What's Your Nature?

Become a Nature Up North explorer to share your encounters with wild things and wild places in New York's North Country. Post your wildlife sighting, favorite trails, great place for locally-grown foods and even your events.

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This winter Nature Up North is featuring a Winter Ecology Series, in which St. Lawrence University students in Dr. Karl McKnight's Winter Ecology course share their observations from a weekly field trip to Glenmeal State Forest in Pierrepont.  We hope you enjoy their accounts from days spent in the woods examining the fascinating ways plants and animals endure the North Country winter. 

By Catherine Bennet

It will be news to no one that we’ve have some cold days lately – not your average winter chill, but the bitter, biting cold that makes you cough immediately upon breathing outdoor air. The good news is that warmer weather is on the way and the recent snow has opened up a whole world of outdoor winter recreation opportunities.

With the holidays upon us, ‘tis the season to revisit the great Christmas tree debate:  real vs. artificial?  According to the American Christmas Tree Association, 80% of American Christmas tree buyers chose artificial trees in 2013.  But did they make the greenest choice?  Turns out it’s complicated.  Artificial trees last longer, but most are made from unrecyclable, petroleum-based plastics that do not biodegrade.

We're in the middle of some fascinating astronomical events.  Jeff Miller, wandering celestial minstrel and professor of physics at St. Lawrence University, keys us in on the action in the night skies this week. 

The Perseid meteor shower peaked this weekend; unfortunately, the Moon was full this weekend (more on that in a minute), so it will obscure all but the brightest meteors.

Hey NoCo...

What is your favorite thing to do outside? There are a million and one things to do outdoors in the North Country. We couldn’t think of a million, but here are 15 ways folks at the Canton Farmer’s Market like to spend their time in the great outdoors. So what are you waiting for? Turn off that computer screen and go explore!

     Feet spread, body tilted back, two hands on the rope, eyes squinting up through the sun.  I can barely see, but I can’t turn away and I can’t drop the rope, even though my arms are burning and I can feel the rope about to slip through my friction-burnt gloves.  The growl of the chainsaw revs down, the branch swings free and I slowly begin to lower it.  I grab the tips of the branch just as it reaches the ground and backtrack quickly,...

It may be hard to fathom, but we didn't always use chemicals to dye fabrics.  For thousands of years people used plants, roots and berries to dye cotton, muslin, linen, silk and other fabrics.  These days we can pop into a store and buy a rainbow of...

Not everyone agrees that smartphones have a place in the outdoors. For me, the trick is to use smartphone apps in the outdoors that will enhance the experience, not to become the experience.

Because my name is Heron, I have had occasion to notice a lack of knowledge regarding this common ...

Nature Up North is a community-based organization that is mobilizing to get northern New Yorkers outdoors and experiencing nature. This website is a place for you to share your experiences in the natural world through keen observation, artistic inspiration and scientific data collection. As Nature Up North continues to grow this will also be a space where you can access a variety of resources to aid your exploration of the North Country and all it has to offer.
It's just our Nature. What's yours?