This is how we do Father’s Day in the Adirondacks…..enjoy!
It rained, it was warm. It snowed, it was warm. And then, it rained a great deal. The weather pattern in the Adirondacks this spring has been a challenge. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts had to be light on their feet and equipment in order to make the best of Mother Nature’s fickle moods as she threw everything into the mix in May, including 36 inches of snow.
Hiking and running trails are wet from the recent torrential rain and the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a Muddy Trails Advisory and have asked hikers to avoid venturing above 3000 feet to protect the trails and surrounding vegetation.
Severe flooding in parts of the Adirondacks has closed roads and Franklin County has declared a state of emergency due to the flooding.
The good news is the rain has ceased and weather experts are predicting a lovely upcoming weekend in the Adirondacks. Skies are predicted to be sunny and clear, with highs in the upper 60s on both Saturday and Sunday. If you are looking for a dry, but very lush, green place to spend time outside this weekend, try the Adirondacks.
Although a coating of snow in late May is not unheard of in Lake Placid, it is unusual to see three feet of the white stuff this time of year in the Adirondack High Peaks. That is exactly what happened Saturday and Sunday in this northern New York mountain region. The Whiteface Memorial Highway closed as crews plowed and moved 34 inches of fresh snow.
True to the Adirondack weather saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes,” temperatures are predicted to reach the mid-80s later this week. Experienced Adirondack outdoor recreation enthusiasts go from skiing to cycling in a blink, and they advise, if you don’t like the sport, wait a few minutes.
Bring a rain coat if your plans include outdoor activities in the Adirondacks this Memorial Day weekend. And it would be a good idea to add a mid-layer of down if you plan on stepping outside for more than a dash to the car. Speaking of the car, you should probably put the snow brush and ice scraper back in the vehicle because although this is barbecue season, snow is in the forecast. It has been raining in the Adirondacks for three days and the weather people predict rain and snow through Sunday night. If you plan to hike, be advised the NY State DEC cautions trails will be wet and muddy. Water levels are high; low water crossings may be unpassable and trails along waters may be flooded. At higher elevations temperatures will fall below freezing and as much as 8 inches of heavy snow is possible. Be prepared or stay inside by the fire.
Spring weather in the Adirondacks is extremely variable. Snow and cold weather is not unusual for late May. The last time it snowed on Memorial Day was in 2009, but last year it was so warm I was swimming in Mirror Lake by this time.
It looks like a cold and snowy Memorial Day in the Adirondacks this year. Since Mother Nature always knows best, we would be wise to relax, stop complaining about the bone chilling dampness, and enjoy the bonus snow and cozy wood fires. Skiing anyone?!
Cozy wood fire and photograph courtesy of Ed Reed.
Please enjoy this Mother’s Day bouquet of fresh Adirondack wildflowers. Best wishes of the day to fellow fans of the Adirondack lifestyle!
Red Trillium or Stinking Benjamin
Purple Wood Violets
All photographs copyright Adirondack Lifestyle.
Only 15 days ago there was measurable snow on the ground at Adirondack Lifestyle headquarters here in Lake Placid. I am shamefully reminded of this because it has been 15 days since my last blog post documenting that snowfall. During the ensuing time, the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York went from snowy mountain terrain, to dry alpine climate, to verdant rain forest. A sudden switch to sunny and seventy-degree days melted the snow and dried out the soil so much the region experienced brush fires. Trail running was great this spring, but we needed the recent three days of rain.
Fifteen days was all it took to go from the photo in my last post to this evening’s lush view of Mount Marcy and the surrounding Adirondack peaks.
As if by magic, the mountains are suddenly covered in fuzzy green velvet whose nap has been ruffled. Spring has sprung in the Adirondacks.
Photo courtesy of Edward Reed.
Happy Earth Day from the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York! In honor of our collective Mother, I will spend as much time as possible outside today honoring her handiwork. To that end, please enjoy these Adirondack Lifestyle Earth Day memories such as the featured slide show from a few years ago, when spring arrived in the Adirondacks in time to join the Earth Day celebrations.
You can also join me on memory lane as I recollect the Earth Day I hung out with President Bush.
I am also posting the cartoon below, one of my favorite Earth Day funnies, by a great talent who also has a long connection to the Adirondacks. I hope you get a chuckle out of this cartoon.
Scroll Down for a New Adirondack Lifestyle Recipe
Depending on grammatical emphasis, the phrase, “Adirondack spring tonic,” refers to either something healthy and tasty to drink, or it describes the curative effect of early spring in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. I’ve imbibed generously this spring and will attest to the rejuvenating effects of both.
I can confirm both types of Adirondack Spring Tonic are effective. The following discussion on the first kind of Adirondack Spring Tonic – Adirondack Spring Tonic as something healthy and tasty to drink, includes recipe ideas.
An expansion on the second definition of Adirondack Spring Tonic describes how invigorating it is to feel warm sun, smell fresh earth, and hear bird song, includes much rhapsodizing about skiing and life in the Adirondack Mountains.
I first learned about drinking raw maple sap when a local shopkeeper offered to sell me a mason jar of maple sap for $4.50. “This is the stuff that flows out of the maple tree, the sap, usually boiled for syrup?” I asked. The sample was delicious, but not $4.50/quart delicious. “But consider the health benefits,” responded the store owner, noting Adirondack old timers consider raw maple sap a tonic, defined: 1. Tonic – a medicine that invigorates or strengthens. Since I aspire to become an Adirondack old timer, my mind flashed to our maple tree covered property and I silently calculated how many quarts of Adirondack spring tonic I could harvest. The resident biologist and I are experienced maple syrup producers, if one season counts as experienced, so I knew one maple tree can produce as much as 15-20 gallons of sap in a season. I declined the quart jar.
Four years and four tapped trees, spiles, and buckets later, I am hooked on home produced, fresh maple sap. I make tea, coffee, oatmeal, and rice pudding out of maple sap, and of course, I drink the chilled maple sap by the quart. Maple sap tastes slightly sweet and naturally, has a very subtle maple aftertaste.
Maple sugaring season is short but sweet in the Adirondacks; the sap only flows for about 6 weeks during that time when the days are sunny and warm and the nights are cold, so we enjoy Mother Nature’s tonic as much as we can, while we can. I start the day with black tea made with maple sap, no sweetener necessary, and proceed to oatmeal made with maple sap instead of water. The coup de grace in an Adirondack spring breakfast is the dessert from breakfast cup of Adirondack Maple Mocha Jo, based on coffee brewed using map sap, recipe below.
In a delightful Adirondack springtime synergy, the very same climatic conditions that cause the maple sap to flow create stupendous spring skiing. This brings us to tonic definition number 2. Tonic – anything invigorating physically, mentally, or morally. I feel silly stating the obvious, but I will. Spring skiing in the Adirondacks fits that definition to a ski, ooops, to a T.
Corn snow skiing is surely the best consolation for the imminent departure of winter. The repeated daily thaws and nightly re-freezing of the snow surface changes the snow crystal shapes over time. Like skiing on velvet, true corn snow is a delight to ski or ride once it softens in the afternoon. Corn snow is spring’s version of powder, only warmer. Like magic for your legs, turns in corn snow seem effortless.
The air smells different in the spring in the Adirondacks. The dry air and essence of cold, new snow is replaced with a fresh, earthy scent from spots of exposed dirt and moss, thawed and warmed by the spring sun. The quiet, muffled shuffle of skis on snow in January is replaced with the sound of corn snow slipping away from edges, chickadee songs, woodpecker rat-a-tats, turkey gobble and yelps, and streams rushing with snow melt. Invigorating is one way to describe this experience, awesome is another.
As an invigorating back country ski on a warm, sunny, spring day that starts with a maple sap breakfast proves, drink it or live it, Adirondack spring tonic is good medicine.
Adirondack Maple Mocha Jo Recipe
8 0z. freshly brewed dark roast coffee using maple sap instead of water
Combine all ingredients in a large mug, whisking cocoa well.
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