Earth’s climate gets cooler when there are fewer solar storms. An extreme example happened between 1645 and 1715, when the normal 11-year sunspot cycle disappeared! This period, called the Maunder Minimum, was accompanied by bitterly cold winters in the American colonies. Fishing settlements in Iceland and Greenland were abandoned. Icebergs were seen near the English Channel. The canals of Venice froze. It was a time of great hardship.
Ulster County residents can enjoy the Preserve free of charge this spring. Here’s how.
Sunday, April 15: Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change has already garnered critical accolades, including from such environmentalist icons as Jane Goodall and Bill McKibben. The book makes the case that Lyme disease is spreading rapidly around the globe as ticks move into places they could not survive before, infecting half a million people in the US and Europe each year, and untold multitudes in Canada, China, Russia and Australia.
These harbingers of spring have some remarkable talents. They can withstand being frozen solid for days, and can generate a sound comparable in volume to a chainsaw. Not bad for a creature that tops out at 1.5″ and 5 grams.
At least one pair of coyotes, described by eyewitnesses as unusually large, healthy-looking and “bold” in their behavior, has apparently staked out a territory in the vicinity of Springtown Road, west of the Wallkill River.
Saturday, April 7: “The Hudson Valley is the birthplace of the American environmental movement, with the Hudson River as central Muse and catalyst,” says Melissa Auf der Maur, alt/rock musician and co-founder/director of Basilica Hudson.
Tuesday, April 10: Among the researchers racing to find cures for deadly diseases within the world’s threatened ecosystems is renowned ethnobotanist Dr. Paul Alan Cox, director of the Brain Chemistry Labs in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Dr. Cox’s current focus is on finding new treatments for ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. Aside from common concerns about ecological issues, that makes his work of especial relevance to Northeasterners, considering recent indications that ALS may be connected to late-stage Lyme disease.
Opening day of another trout season is upon us, an annual rite of passage, and time to put winter behind us no matter what the weather might be.
Volunteers wanted for Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings Project this spring. The hundreds of volunteers make a difference, ensuring the survival of thousands of spotted salamanders, wood frogs and spring peepers.
Area residents typically think of the John Burroughs Association as a local not-for-profit organization that maintains Slabsides and the surrounding nature sanctuary and trails in West Park. But the Association also has a national profile as a respected conferrer of annual literary awards in the genre of nature writing, helping to keep alive the primary profession of the great 19th-century naturalist himself.