Signs of Spring in the Air, on Land and in the Water

The last of the apple blossoms, Saranac Lake.

Insect news

Giant silk moths are among the most beautiful creatures in the Adirondacks, but because they fly at night they are rarely seen. Learn how to find and conserve silk moths on Saturday at the Wild Center, in Tupper Lake. 7:30 p.m. Free.

This may be the year that emerald ash borer enters the Adirondack Park. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website has up-to-date maps on the beetle’s spread eastward as well as information on how to identify it. The state’s plan to slow the spread by cutting and chipping infected trees poses a constitutional question for the Adirondack Forest Preserve, where logging is prohibited.

Meanwhile, hemlock wooly adelgid remains on the southern doorstep of the Adirondack Park.

If you are wondering when monarch butterflies will be back, check this Journey North map.

Bird news

It’s not too late to sign up for the excellent birding festivals at the Paul Smith’s College VIC (May 31–June 2) or in Hamilton County (June 7–9).

On June 8 the Wild Center and birder Alan Belford lead a members-only trip to the Nature Conservancy’s Spring Pond Bog preserve, north of Tupper Lake. This is a rare opportunity to see the second-largest peatland in New York State, a fabulously buggy spectacle. Spring Pond Bog is located in a gated inner kingdom of the Adirondacks, and it is a haven for lowland boreal birds, including Lincoln’s Sparrow.

On June 22 the Wild Center and Wildlife Conservation Society lead an interpretive drive-and-hike on Whiteface Mountain’s Veterans Memorial Highway and summit trail. The outing will focus on mountain habitats and birds, plus great views. Space is limited; register in advance.

Fish news

Lake trout’s species name, namaycush, means “dweller of the deep” in Algonquin. As surface water warms this time of year, the long-lived fish move into cooler depths. Where lake trout fry go four weeks after hatching in Lake Champlain, though, is a mystery.

Amphibian news

In the frog-call calendar, this is prime time for gray tree frogs. Up next, depending on where you live: green frogs, bullfrogs or mink frogs.

Declines of frogs, toads and salamanders are more widespread and severe than previously realized, according to a study released last week by U.S. Geological Survey scientists and collaborators.

Plant news

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) keeps a worthwhile and up-to-date blog of its activities on land and water. The collaborative organization received a national award in March for Outstanding Achievement in Invasive Species Leadership.

Weather news

The Ausable River and Lake Champlain crested just below flood stage over the weekend. National Weather Service in Burlington reported 7 inches of rain in five days over the past week, and Whiteface Mountain reported three feet of snow at the summit. National Weather Service Burlington reminds swimmers, anglers and boaters that some waters are still running fast and cold. This map provides the temperature of surface waters across Vermont, New Hampshire and northern New York; the Adirondacks are not well represented.

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