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Birdathon Recon 2014: Now the Birds Show Up?!?

I wake with first light around five in the morning, after a frigid night. The birds appear unaffected by the temperatures though, as they are loud and virulent. Given the purpose for this trip being a reconnaissance for a possible change in venue for the Birdathon, I am gleeful that this morning makes up for

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Birdathon Recon 2014: A Wood Pile, a Mystery and a Toilet Seat Along Old Logging Roads Near Ginger Pond

After killing a couple mice at Evergreen Lake, bushwhacking to a large wetland, scampering around Peaked Mountain and Hidden Lakes, it is finally time to enter the Ginger Pond area on the very last leg of my day’s journey. Unfortunately, my chances of actually visiting the eponymous pond are fairly low, as it lies off

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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: 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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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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