Snow has fallen, squirrels are digging into their stores, and snowshoe hares are advertising white winter coats. It's winter in the North Country. What do you love about getting outside this time of year? 

Photo: Oswegatchie River, Gail M. Thomas.

Cross Country Ski Race at the Best Western Clubhouse in Canton on Sunday, February 11th. Just Our Nature

Do you love getting outside in the winter? If so, you might just have what it takes to be a North Country Olympian! As winter enthusiasts all around the world prepared to kick off the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, Nature Up North and the Canton Recreation Department teamed up to challenge North Country residents with a local challenge... the first annual Canton Winter Olympics. 

Measuring a tree for Nature Up North's maple monitoring project. Just Our Nature

The good news is that Imperial Forces are losing the battle for planetary dominance. The bad news is that we still play for their team. The British Imperial System of measurement, born in 1824 to help streamline a host of odd units inherited from various cultures, was at the time an improvement. But in 1965, the UK adopted the decimal-based metric system, despite the fact it was invented by the French.

Forest tent caterpillars on a tree in Canton during the 2017 outbreak. Photo: Erika Barthelmess. Just Our Nature

Winter is not a season when many people think about tents, except maybe to be glad they do not live in one. I do have some friends who love winter camping, and the fact they have never extended an invitation is evidence of how much they value our friendship.

Jewelweed in flower, many green vine-y leaves with small yellow flowers. Just Our Nature

Encouraging people to make friends with wild plants can be a challenge. Sometimes there are genuine concerns. Nettles, as an example, make an early-spring cooked green par excellence, even though its fresh leaves and stems have stinging hairs that can cause an uncomfortable, if temporary, rash if care is not taken when harvesting it.

First snow of the season on Bear Mountain in Cranberry Lake. Photo: Bill Hill. Just Our Nature

Weather modeling has become quite a big deal in recent years, with meteorologists falling all over themselves to report what the latest models say. It sounds like a fun job, and I am trying to find out how to apply for a position. No doubt I could model categories like “large stationary front” or “high pressure system” pretty well. If it involves appearing in a swimsuit, though, forget it.

Events Up North

February 25, 2018

Join Nature Up North for a Snowshoe Hike up Azure Mountain to celebrate the middle of winter! Azure Mountain is a short hike perfect for those looking for a nice walk with a great view.

March 01, 2018

Friends of Higley Flow generously maintain ski and snowshoe trails at Higley Flow State Park throughout the winter. The park is open from 8:00 until 4:00 daily, and the lodge is open until 3:30.

April 30, 2018

The Nicandri Nature Center offers fun, affordable recreation activities for the public, school groups, special interest groups and tourists.