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From the February 2012 Conservationist


By Eileen Stegemann and Jenna Kerwin

Editor's Note: Jim Bonesteel, President of Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, Inc., sent us a note regarding the article "Home Sweet Home on the Rensselaer Plateau" in our October 2011 issue. He wanted to point out that the map on page 29 needs clarification. Barberville Falls Preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy, but the Preserve only encompasses half of the actual waterfall; the other half is in private ownership. Mr. Bonesteel would like visitors to please respect this private property and limit visits to lands of the Preserve.

Praise for Jerry

Habitat access stamp poster with a spotted turtle on it
I was pleased to see the late Jerry H. Czech's spotted turtle painting in the August 2011 issue being used to promote the Habitat and Access Stamp. In the early 1960s Jerry taught natural history courses at the Heldeberg Workshop summer program in western Albany County. I was privileged to have been his student. A pencil sketch of a sparrow hawk he gave me in 1963 hangs in my home and reminds me of happy summer days spent in marsh, field and stream, observing, collecting, examining and trying to better understand the natural world.
Dan Odell
Cohoes (Albany County)

We're happy you had to the opportunity to know Jerry; he was a great artist, a great teacher and an even better friend.

Memories from Miller

I have been a Conservationist reader for half a century. The photograph of Storm King Mountain by Greg Miller in the December 2011 issue brought back many memories. I was a student at the Storm King School from 1960 to 1963. I was born and raised in upstate New York, and my parents give me a Conservationist subscription each year for Christmas. The letters from readers are in many ways my favorite feature of the publication, though the sensitive paintings and beautiful photographs always bring back the landscapes of my childhood and youth.
Mott Greene
Seattle, WA

One of our favorite features, as well!

Like Hopper?

Pink sunrise over the Hudson taken from a ferry boat

I was riding the Newburgh Ferry when I took this photograph of the sun rising over the Hudson.
Jennett Bissinger
Orange County

What a beautiful photograph! We can't help but notice the photo's resemblance to Edward Hopper's painting "Nighthawks." Anybody else think so?

Gun Safety

I read "First Buck at 49" (see October 2011 issue) and would like to congratulate Thomas on his diligence and patience over six years. I, too, started hunting later in life, also because I did not have any family members that hunted. However, I am disappointed that one of the "Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety" is broken in the article; many people think it's okay to use their scope as a substitute for binoculars. A co-worker told me that he "accidentally" shot a deer when he was checking its antler size through his scope. The rule says you must only point a firearm at something you intend to shoot.
Newfane (Niagara County)

Point taken. While hunting afield, it is best to identify targets with binoculars.
-Dave Nelson, Editor

Floating Science

Frozen water in a stream with ice crircles

We came across these frozen discs in Tenmile Creek. What are they?
Mary Binder and Helene Goldberger
Albany County

These look like ice circles and occur when the force of the flowing water is enough to break off chunks of ice and cause them to rotate against other areas of ice, causing the chunks to grind down into a circle.
-Susan Van Patten, DEC Division of Water

ESF Centennial

The article in your October 2011 issue on the 100th anniversary of the Department (see "Conservation Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow") was very meaningful to me. One hundred years ago, the state also started the College of Forestry at Syracuse University, now SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. As members of the class of 1971, many of my classmates and I recently returned to campus to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We also celebrated the centennial of the college. We found the undergraduate and graduate programs more vibrant and nationally competitive than ever, and the dedication of a new student residence hall, aptly named Centennial Hall, is making on-campus housing a reality. May the dedicated young professionals have the opportunity to work and serve the public in their chosen fields of study.
Craig R. Johnson
Tonawanda (Erie County)

The cover of the centennial issue of the magazine of SUNY ESF

Thanks so much for the kind words. I, too, am an ESF alumna (class of 1980) who has been fortunate enough to work in my chosen field. I was a forest biology major and began working for DEC in 1981 in the fisheries office in Watertown. Over the years I've done a number of different jobs, but I've always loved my work and found it rewarding. Now I love working with the magazine. Sounds like there are great things happening at ESF; maybe I'll plan a visit!
-Eileen Stegemann, Assistant Editor

Snowy Scene

A female northern flicker perched on a suet feeder on a snowy day

Ed Trosclair sent us this photo of a female northern flicker visiting his suet feeder on a snowy, February day.