Albany Pine Bush News

These structures were uncovered through our ongoing effort to identify the aquatic insects of the Pine Bush. Though strikingly reminiscent of Andy Goldsworthy’s natural sculptures, albeit on a miniature scale, these are the creations of creatures completely oblivious to any notion of art. They are the cases and parts of cases of caddisfly larvae. Most caddisfly larvae live in the water and build tubular homes out of plant material, stones, sand, and other substrate materials, which they cement together with silk excreted from their salivary glands. These cases are mobile and extremely functional. They camouflage the larvae, provide protection from predators, add stability, and even aid in respiration by enhancing a larva’s ability to circulate water around its gills. These insects don’t need artistic inspiration or a concept of beauty to motivate them to build, but, luckily for us, we get to enjoy both the aesthetic appeal and practical merits of their tiny creations.

~Grace Barber
Conservation Science Technician

Go to our Facebook page for more caddisfly case photos.



Wendy @ 11:41 am

Spread the word! That’s what the Library Lecture Series is all about. This is a series of adult programs, held at local libraries, informing residents on the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, where we are located, and how important this rare ecosystem is to protect and manage. The program takes participants through a visual presentation of the history, topography, the diversity of plants and animals, seasonal surprises, management techniques, and ways you can help the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Throughout the program, we encourage open discussion and hands on exploration. We also have joining us at the end of the program is one of our resident turtles. We encourage you to join us for one of the programs and bring along your questions and curiosity.

We completed our first library lecture series at the East Greenbush Public Library on Saturday, January 28.  Our next program will be at the Albany Public Library-Pine Hills Branch on Wednesday, March 21, 6:30-7:30 p.m. The consecutive library programs are at the Wm. K. Sanford Library, Colonie on Tuesday, April 17th ,  7:00-8:00 p.m. and  the Guilderland Public Library, Tuesday May 8th, 6:30-7:30. If you are interested in having our staff speak at a library near you, please feel free to call the Discovery Center at 456-0655 to schedule a program.

Category: Discovery Center
Jackie @ 4:32 pm

The Commission recently had aspen trees cut along Old State Road in Guilderland as part of restoring habitat back to pitch pine-scrub oak barrens.  Residents in the area have been contacting the Commission to find out if they can cut and take the downed trees for firewood.

Preserve regulations do not allow for the removal of anything from the Preserve, including this wood for firewood, by the public (ECL 6 NYCRR Part 648.4(a)). In addition, because of liability and safety issues the Commission cannot allow the public to cut and remove this wood for personal use.

Because Aspen is a softwood these trees will rapidly decompose over the next several years.  In addition, with increased sunlight on the forest floor resulting from the tree cutting, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers will rapidly grow in these areas over the spring and summer, making the trees less obvious while they decompose.  Additionally, the tangle of branches at ground level will provide a temporary habitat for a variety of animals both this winter and next spring and summer.

Wildlife habitat restoration work can be unsightly at times.  However, over the long term these areas will be transformed back to the beautiful pine barrens that they once were.

~Joel Hecht, Stewardship Director

Joel @ 12:08 pm