2017 February 22

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Albany Pine Bush
Alfred E. Smith Building
Donald John Trump
Empire State Plaza
John Boyd Thacher State Park
Kaaterskill Falls
New York State Museum
Rensselearville State Forest
Rome Sand Plains
Schodack Island State Park
Windham High Peak

February 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Map: Rome Sand Plains

Map: Rome Sand Plains

Rome Sand Plains is a 15,000-acre (61 km2) pine barrens consisting of a mosaic of sand dunes extending about 50 feet (15 m) above low peat bogs that lie between the dunes. The barrens are covered with mixed northern hardwood forests, meadows, and wetlands. The sand plains are about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the city center of Rome, New York, which is in Oneida County; about 4,000 acres (16 km2) presently lie in conservation preserves. Pine barrens are typical of seacoasts; the Rome Sand Plains is one of only a handful of inland pine barrens remaining in the United States.

E. W. Russell has described the Sand Plains as follows, "The landscape today forms a sharp contrast with the surrounding flat, fertile farmland, which is almost all cleared of trees and planted in crops. Uplands, including some dunes, support forest vegetation of American beech, white oak (Quercus alba), red and sugar maples, white and pitch pine (Pinus strobus and P. rigida), gray birch (Betula populifolia), hemlock, aspen (Populus spp.), American elm, and other northern hardwood species. Some uplands are also characterized as pitch pine heaths, dominated by pitch pines with an understory of blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) and other related (ericaceous) shrubs. Pitch pine is the characteristic tree of the wetlands, along with aspen, gray birch, and red maple, along with an ericaceous shrub layer."

There are several rare species in the Sand Plains, including the purple pitcher plant and a sundew (both of which are carnivorous plants), red-shouldered hawks, martens, and the frosted elfin butterfly, which is a threatened species in New York State.[3] Other species to be found include wild blue lupine (also rare, and the food for the frosted elfin), barrens buckmoth (Hemileuca maia), whippoorwill, pine warbler and pitch pine, normally indigenous to coastal areas.

The Rome Sand Plains were owned privately through about 1980. The sand was mined to make molds and cores for metal casting. An application for a permit to mine sand around 1980 triggered an effort to protect the area. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation began purchasing lands, working with The Nature Conservancy and other organizations. 1,700 acres (690 ha) of the Sand Plains have been purchased by the DEC, and are designated as the Rome Sand Plains Unique Area. The Nature Conservancy holds another 1,000 acres (400 ha). The Izaak Walton League holds about 440 acres (180 ha), Oneida County holds an additional 770 acres (310 ha) as a County Forest, and a few acres are held by the City of Rome. A map showing these holdings was released by the DEC in 2008; the map shows the location of three foot trails maintained by the DEC and one by the Izaak Walton League. A consolidated management plan involving all five preserves, and addressing the entire Sand Plains area, was released in 2006


“You might tell me where to go, but there ain’t nobody going to me what to do.” – As the sign on the dashboard of my old pickup truck said, quoting Van Zandt. 

Good evening! Going home time. Partly clear and 53 degrees in Delmar. There is a south-southeast breeze at 6 mph.

The sun will set at 5:37 pm with dusk around 6:05 pm, which is 1 minutes and 16 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly clear conditions and 52 degrees. There will be a south-southeast breeze at 6 mph. A very pleasant evening is on tap. Me thinks tailgate drinking weather. I hope the beer sitting in the bed of my pickup ain’t too warm but I guess I can stick it in the remaining snowbank. 

Tomorrow will be 63 degrees which will help melt away the snow. Rail trail has increasingly less snow. This weekend will only be good for playing in the mud. I can’t wait until things green up a bit.  

Such a nice day. I hate that I was behind bars of the window most of day but I got a nice walk at lunch time. Pretty sunset tonight. 

Tonight will have patchy fog after 10pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low of 36 degrees at 6am. 17 degrees above normal. South wind 3 to 6 mph. In 2016, it got down to 17 degrees with periods of snow. The record low of -16 occurred back in 1972.

Waning Crescent Moon tonight with 22% illuminated. The moon will rise around 2:46 am. The New Moon is on Sunday night with partly cloudy skies expected. The Full “Worm” Moon is on Sunday, March 12th. The sun will rise at 6:40 am with the first light at 6:11 am, which is 1 minute and 32 seconds earlier then yesterday. Tonight will have 13 hours and 1 minute of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 49 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have a slight chance of showers after noon. Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high of 63 degrees at 3pm. 26 degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 49 at 2pm. South wind 5 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. A year ago, we had snow and a high of 38 degrees. The record high of 62 was set in 1984. 6.9 inches of snow fell back in 1935.

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, a chance of showers, then rain likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 62. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Maximum dew point of 53 at 12pm. Sunday, partly sunny, with a high near 40. We don’t care about the dew point when it’s that cold. Typical average high for the weekend is 37 degrees.

In four weeks on March 22 the sun will be setting at 7:10 pm (Daylight Savings Time), which is 1 hour and 33 minutes later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had snow and temperatures between 53 and 27 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 47 and 28 degrees. The record high of 81 degrees was set back in 2012.

Looking ahead, March 1st is Next Wednesday, Ides of March is in 3 weeks, Average High is 60 is in 8 weeks, Flag Day is in 16 weeks and Summer is in 17 weeks.

Manufacturing Employees in New York State

In 1990, approximately 1,012,300 New Yorkers worked in manufacturing. Since then many plants have closed, and only 443,300 manufacturing jobs remain in our state. These monthly numbers are seasonally adjusted.

Data Source:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, All Employees: Manufacturing in New York [NYMFG], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NYMFG, February 22, 2017.