2017 February 26

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Albany Pine Bush
Balsam Creek State Forest
Delmar, NY
Donald John Trump
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
Kaaterskill Falls
North South Lake Campground
Whaupaunaucau State Forest

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

Good evening! Mostly clear and 26 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a east breeze at 6 mph.

Saturday this weekend was so beautiful in the morning. I really had wish I had planned to go to Hannacroix Preserve or maybe some place more distant on Saturday. But I got my taxes done. So that was a good thing. It was nice hiking at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center for a few hours on Saturday, but it’s really not my favorite place to go as it’s much too suburban for my taste. Albany Pine Bush hike I led today was pretty successful, as a few of the regulars showed up, despite the cold windy weather. My expectations were low as soon as I stepped outside this morning. But it turned out good. Out walking it wasn’t so bad as the calories you burned made up for the cold. I got my shopping done, so I have food for the week and don’t have to go anywhere except maybe the car wash. 

There pretty good thunderstorms last evening, although it was mostly heavy rain and sleet with a few clips of thunder and some brief wind. During the half hour between when the front went through and when it was over, the temperature had to drop 20 degrees. So much colder this evening.I had to turn the heat back on at home and close, lock, and put storm windows back in. 

Fixed a bunch of bugs on my blog last night. And made some new bugs. Most of those bugs are minor  but they should reduce the number of messed up charts, posts scheduled for the wrong time, and glitches setting up picture locations.  Also added some user adjustable charts and the code implementing a new weather chart. Of course in the process of the fix, I managed to create new bugs including a nasty one that accidentally revealed all my recently saved drafts posts to Facebook. 

It was a pretty good weekend until I things started to go terribly wrong on Sunday evening. First off, I decided to get my truck washed – putting it off until the rain could wash the salt off the pavement – and by then the car wash by closed for repair. Damn kids with their muddy trucks. I might go back tomorrow after work. I pushed forward several minor blog fixes but that all went terribly wrong when a single line of code went wrong. All kinds of draft content posted, clogging up people’s Facebook feed, getting at least one person angry at me because I said something in a draft that wasn’t exactly the most artful of words. People get over their egos.  And it’s deleted now. Drafts are meant to be private, used to work out ideas. I got to be more careful what I put in drafts, should they ever go public again. On top of that, I’m concerned I’m getting an ear infection in my left ear, which feels kind of like there is fluid in it. And I broke my headphones. I bought a new set – another $7 set of ear buds at Walmart. But if I get a full blown ear infection, I don’t think I’ll be wearing them anytime soon. I’m hoping it will be fine by morning, if not ill give it some time then it’s off to the doctor. I hate using antibiotics but I don’t want to lose my hearing like so many older people I know. 

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 25 degrees at 11pm. Five degrees above normal. East wind around 6 mph becoming light and variable. In 2016, it got down to 17 degrees with periods of snow. The record low of -13 occurred back in 1940.

Waxing Crescent Moon tonight with 5% illuminated. The First Quarter Moon is next Sunday with partly cloudy skies expected. The Full “Worm” Moon is in 2 weeks. The sun will rise at 6:33 am with the first light at 6:05 am, which is 1 minutes and 36 seconds earlier then yesterday. Tonight will have 12 hours and 49 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 51 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, with a high of 52 degrees at 3pm. 16 degrees above normal. Breezy, with a south wind 9 to 14 mph becoming west 16 to 21 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph. I wish we had weather like that today. A year ago, we had snow and a high of 39 degrees. The record high of 61 was set in 1997. 3.6 inches of snow fell back in 2013.

Looking forward to wiring up those gang plate switches and the dimmer next weekend. I think I will put the shelf/gun rack strip and the cap roof lighting on the same dimmer switch but with separate on off switches. It looks like I can also wire the built in USB port and volt meter to an on off switch so it won’t be glowing all night or wasting power unnecessarily. Nice blade connectors that are easy to crimp, use and move around as needed. I also want to get the low voltage disconnect hooked up. Since I pulled the solar controller, it seems like the accessory battery isn’t going flat so quickly. Maybe I won’t have to rush out to replace it, although I may still do it before peak camping season. I hate sitting in the dark at camp. 

In four weeks on March 26 the sun will be setting at 7:15 pm (Daylight Savings Time), which is 1 hour and 33 minutes later then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 52 and 34 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 49 and 29 degrees. The record high of 74 degrees was set back in 1986.

Looking ahead, Daylight Savings Time is in 2 weeks, Palm Sunday is in 6 weeks, Easter is in 7 weeks, Mother’s Day is in 11 weeks, Memorial Day Weekend is in 3 months and Father’s Day is in 16 weeks.

Kuwait could pay up to $60,000 for party at Trump Hotel in Washington

" The Kuwaiti government could pay up to $60,000 to President Donald Trump's hotel in Washington for a party on Saturday that will be an early test of Trump's promise to turn over profits from such events to the U.S. Treasury."

"The Kuwait Embassy is hosting an event to mark their National Day. Similar National Day celebrations at the Trump International Hotel for a crowd of several hundred can run from $40,000 to $60,000, according to cost estimates from the hotel seen by Reuters. The hotel declined to comment on the figures."

Map: Balsam Creek State Forest

Map: Balsam Creek State Forest

This 559 acre state forest, located in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, is bisected by the 150 foot deep Balsam Creek valley. Balsam Creek and its tributary to the north, Cold Creek, are well known spring fed trout streams. The hardwood forests abound with valuable high quality hard maple and black cherry sawtimber and veneer.

In the 1930's the Conservation Department planted pine trees in the open fields near Fish Creek Road. Today these trees have grown to mature plantations of white pine, red pine and Norway spruce sawtimber. DEC forestry staff regularly conduct carefully controlled timber sales on this forest, maintaining a vigorous forest while at the same time providing the forest industry with critical raw materials.

Wildlife found here includes white-tailed deer, black bear, and fur bearers including fisher, coyotes and mink. Briar Hill public forest access road provides 1.5 miles of gravel surface access for the public north from Fish Creek Road.


Wind and Solar Energy Monthly Production in New York State

This stacked line chart shows the monthly output of large-scale wind farms, distributed solar power (roof-top) and large-scale solar farms. Wind produces the most energy in the winter months, while solar produces more energy in the summer. Both industries have seen a dramatic growth in output in recent years. Data is in gigawatt hours.

Data Source: EIA Electricity Data Browser. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/

Google Maps: Homeownership Percentage

The homeownership rate is computed by dividing the number of households that are owners by the total number of occupied households.

A housing unit is classified as occupied if it is the current place of residence of the person or group of people living in it at the time of interview, or if the occupants are only temporarily absent from the residence for two months or less, that is, away on vacation or a business trip. If all the people staying in the unit at the time of the interview are staying there for two months or less, the unit is considered to be temporarily occupied and classified as “vacant.”

The date of the data is the end of the 5-year period. For example, a value dated 2015 actually represents data from 2010 to 2015.

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Homeownership Rate by County, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://geofred.stlouisfed.org/, February 24, 2017.

Map: Whaupaunaucau State Forest

Map: Whaupaunaucau State Forest

The forest was named after the marten which formerly inhabited this hill along with the early settlers. Part of the Chenangadilla Unit Management Plan, Whaupaunaucau State Forest was purchased with Hewitt Amendment funds in the 1930's. The State Forest is a blend of red pine, Scotch pine and Norway spruce plantations with natural hardwoods consisting of red oak, American beech, sugar maple, red maple, black cherry, white ash and eastern hemlock. Various forest products have been removed during the years.