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Birdathon Recon 2014: Finding Hidden Lake and Moving On

So far today, the large wetland and Peaked Mountain Lake were underwhelming with regards to bird activity, making my Birdathon reconnaissance trip appear like a grave disappointment. Instead of spending more time at the avian-deprived Peaked Mountain Lake, I decide to move onto Hidden Lake and eat lunch there before continuing toward Ginger Pond to

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Birdathon Recon 2014: Past Abuses on the Way to Peaked Mountain Lake

The painful guilt from earlier in the morning continues draining my motivation, drawing out my morning backcountry chores, including downing the tarp and stowing everything back into my backpack for the day’s trek south and east. The most difficult task involves folding and slipping the collapsible plastic bowl within my sleeping mat in the back

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Birdathon Recon 2014: Deadly Drowning at Evergreen Lake

Bushwhacking through the Adirondack backcountry can produce a myriad of environmental impacts. Examples include crushing vegetation underfoot, squishing amphibians and other small creatures hiding in the leaf litter and adversely affecting wildlife behavior simply by your presence. These impacts are typically incidental and accidental, usually going unnoticed and/or unobserved. Unfortunately, my lack of forethought at

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Birdathon Recon 2014: Hiking Through Time on Old Logging Roads to Evergreen Lake

Rescuing a tent stake in the middle of the backcountry is truly like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Originally, I thought I might have to bushwhack over to Sunshine Pond for another search if Cropsey Pond did not yield my lost stake, but thankfully, this was not to be. By the time I

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Stake Rescue 2014: Departing Cropsey Pond With All Stakes Secured Safely

Exploring the Adirondack backcountry is never about comfort. If coziness and comfort is your thing, being sweaty, surrounded by vicious biting flies and exposed to the elements most of the time in the middle of nowhere is probably not your cup tea. Nothing, not even successfully rescuing a lost piece of gear is going to

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Stake Rescue 2014: The Great Stake Rescue at Cropsey Pond

Losing gear in the backcountry is never a pleasant experience. Feelings of loss (“Where did it go?”), denial (“It has to be in my backpack somewhere!”), guilt (“I never should have put it in my pocket”) and even frugality (“Now I have to buy a new one”) engulf you, each chewing off another portion of

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Birdathon 2014: Final Report for the Pepperbox Wilderness

On May 16, 2014, I participated in the Audubon Society’s Birdathon, a challenge to observe as many bird species within a single 24-hour period as possible. This was my eighth year participating in the event, all of which took place wholly or in part in the Adirondack Park. For the fourth time in five years,

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Birdathon 2014: Departing the Pepperbox Wilderness via the Bowtie Beaver Meadow

The day after the Birdathon is often a letdown. All the excitement of the chase for new bird species is over, leaving just the responsibility of reporting the results, and the necessary frantic exit from the backcountry that goes along with it. The only redeeming part is the dream of doing better next year. This

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Birdathon 2014: The Case of the Missing Tent Stake at Sunshine Pond

Where to end my Birdathon bushwhack in the Pepperbox Wilderness always becomes a difficult decision. There is always the constant incentive to push on, hoping that the next destination will provide the big breakthrough of a plethora of bird species, producing the banner year I continue dreaming about during the weeks leading up to the

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Birdathon 2014: Birding Up Deer Pond Outlet to Sunshine Pond

Birds tend to be less active in the late afternoon; that is just a fact. The singing dies down, with many birds taking their siesta after feeding during the earlier morning hours. This phenomenon makes Birdathon afternoons a time of profound desperation, where the frantic search for any new species to add to a scant

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