Birdathon 2014: Birding Along Cropsey Pond Outlet

The big day has finally arrived; the 2014 Birdathon is finally here. Not a moment too soon either! The excitement is palatable, waking me numerous times during the early morning hours before the sun makes even a faint appearance. Each time I do my best barred owl impression, trying to tempt one to respond. Greeting

Read more





Birdathon 2014: A Wet Time at Cropsey Pond

With at least half of the way to Cropsey Pond to go, my 2014 Birdathon adventure has been a wet one so far. Although missing the worst of it by sitting it out in my car, the rain returned as soon as I was far enough from my vehicle to rule out a hasty retreat.

Read more





Birdathon 2014: Climbing to View of Stillwater Reservoir

Heavy rain is not the ideal weather for the beginning of a bushwhacking trip.  Logs and fallen leaves become slippery, streams overflow their banks and mud becomes ubiquitous, especially during mid-spring in the Adirondacks. This is especially true during the Birdathon in the Pepperbox Wilderness.  Unfortunately, the predicted wet weather gave me little choice this

Read more





Carpet Spruce Swamp: Retiring from Five Ponds Wilderness via South Ponds

Retiring is on my mind while departing from the remote western Five Ponds Wilderness after six days. Primarily, because I am rushing home in time to attend a co-worker’s retirement party, but also for what leaving the forest I love so much behind represents as well. Departing from the Adirondack backcountry has some similarities to

Read more





Carpet Spruce Swamp: Losing My Way Bushwhacking to Middle South Pond

Waking up to a little depression on the last day of an Adirondack backcountry outing is pretty common. At least it is for me. My morning at Sitz Pond, after five days in a rarely visited part of the Park, even by the northwestern Adirondack standards, certainly is no different. The idyllic experience at Sitz

Read more





1995 Microburst 20th Anniversary: An Experience Revisited

A previous version of this article appeared on the Adirondack Almanack on July 13, 2011. Today is the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Microburst. Twenty years ago today, this devastating storm blew through northern and eastern New York State, severely damaging over one hundred thousand acres of forest land in the Adirondacks, killing 5 people,

Read more





Carpet Spruce Swamp: Frittering Away the Afternoon at Sitz Pond

It is a rare treat to get an entire afternoon off on a bushwhacking trip. Usually the days are long and the going too arduous to allow for a lazy day of relaxation and reflection. My trip through the remote western Five Ponds Wilderness is no exception, especially after a rain delay at Lower South

Read more





Black Friday/Cyber Monday Outdoor Gear Sales not to be missed

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are here again. It is hard to believe they have gotten here so soon, but another year has zipped by. One of the more positive aspects of this time of the year is the numerous discounts that come along with the high holidays of the shopping season. The outdoor retailers

Read more





Carpet Spruce Swamp: Arriving at Sitz Pond

The area just north of the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie River in the Five Ponds Wilderness of the Adirondack Park gets very little loving. It is remote, with limited access (it has but a single trail to Upper South Pond), and few outstanding draws; small unnamed ponds are as common as trees. Yet, these

Read more





Carpet Spruce Swamp: Visiting Another Unnamed Pond on the Way to Sitz Pond

A chilly morning greets me as I awake near the shore of an unnamed pond deep in the western Five Ponds Wilderness Area, uncharacteristically cold especially for late June. My little thermometer indicates a temperature in the lower 40’s just as the sun clears the eastern horizon. The chill is probably one of the reasons

Read more