The looming storm

Notes from the North Woods

It is expected the winter season will be condensed, and it will be wetter. Summers will become warmer, and longer in duration, and overall seasons will be less distinct.

Precipitation will arrive mostly in the form of heavy storms, and rainfall will become less frequent. Summer droughts will become common, and they will last longer. It will be drier.

Water levels will be diminished in the rivers and streams, and water temperatures will increase.

Lake ice may no longer support activities such as ice fishing, ice sailing or even pond hockey. If ice cover does set up, it will be thinner and less consistent.

Frogs will begin singing nearly a month earlier on average, and birds will arrive sooner. Seasons will be expedited, and far less defined. Already, there is evidence of local apple trees blooming over a week earlier than they did in the 1960’s.

Projections indicate some wildlife populations, including whitetail deer will increase, as will the incidence of Lyme Disease.

The traditional range of many habitats will shift, as oak and hickory begin to replace maple and beech. We may lose spruce and fir trees in the upper elevation, boreal forests.

The shift will affect many of the birds and animals that depend on such habitats. The intricate web of life supported by the vast system of local boreal bogs will likely be endangered.

Projections are dire, and the remedies are few. The world that we have known for generations is changing rapidly, as are many of the traditions that define our way of life.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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