2017 April 12

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

Good evening! Mostly sunny and 58 degrees in the City of Albany. There is a west-northwest breeze at 14 mph. The dew point is 42 degrees. A pretty decent spring evening but maybe a bit chilly with the breeze.

The sun will set at 7:34 pm with dusk around 8:03 pm, which is one minute and 8 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly clear conditions and 56 degrees. Breezy, 16 mph breeze from the west-northwest. Better bring a sweater of I end up going to the park. Not sure if I will watch the Newshour out back. 

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 41 degrees at 6am. Four degrees above normal. Maximum wind chill around 35 at 5am; Northwest wind 13 to 16 mph. In 2016, it got down to 31 degrees under partly clear skies. The record low of 19 occurred back in 1874.

Waning Gibbous Moon tonight with 88% illuminated. The moon will rise around 8:06 pm. The Last Quarter Moon is next Wednesday with partly cloudy skies expected. The Full “Flower” Moon is on Wednesday, May 10th. The sun will rise at 6:16 am with the first light at 5:47 am, which is one minute and 39 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 10 hours and 40 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 47 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, with a high of 59 degrees at 3pm. Two degrees above normal. Northwest wind 11 to 14 mph. A year ago, we had partly sunny skies and a high of 53 degrees. The record high of 87 was set in 1977. 5.5 inches of snow fell back in 1950.

Not a washout but the holiday weekend has slid downhill. Saturday, a chance of showers, mainly after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 65. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. Maximum dew point of 45 at 9pm. Easter, a chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 77. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Maximum dew point of 57 at 2pm. Typical average high for the weekend is 58 degrees.

In four weeks on May 10 the sun will be setting at 8:06 pm, which is 31 minutes and 33 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 69 and 34 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 68 and 45 degrees. The record high of 92 degrees was set back in 1970.

Looking ahead, the Average High is 60 is Next Wednesday, Pack Rat Day is in 5 weeks, Flag Day is in 9 weeks, Summer is in 10 weeks and Inaugeration Day 2021 is in 197 weeks.

It wasn’t the nicest of mornings to start out the day, but now that the sun has come out it has gotten progressively nicer. I went out for a nice walk during lunchtime at the Empire State Plaza. I noticed they’ve started to fill the reflecting pools in the plaza for the first time this year. They still don’t have the ice rink put away for the year, but I’m guessing by next week, you’ll be able to sit by the reflecting pools and fountains in the plaza. I’m starting to think about going down to the park after work again — or maybe just to the library. I’ll think about it. Still it’s tough, because that only leaves about a half to cook, eat, and clean up dinner before going down to the park, to make sure I’m down there before 7 PM, so I have at least an hour before dusk, which is now a little beyond eight.

Another quite busy day in the office, covering for several people who are out on vacation. But then again, next week I’m on on vacation. I think for most of my trip I will have cellphone reception, which is kind of nice, because I like being able to check the news, update blog, and be in the touch with the world next to campfire, especially on the longer nights that still exist in April. We will see though, and I don’t yet have a complete plan for next week set in stone. Playing with the phone is just another way to pass the time on those long evenings. And it’s good in case of emergency. By this time next week, I should be settled into a campsite, either the first or second day of my trip. Probably be thinking about getting a campfire started and relaxing for the evening.

Christmas cactus was starting to get dried out this morning I noticed, but I watered it and it started to perk up. A few weeks back I had some blooms that started then they never developed fully but quickly fell off. There is a lot of new growth this year, and the leaves are a healthy green, ever since I started to feed it fertilizer. I expect it to fill out the planter soon. I guess I didn’t water it on Monday and Tuesday, and with the air conditioning blowing dry air on it and the bright sun, it got very dried out.

I was a bit concerns about cleanly drilling through the fiberglass on truck cap to mount the solar panel, but based on further research, I was able to get some tips from the internet, to ensure that I make the holes with minimum damage. Besides obviously making sure the holes are exactly marked where you need them, and to drill slow, use masking tape to drill through, to avoid tearing the top surface with the drill.  I was concerned about the fiberglass tearing, but I guess that’s less of an issue then I expected if you careful. I might have to sand the inside of the cap after the holes are drilled, and I will want to use silicone sealant to prevent leaks. But it should work. I plan to get measurements for the panel this weekend and make sure it fits snuggly despite the slightly sloping roofline. I also want to check the height of the three panel to make sure it clears under 9 feet.

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day, although I’m thinking of having Macaroni and Cheese tonight just to be different. I’m not one for following convention after all and that’s what I planned earlier in the day. 

Traffic is moving well on the evening commute, as the completion of the rebuild of Interstate 787 plus the changing of the traffic light signal timing. Which is good, because like usual at the end of the day, I’m pretty tired. 

Fungal Pesticides Offer A Growing Alternative To Traditional Chemicals

"Pesticides based on fungi are just one example of biopesticides, a group that also includes bacteria and biochemicals derived from plants.

Biopesticides are a tiny segment of the market for now – but their use is projected to grow at a faster rate than traditional synthetic pesticides over the next few years.

The growth of the organic produce industry is one factor giving biopesticides a boost. So, too, are regulatory hurdles, says Sara Olson, a senior analyst at Lux Research."

Map: Median Household Rent

Map: Median Household Rent

MEDIAN MONTHLY HOUSING COSTS (RENTERS) (DOLLARS)
Universe: Occupied housing units with monthly housing costs
2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Sorry for the extra zero values on the ranges. This map was done with an older version of QGIS which made it difficult to remove the extra zeros on the ranges. If I were to remake the map today, I would do it differently.

Map: Texas Hollow State Forest

Map: Texas Hollow State Forest

Texas Hollow State Forest (Schuyler Reforestation Area # 3) is located about 6 miles east of Watkins Glen, near the hamlet of Bennettsburg. It covers approximately 937 acres in the towns of Hector and Catharine in Schuyler County.

The Finger Lakes/North Country Trail (foot traffic only) passes through Texas Hollow State Forest. There is one pond constructed with a man-made dike, with a concrete control structures to discharge water. This pond can be accessed from Texas Hollow Rd with a short walk down an access road that is also the Finger Lakes Trail. In addition Texas Hollow State Forest has several naturally occurring ponds and bogs.

Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Traps may not be set on public road right of ways. Body gripping traps set on land must be at least 100 feet from public trails. Permanent tree stands are prohibited. However, a tree stand or blind is allowed, provided that it does not injure any trees, is properly marked or tagged with the owner's name and address or valid hunting or fishing license number, and is placed and used during big game season, migratory game bird season, or turkey season, but no more than thirty days in one location per calendar year.

Geo-caching is allowed although caches must be marked with the owner's contact information and may not be placed in dangerous or ecologically sensitive locations.

As many of the plantations established by the CCC reach the end of their natural life (75-100 years of age), they are converting to natural hardwood stands.

Today, Texas Hollow and all state forests in New York are managed for multiple benefits to serve the needs of the people of New York. Sustainable management practices ensure a perpetual supply of timber, a diversity of wildlife habitats, compatible recreational opportunities and clean water.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/37445.html

Count of Days with Each High Temperature in 2016

It always seems like Albany doesn't have much spring or fall weather. It's really cold or really warm. Even in the mild year of 2016, the most common high temperature was either in the 80 degree range or the 50 degree range. 60 and 70 degree days are relatively uncommon. 50 degrees seems relatively mild -- but remember that's the high for the day -- and that means much of the day may be in the 30s or 40s. In 2016, Albany had more days when the high temperature for the day was 80 degrees then any other range.

Map: Carpenter Falls State Unique Area

Map: Carpenter Falls State Unique Area

There are a total of four waterfalls along Bear Swamp Creek in this beautiful, but somewhat treacherous ravine. Carpenter Falls drops 90 feet and Angel Falls drops 62 feet. The two other falls are around 11-30 feet, various cascades and chutes that are not directly accessible from the trails. The trails can be very dangerous due to the ravine. This area is owned by the Finger Lakes Land Trust and is right next to Bahar Nature Preserve, which is also owned by Finger Lakes Land Trust.

Carpenter Falls is a somewhat easy 0.1 mile walk from the kiosk (the left trail) and Angel Falls is 0.5 mile moderate hike to the right of the kiosk. The main trail (Old Jug Path) continues another 0.5 mile to Skaneateles Lake. This one mile walk has an elevation loss of 431 feet, that you'll need to climb if you head down to the lake. You could create a "loop hike" utilizing the Old Jug Path and Appletree Point Road of about 2.3 miles. Even the road has a pretty steep climb, for those looking to do a loop hike.

http://www.cnyhiking.com/CarpenterFalls.htm