Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oddities on Hudson

The natural world is always producing something interesting and if that interesting thing happens along the Hudson River, an account of it often finds its way into the Hudson River Almanac.

The Almanac is a compilation of natural history observations from the Battery to Lake Tear of the Clouds, produced bi-weekly by New York State’s Hudson River Estuary Program. The version that arrived in my inbox today was largely concerned with the aftermath of Irene. These two entries in particular caught my eye:

9/3 - Catskill, HRM 113: With my house located on lower Catskill Creek, I rescued two pumpkinseed sunfish, a white perch and a spottail shiner from the pit of my cellar's sump pump during my recovery mission from Irene. The basement water was eighteen inches higher than ever before in 35 years. ...

9/3 - Kingston, HRM 92: We went to the lighthouse on the lower Rondout today and there were pumpkins in the water everywhere. I think these are Irene "wash aways" from a pumpkin farm upstream.

I omitted the names of the folks who submitted them, which ordinarily would be appended to each entry. HRM stands for Hudson River Miles. Here’s how the email explains it:

The Hudson is measured north from Hudson River Mile 0 at the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan. The George Washington Bridge is at HRM 12, the Tappan Zee 28, Bear Mountain 47, Beacon-Newburgh 62, Mid-Hudson 75, Kingston-Rhinecliff 95, Rip Van Winkle 114, and the Federal Dam at Troy, the head of tidewater, at 153. The tidal section of the Hudson constitutes a bit less than half the total distance – 315 miles – from Lake Tear of the Clouds to the Battery. Entries from points east and west in the watershed reference the corresponding river mile on the mainstem.

We need a Long Island Sound Almanac, by the way. I might start working on one.


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