WANAKENA WEEKLY #113 - 03/31/22 - 04/06/21

Happy Thursday! Happy April!

– SPRING IS HERE! It may snow, it may be zero degrees, but DAMNIT Spring is here! Snow drop flowers, crocus, too! Tulip and Daffodil poke up through the leaf litter. Snow speckled A pleasant week in WANAKENA! New York State Burn Ban in effect! More info below. The Oswegatchie sails by; mmmm, you can taste it in the air! Some hunks and chunks of ice here and there along the riverside. It's spring.... the trails are wet. Dry trails might exist somewhere, but expect wet - or drive to town and walk down the street. Woods mostly bare ground speckled with hefty snow pockets - a foot think in some spots! Some flying insects are abound, a confused mosquito or butterfly and such. Squirrels are a scamperin. Big OWL nearly collided with vehicle up on Crackerbox Road. YIKES! A big one too. Merganser resident Wanakena up here near the Rapids. Trout Fishing with live bait - go for it! NEW Cranberry Library Drop Box installed at Otto's! Hillside and Coffee Fever open for bussiness. CLBC ICE OUT contest continues; the ice has a firm grasp on that lake. Judy Hastings was on NCPR the other day. North Country at Work: Farming, shopkeeping, and more in Morley | NCPR News (northcountrypublicradio.org) April 9th is a JOINT Town Board Meeting. Regular Town Board Meeting April 14th @ 6:30 Star Lake. Here’s a link to the most recent town board meeting minutes HERE: Town Of Fine: Minutes: March 09, 2022: Town Board Meeting [Digital Towpath] Spring Fling the 26th. Todays Ice Jam Danger remains LOW.

– A burn ban is in effect from March 16th through May 14th in St. Lawrence County and the rest of the state according to the DEC. Open burning is prohibited in NY, with several exceptions: Campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width and diameter are allowed; small cooking fires are allowed; fires cannot be left unattended and must be filly extinguished; only charcoal, or clean, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned; Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires are allowed. In towns with a total population less than 20,000 you may burn tree limbs with attached leaves. The limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter and 8 feet in length (also refered to as brush). However, this is NOT allowed from March 16th – May 14th due to increased risk of wildfire.

WILDERNESS KINDNESS - Stay off the steep trails and when hiking in the woods this spring. Some call it " mud season". WALK THOUGH THE MUDDY PUDDLES and NOT around them. Keep it simple. IMPORTANT: Clomp the mud off your boots BEFORE you leave a wilderness area - as to prevent the spread of invasive species though plant fragment and seeds. Same applies for your watercraft - clean off mud and plant fragments BEFORE you leave a waterway; "stop aquatic hitchikers!". Practice Leave No Trace principles. Be prepared. 

- RAIN! This weather forecast is brought to you by Wanakena’s own PATTIJACKNAN
weather team – a Wanakener garage-pole-mounted weather station and crew. THANKS, TEAM! This weather station can be found HERE: Wanakena, NY 10-Day Weather Forecast | Weather Underground (wunderground.com)

- The following information was submitted to be published in this week's edition of WANAKENA WEEEKLY - Thanks, Tim! 

Having treated black flies in the Clifton Fine area for the past 15 years one thing that astonishes me is that many people don’t know what flying insect is biting them. From the middle of April until the first frosts of October I wish I had a dime for all the times I hear “ these black flies are terrible”. Most people assume that anything that bites them is a black fly.

Sure.... when in the Adirondacks, any thing that flies and bites me must be a black fly. Hopefully the following scribble will enlighten you.

Let me introduce myself. Tim Nargi. I run the Clifton Fine Black Fly Program. My partner Ed Baxter and I have been treating streams for the past 15 years. We treat approximately 80 streams with a combined distance of around 140 miles. Stream size varies from a trickle to the Oswegatchie river. We very rarely have the luxury of walking a trail or cleared path, we follow the streams. In our area they start ether from a beaver pond, spring or lake, gathering force as they move along combining with other streams and creeks.

I expect to see my first black flies around the 13th of April. Colder temps will move that date down the calendar a little, lots of snow melt is also a great helper. Rainy cool Springs will indicate to me a difficult treatment season ahead. Dry warm springs make our job easier.

There are 40 species of black flies that inhabit NY. There are 2 that are bothersome in the North Country and a third that has recently reestablished itself in our area.

Only females need the proteins in blood to reproduce. Males don’t bite, they feed on nectar.

Females will lay their eggs in the same stream that they were hatched in.

Black flies only breed in moving water. The faster the better.

Mosquitos breed in stagnant water.

Deer Flies
Bitting Stable Flies, (ankle biters)
Biting midges (punkies) (no see-ums)
All breed in moist soil. Development increases ofter a hard rain.

Biting midges are responsible for spreading Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease to whitetail deer. it is almost always deadly and kill deer within 36 hours of being bitten. It’s a huge problem in the Hudson Valley and was in St Lawrence County with the warmer them normal temperatures we had last year.
We have a third species of black fly that has made a comeback in our area after having been eliminated by polluted waters. With the cleaning up of our waterways starting in the 1970’s this late season black fly has been making its presence known. Not a biter but they are annoying. They are also very hard to treat at they are a slack water fly that breeds in slow moving water. When I sent some specimens to Dr Pete Adler (black fly expert from Clemson University) in 2010 to find out what whey were he asked if we had any waterway impoundments? Yea.. were full of them with all the hydro electric plants in the area. He went on the explain that clean water has allowed this species to once again thrive. Yippie!!!!

Males are the first to hatch 7-10 days before females.

We have two “hatches” The first are larvae that have over wintered in streams, attaching to rocks and vegetation and feeding on microscopic organisms. They will pupate and develop into an adult when stream temps approach 44 degrees F. The second “hatch” are eggs that have over wintered in stream. They develop when stream temps go over 44 degrees F We refer to them as white legs as they have white markings on their legs.

What we do to control Black Flies

We do not SPRAY to control black flies. We don’t kill adults. We kill larvae with direct treatments to a moving stream, using a formulation developed by NYSDEC.

We use a pesticide called BTI Bacillus Thuringiensis Isrealensis the trade name is Vectobac 12-AS. It was developed in Israel to help kill black flies that carry River Blindness that effects people in Africa. BTI is unique in that it only effects spieces that have an alkaline based digestive system. Most animals have acid based system. BTI has a bacteria that effects the black fly larva’s stomach walls. The bacteria is encased in a crystal that dissolves in an alkaline solution. So when the larvae ingested the BTI the digestive system dissolves the crystal releasing the bacteria to kill the larva. it passes through all critters that digest food with acid. In the 15 years that I have been treating streams in our area I have never seen BTI harm any organism other then its target. BTI will also kill mosquito larvae but is applied differently for this species.

Stream temperature is the most important factor in effective black fly control. That’s why you’ll see us treating streams in March. We have to treat as many streams as possible before they start to warm to that critical 44 degree temp. We look at the larva and notice how they are developing. The most important development are hystoblasts. This is indicated by two black dots on other side of the larvae. This is the development of their respiratory system. It is also an indicator that the larvae are about to pupate. When the larva pupates it doesn’t feed, so treatments are useless. Their pupae look like a small pup tents and attach to rocks and vegetation. They will remain in that state for a few days and the adult will emerge in a tiny air bubble and rise to the surface.

The adults only function is to reproduce. The males fertilize the females; the females need the proteins in blood for egg development.

The females lay their eggs back in the stream. There could be multiple hatches within the season if conditions are optimal.

Field observations over the years (These are my observations yours might vary)

If black flies get into your house they will not bite. They are attracted to light and go to windows.

Deer flies can sense the presence of dragon flies and will vacate if they are in the area. If I’m moving in tall grass and disturb deer flies, dragon flies will soon move in to eat them. Some black fly programs issue their crews hats with images of dragon flies to hopefully deter the deer fly????

In late spring and summer after a hard rain there will be an increase in biting stable fly (ankle biter) activity.

In the Adirondack Park we can’t treat to control mosquitos, but every home owner can help by removing anything that will hold water. Mosquitos will lay their eggs in any container that has water in it. (There’s a great photo of mosquito larvae in a water filled bottle cap!)

Gutters that are clogged and don’t drain water 
Bird baths
old tires...These are the worst

Black fly larvae like to attach to “junk” beer cans, and plastic bags. We have seen old posted signs that have found their way into streams. The bright yellow color shows the black of the larva making for an easy confirmation that the stream is in need of treatment.

I will continue to post weekly and update on black fly development. 

(Tim Nargi.and his partner Ed Baxter run the Clifton Fine Black Fly Program. They have been treating streams for the past 15 years.)

- NEXT FOLK JAM is Easter Sunday April 17th 3-5pm - hopefully out in the Gazebo! The Cartoon Contest has come down and new art is UP ON THE WALLS. NEW Lean-To oil paintings by Keene, NY's Judy James. The Clifton Community Library in Cranberry Lake has installed a fantiasic Library Drop Box. Folks in town will be able to drop-off library items and also pick-up oredered items! More info to come. Local BTI guy Tim Nargi brought us down some BLACKFLY larvae - come on down and take a look - he'll also be providing some write-ups (see above) and perhaps some more specimens. Produce rack remains STOCKED. Nearly half of it comes from Juniper Hill Farm, an organic farm on the eastern edge of the Adirondacks. Bread, milk, eggs and many more dry, cold and frozen groceries. Candy, snacks, ice cream and soft drinks, too. HOT COFFEE and baked goods at the counter. Books, maps, music for your browsing pleasure. Camping/fishing/hiking knickknack patty-whacks. Over SIXTY varieties of beer/cider/etc... in the walk-in cooler. Why be a square when you could be a deconstructed cube?

- New Lean-to paintings by Judy James (Keene, NY). On view 04/06/22 - 05/23/22 at Otto's Abode in Wanakena. She will visit and we will host a reception so you can meet the artist! More information to come!

- Open for business! Thanks, Mary for running the show!


RANGER SCHOOL - The Ranger School is HIRING a food service worker at the Bio Station this summer! Get your ass up to Wanakena and do some work on Cranberry Lake, c'mon! The Ranger School is excited to be hosting an in-person open house on April24. Share the news!!! Registration is required. Will there be a RS Reunion this summer? YES, THERE WILL BE! Campus hiking trails remain open to the public. Stay away from the buildings, though. Class of 2022 is IN SESSION! CHECK OUT THEIR TRAIL CAM.

PACKBASKET ADVENTURES – Website says: "We are OPEN FOR BUSINESS and following NYS DOH Guidelines. We are accepting reservations with proof of completed vaccination protocol OR proof of negative Covid test within 3 days of planned arrival. Come have a safe and relaxing stay!"

WANAKENA ACCOMODATIONS - Local cleaning company looking to hire experienced cleaner! Besides that... Lots of primitive camping!!!!!! All free and open to the public!!!!!! Looking for more? Besides Packbasket Adventures Lodge, Wanakena has a number of "vacation" rental homes available. They are all of ADKbyOWNER/AirBnB/VrBo variety. It's someone else's place that YOU stay at. In other words: you can't just show up in Wanakena and expect to get a hotel roof under your head. You need to plan accordingly with your fancy pants smart phone. Do an internet search for Wanakena ADKbyOWNER/AirBnB/VrBo rentals and stuff will pop-up. WELCOME TO WANAKENA & CRANBERRY LAKE, NY.... no bars and no hotels! Also, does anyone have dock space for rent? Asking for a friend.

WANAKENA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION – WHA Donation Jar down here at Otto's! The bottle and can cart is GONE for the winter. The Walking Tour around Wanakena is CLOSED for the cold-weather season! The History Center is CLOSED for the cold-weather season! WHA Picture Kiosks can still be seen around town, though. Quilt by Carol Cassidy and Primrose McVay - $5 tickets - drawing on 4th of July.

WANAKENA CEMETERY ASSOCIATION – Cremation Remains burial has gone up from $150 to $250. Also, there is no longer a backhoe charge for cremation burial because they don’t use a backhoe for cremation burials any longer.

WANAKENA PRESBYTERIANCHURCH – Wanakena Church CLOSED for Fall, Winter and Spring. Service schedule September 12th - May 29, 2022: Star Lake 11:00am. ZOOM meeting # 666 365 4813.

WANAKENA PUBLIC BATHROOM AND DOCK - The Town of Fine took down the BIG NASTY DEAD white pine that has loomed over the beach for the past few years. YAY! Thanks, crew! Public Bathroom CLOSED for the season. Public dock CLOSED for the Season. Well, not "closed", rather, moved to its winter hiatus position down-river. Reason? Freezin'.

NEW LIBRARY DROP BOX DOWN AT OTTO'S! Clifton Community Library in Cranberry Lake is looking for TWO NEW board members!!!! The library is OPEN Tuesday – Friday 10:00-2:00, Saturday 10:00-1:00, Wednesday Evening 6:00-7:00, ****CLOSED ON MONDAYS****. Library book drop-off relocated to Otto's Abode in Wanakena! Library Board holds public meetings the 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 6pm. Cranberry Lake Book Club first Mondays of the month in the basement.A NEW video about the Cranberry Lake Wooden Fish Hatchery HERE: A visit with a master carver - Adirondack Explorer Snowmobile trails CLOSED FOR THE SEASON!  CRANBERRY LAKE BOAT CLUB Ice Out Contest submissions are CLOSED - we'll report back with what we hear! The ice has NOT gone out yet. SOON. More information on the CLBC Facebook Page! 2022 CLBC Schedule of Events: Firecracker - Monday July 4th, 2022, Poker Paddle - Saturday July 23rd, 2022, Community Picnic - July 30th, 2022, Canoe/Kayak Race - Saturday August 13th, 2022, Sailboat Races - TBD. Tooley Pond Duck Decoy Showroom in Cranberry Lake is OPEN!!!!!!! John Dragun NEON ARTWORK and MORE down in Windfall… OPEN! Cranberry Lake Boat Club's NEW boating navigation Map is OUT TO THE PUBLIC! Pick up your copy at OTTO'S ABODE in WANAKENA for $11.95. Cranberry Lake North Shore Hub has a new break wall, and the public docks are TAKEN OUT OF THE LAKE FOR THE SEASON - THANKS HUBBAS! Tilly's Stone Manor is CLOSED for the winter BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE GETTING THE OL' NEON SIGN FIXED-UP! Lakeside General Store CLOSED for the season. State Campground CLOSED for the season.

LIFEGUARD NEEDED - Summer work opportunity. Lifeguard for Clifton Town Beach at Cranberry Lake. Info for applications. Must call Nancy Russell at 315-848-2369 to get application/paperwork Requirements: at least 16 years of age. American Red Cross CPR and AED certification (renew every 2 years). FALG waterfront skills, also from Red Cross. $13.20 starting wage. Cost of certifications reimbursed after completion of summer work. Beach open from about July 1st to mid - August. Additional questions - Nancy at 315-848-2369 or Julie at 848-3641

NEWTON FALLS - The Post Office (13666) opened March 13th, 1896 in Newton Falls.... Recently The Paper Mill was featured on local public radio: North Country at Work: Running rolls at the Newton Falls Paper Mill | NCPR News (northcountrypublicradio.org)

- Chicken BBQ at the Legion Saturday, May 7th @ noon. Hillside Diner and Coffee Fever BOTH open for business. SOS has MANY free ART events coming up! Stay Tuned at their FACEBOOK.  SOS, The Adirondack Exhibit Center - Home | Facebook Bargain Hunter experiencing SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES and will be forced to print at 8.5 x 11 for the time being. Ice Rink has closed down for the season. Snowmobile trails CLOSED for the season. Wanakena's closest neighbor, Mountain Gate Redemption near Benson Mines, is open. A little further west Twin Lakes Hotel, American Legion, Todd Hardware, Adirondack Pharmacy, Dollar General and Circle J’s in Star Lake are open! SOS in Star Lake is lookin' good! CF Community Center, too! Still further west within Clifton-Fine, UB’s, and Adirondack Rustics in Oswegatchie are open! Community Bank has different/random hours. What's The Scoop has CLOSED for the season. Golf Course and Jreck's too. They'll be back! CFCSD Fitness Room: OPEN to community members 6pm – 8pm and 5pm - 10pm M-F and weekends 6-10am (paperwork required). GO EAGLES! Also, the school is ALWAYS hiring, various positions. Clifton Fine Hospital in Star Lake is open. Alcoholics Anonymous Friday nights at 7pm in the SOS Building. Front page Bargain Hunter says Easter Service at the "NEW" Church in Star Lake

KIM AND THOMS LOST DOG REPORT - As of today, there are NO lost dogs in Wanakena.

Any questions, comments, concerns, trail condition inquiries, legends, jokes, animal sightings, cartoons, etc… Feel free to email otto@ottosabode.org or call 3158483008 or pop-in the shop! Also, we probably wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to publish your submission! Write “submission” in the subject line if emailing! Wanakena Weekly is archived on our website. Wanakena Weekly is brought to you by the folks at Otto's Abode

"Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote - The droghte of March hath perced the roote." - From The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer (1387)