2017 May 27

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

Good evening! Partly clear and 52 degrees in Kelley Stand, VT. Calm wind. While the low dew points helped out drying things out, the woods has remained quite soaked. 

Today I hung out at camp and later on went over to Grout Pond and paddled around the lake for a couple of hours. No black flies on the lake. It was scenic but the water was fairly cool, not good for swimming. Made some videos and took some pictures. 

Once the campfire got going well it’s been pretty decent but at first the wood was pretty wet. The smoke is blowing in the direction of the driest part of the campsite, but I’m sitting in a wetter location. 

This afternoon I rearranged the campsite to avoid the worse of the mud and while things dried up a bit, it’s still a mess. I am thinking about packing up tomorrow before the rain in the evening and going home to avoid getting muddier. I’m not worried about getting stuck with my big jacked up truck but my gear will get even muddier. I don’t want to have to put away wet gear or a wet tarp if I can avoid it. 

Tonight will have a slight chance of showers before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 48 degrees at 4am. Four degrees below normal. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 20%. In 2016, it got down to 67 degrees with shallow fog and mist and mostly cloudy skies. The record low of 33 occurred back in 1994.

Waxing Crescent Moon tonight with 18% illuminated. The moon will set around 11:13 pm. The First Quarter Moon is on Thursday night with partly cloudy skies expected. The Full “Strawberry” Moon is on Friday, June 9th. The sun will rise at 5:16 am with the first light at 4:42 am, which is 39 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 8 hours and 54 minutes of darkness, a decrease of one minute and 30 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be partly sunny, with a high of 71 degrees at 1pm. One degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 56 at 5pm. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. A year ago, we had shallow fog, mist, then later mostly cloudy skies and a high of 93 degrees. The record high of 93 was set that year. There was a dusting of snow in 1902 in Albany. 

In four weeks on June 24 the sun will be setting at 8:35 pm, which is 14 minutes and 26 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 83 and 53 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 80 and 59 degrees. The record high of 96 degrees was set back in 1943.

Looking ahead, 50th Gas Up in Gallupville is in 2 weeks, Eat Your Vegatables Day is in 3 weeks, Latest Sunset of Year (8:37 PM) is in 4 weeks, July 1st is in 5 weeks, Cow Apprechiation Day (Moo?) is in 7 weeks, Hottest Time of Year Ends (83 Average) is in 8 weeks, National Lasagna Day is in 9 weeks, Last Sunset After 8 PM is in 11 weeks, National Dog Day is in 13 weeks, Lowville Cream Cheese Festival is in 16 weeks and Beaver Moon is in 23 weeks.

The laser lighting is pretty tonight now that I improved the projection. It looks like the trees are full of fireflies. The simple eligence is beautiful. It doesn’t look like high tech laser light, despite that’s what it is. I haven’t hooked up the new set of party lights I bought, I’m actually considering to return them. I have the receipt so I could do it. I’m not sure. It was only $20 and I could use them later in the summer. On the other hand, I’ve been thinking about getting a set of color controlled lights for im the truck cap, which are also $20, so returning them u could get my $20 back to spend on that. I want more colors options for my truck cap and brighter colors then the current set up. I guess it really doesn’t matter. 

Tomorrow I’ll decide if I should head home in the evening or stay another day and drive home in the rain. A lot depends on the timing. If the rain comes late enough, I could take down the tarp in the evening. Then have everything ready to go in the morning. I’ll think about it. 

I’m thinking I’m ready for bed. 

People often ask where the Google Map of all the campsites on NY State Lands is located on my blog.

Google Maps has an official limit of 1,000 placemarks per map. Sometimes they’ll let you put upwards of 1,500 if they simple, but the state’s own data has over 1,700 campsites located within it which is simply too large. I have heads up digitized almost 200 additional campsites within the state, so it won’t work as a single file — Google will just reject the file.

Instead, I have Google County Maps, that has the state land broken down into County-level files, and aggregated by region.

Google County Maps: http://andyarthur.org/google-county-maps

Additionally, I have the data available as downloadable formats for use on your GPS or Smartphone. They are available as several formats, and will needed to be unpacked from the ZIP file before transferring them to your GPS or KML.

KML for Google Earth: http://andyarthur.org/data/lands/kmz.zip
GPX Tracks for GPS: http://andyarthur.org/data/lands/tracks.zip
GPX Waypoints for GPS: http://andyarthur.org/data/lands/waypoints.zip

Also of interest is the my list of lean-tos on state land. This can be posted as a single file, because there are only 331 lean-tos in the DEC database. I have posted a list of DEC Lean-Tos, along with a Google Map and coordinates here:

DEC Leanto List: http://andyarthur.org/2017-nysdec-lean-to-listing.html

nycmap $id

Map: Stoney Pond State Forest

Map: Stoney Pond State Forest

The 1,469 acres offers visitors an opportunity to view a range of different flora and fauna.

The 44 acre Stoney Pond was constructed in the late 1950's to provide wildlife habitat. Populated with largemouth bass and panfish, it is home to blue herons, Canada geese, mallard ducks and other waterfowl. A parking area and boat launching site is located on the pond. No gas powered motors are permitted. A day use area is located adjacent to the ramp.

Camping is allowed at 17 designated campsites and requires a camping permit between May 1 and September 30. These sites are varied. Two sites are accessible only by foot and are for tent camping. Most of the sites are nestled among a white pine plantation at the south end of Stoney Pond. Each site contains a fire ring. A latrine services the camping area. There is no water well.

13 mile-long Stoney Pond Nordic Ski Trail is an important part of multiple use management of the forest. The trails wind through both natural forests and plantations and around Stoney Pond. Most trails are designed for skiers with a beginner or intermediate skill level. Caution must be used for safe, enjoyable skiing. Snow covered trails may contain hidden obstacles or hazards. Skiers are responsible to ski safely and under control at all times.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/8111.html

C Stuart Hardwick’s answer to What happened to the radiation that was supposed to last thousands of years in Hiroshima (1945)?

"If you were expecting Hiroshima to be uninhabitable for thousands of years, you are (understandably, given the deplorable state of science education) making a whole bunch of errors in your understanding of radiation.

First of all, radiation isn’t magic death cooties. You and I are radioactive (traces of unstable potassium in our bones). My kitchen is radioactive (traces of unstable uranium in my granite countertop). If you have smoke detectors in your home (and you should) there’s a good chance they are radioactive (americium—quite, quite radioactive, but harmless unless you eat it or inhale it)."

A Design Engineer Explains Exactly Why Your Car Is So Boring

"So next time you get in your car, look around. Think about the things you do and don’t like about your car. Realize that nothing in your car exists because one engineer didn’t get enough sleep and decided to put that USB charger just out of your grasp. Designing a car is an immensely complex, exhausting process and each part has its own story. Try to understand how all those stories come together to make one coherent, attractive, quality, affordable, safe vehicle, and you’ll understand the challenge of my job."

With all apologies to P.J. O’Rourke and Mario Cuomo, I suggest the major political parties rename themselves to:

  • The Fun Suckers
  • The Big Mean

This would comply with recent regulations put forward by the “The Fun Suckers” to comply with recently adopted Truth in Advertising regulations because we don’t want our cars to burn us to death when they crash.

Good morning! It’s Memorial Day Weekend. Happy Black Fly Season! Two weeks to 50th Gas Up in Gallupville. Big anniversary. Some of the tractors they show now were brand new back then. 

Partly sunny and 63 degrees in Kelley Stand, Vermont. 24 degrees colder then last year. There is a north-northwest breeze at 5 mph. The dew point is 48 degrees. The skies will clear tomorrow around 7 am.

Now that the sun came out its pretty nice. A bit cool and still fairly damp but with the sun I’m hopeful that with the sun and breeze the mud will continue to dry on up. I dug some trenches to help the mud dry up. This isn’t a particularly wet campsite and it’s hardened with gravel but it still pretty wet here in the woods. 

Already went through a shit ton of socks. I packed extra but my cracked boots leaked a lot and I didn’t want to wear my hunting boots by the fire, lest I melt them and I didn’t want to wear my new boots and get them all muddy. I hope I have enough socks, I could run back to the Walmart in Bennington if I need more. 

With all the rain and now the sun, the black flies are out and showing zero mercy. I soaked my cowboy hat with DEET and rubbed some picardian on my skin, so they aren’t biting much but they are swarming. A light breeze is helping too. The black fly season only has two or three weeks left. Thank the Black Fly God. 

Today will be partly cloudy, with a high of 68 degrees at 4pm. Five degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 49 at 10am. North wind around 5 mph. A year ago, we had thunderstorm, rain, but other wise mostly sunny skies and a high of 87 degrees. I spent most of that day swimming in Grout Pond. Much warmer that year. I might go for a paddle on Grout but no swimming thus year. The record high of 94 was set in 1914.

The sun will set at 8:21 pm with dusk around 8:55 pm, which is 53 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 62 degrees. The dew point will be 49 degrees. There will be a calm wind. Today will have 15 hours and 3 minutes of daytime, an increase of one minute and 31 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will have a slight chance of showers before 1am. Partly cloudy, with a low of 50 degrees at 3am. One degree below normal. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 20%. In 2016, it got down to 67 degrees with shallow fog and mist and mostly cloudy skies. The record low of 33 occurred back in 1994.

As previously noted, there are 2 weeks until 50th Gas Up in Gallupville when the sun will be setting at 8:31 pm with dusk at 9:06 pm. On that day in 2016, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 74 and 47 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 77 degrees. We hit a record high of 96 back in 2008. I think I will probably go. I want to have some of their ice cream. Maybe camp at Burnt Rossman and swim at Mine Kill? 

The selfie stick works well. You can laugh at it but it’s good for making videos and taking pictures. At $16 including tax it was very affordable and included a Bluetooth remote which doesn’t work with my camera. But still I’m happy with it. 

The laser lights are cool with the trees in the woods but I tell you I’m sure it would attract the attention of any passing fire warden as they look like embers burning on the branches or fireflies as they are supposed to look like. On a flat surface like a wall, they are pretty boring but in the wilderness, they are quite pretty.