step closer to being able to hike from the Hudson River to the Appalachian Trail entirely on publicly accessible property.”
The parcels were acquired by OSI’s land acquisition affiliate, the Open Space Conservancy, and are adjacent to a 50-acre property recently acquired by the Hudson Highlands Land Trust. That parcel, which is also part of the envisioned hiking corridor, will be added to Fahnestock State Park.
“Both OSI and HHLT have been working together on this hiking corridor for many years, so we’re pleased that our partnership has resulted in these important acquisitions, furthering the original vision to connect the two parks,” said Andy Chmar, the executive director of the Hudson Highlands Land Trust.
OSI intends to transfer the land acquired today to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as an addition to Fahnestock as well.
The land acquisition is one part of OSI’s vision for enhancing Fahnestock State Park. OSI’s Alliance for New York State Parks program is also raising funds to restore and upgrade the popular recreation area at Fahnestock’s Canopus Lake, and phase one work is underway to improve and modernize the Canopus Lake visitor welcome center. The year-round complex, including a bathhouse, café area and cross-country ski center, is worn, cramped and severely outdated. So far, the Alliance has secured more than $800,000 through lead gifts, in-kind contributions and a state Environmental Protection Fund grant toward the $1.2 million project.
In addition to making energy-efficient and sustainable improvements to the public space, later phases of the Alliance’s work at Fahnestock will naturalize the beach setting, improve the swimming area and add needed recreational features.
“The mission of the Alliance is to build a better park experience,” said Erik Kulleseid, the executive director of the Alliance for New York State Parks. “Coupled with today’s acquisition, this restoration project builds on OSI’s significant commitment to this landscape and will help restore this park to its fullest potential.”
So, if you went slogging up streams with a copy of “200 Waterfalls”in your hand, purely in the pursuit of
waterfalls, you missed the boat. While you enjoyed the fresh coolness of that country stream and basked in the splatter of a glorious waterfall, you should have had your eyes pealed to the stream in pursuit of gold – really!
Anyone who wants to go explore these and other Ithaca area waterfalls would do well to pick up a copy of “200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York – A Finders. Guide.” It’s loaded with maps & directions to lots of gorgeous waterfalls.
Rich and I headed out one summer morning for what we expected to be a short paddle – maybe two hours worth – nothing more. Everything we read about paddling Black Creek near where it merges into the Genesee River, said that we wouldn’t get far upstream before encountering logjams and blown down tree obstructions. So we didn’t expect much. Still, we were looking forward to a morning of paddling without having to drive far.
We heaved the kayaks to the top of the van, loaded in our PFDs, paddles, spray skirts, water bottles and emergency supplies, and headed to the launch point off Balantyne Road in Chili. We didn’t take lunch with us since we figured we’d be home in time to eat.
Launching into Black Creek was easy. DEC’s Black Creek Fishing Access Site offered a big parking area and a nice ramp for sliding our kayaks into the water. Being summer, the current was slight and we easily paddled upstream. Keeping a leisurely pace, we rounded the many small islands and explored the side channels where blankets of duckweed covered the surface of the water. Our only challenge came when we approached the arched stone tunnel that carries the Genesee Valley Greenway trail over the creek. I could sit upright and paddle slowly through the tunnel. Rich, being taller, had to duck his head.
Jets rumbled overhead a few times, on their approach to the Rochester airport. Continuing upstream, we paddled under a high cement bridge that carries an active railway over the creek. Gradually we followed the winding channel upstream, passing splotches of red cardinal flower alternated with bands of yellow flowers. The wide, deep, sun-drenched channel morphed into a narrow ribbon meandering through shaded woods. The noises of suburbia disappeared; replaced by the gurgle of water, chatter of birds, and wind rustling through the tree leaves. Red tendrils reached out from the mud banks – tree roots exposed and washed bare.
A rumbling sound began emanating from my belly. I glanced at my watch to find we’d been paddling for two hours and had yet to reach any logjams or other obstructions. My stomach knew it was lunchtime and my arm muscles sang out for a rest. Fortunately, we had some dried fruit in the emergency supplies. So, we tied up the kayaks to trees along shore and sat in the peaceful forest to enjoy our fruit and water.
We never did find any blockages. Come to find out, workers from the Town of Chili had wielded their chainsaws and cleared the waterway the previous year. Eventually we ran out of water. Somewhere west of Archer Road the paddling became more difficult and at times we had to get out and drag the kayaks. So we turned around and headed back downstream. The day didn’t turn out as we expected – it was longer and much nicer than expected.
(Black Creek and many other waterways to paddle can be found in “Take A Paddle – Western New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks.”)
The English language needs more words. We’ve added words such as biodiesel, gastric bypass, supersize, drama queen and unibrow to the dictionary, when what we really need are more words to describe trails and camping.
Without them, it’s easy to get led astray. I saw a press release lately titled “Susquehanna Designated As Connecting Trail to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.” They were describing water trails not dirt hiking trails. Trails can now be wine trails, history trails, beer trails, and more. But people drop the descriptor and just refer to them as trails. When I’m looking for a place to go hiking I have to be a sleuth to determine if the trail is one for hiking or something very different.
Likewise, we need more terms for camping. The camping I do (primitive camping via backpacking) has no relation to the camping people do in bus-sized mobile RV’s. A trail is often not a trail and camping isn’t camping at all. It’s all so very confusing.