Brilliant fall foliage is a point of pride here in the North Country, but just what causes these incredible colors? Read our new Just Our Nature blog to learn more about the science behind the fall color wheel. Photo: Jeanna Matthews

Monarch butterfly Just Our Nature

When it comes to personal growth, the Wicked Witch of the West had the right idea. Quite possibly she got it from monarch butterflies, which must exist in Oz, since they are found worldwide except for polar regions. Many times, a rearrangement of the self-image we have come to know is needed to achieve our fullest potential. In my experience this is always hard, and seldom is it voluntary.

7th graders at Norwood-Norfolk Central School walk out of the woods after a lesson on nature observation with Nature Up North this September In the Schools

A student shouts— “This one! This one’s ours!” and runs back for a measuring tape. She and her partner have found their assigned maple tree on the school lawn, and are about to record seasonal observations for the first of many weeks this fall. The student, a 7th grader at Norwood-Norfolk Middle School, is participating in Monitor My Maple - one of several citizen science initiatives at Nature Up North.

Lampson Falls in early October Just Our Nature

We need to figure out a way to have Amazon deliver the weather in the future. I don’t believe Mother Nature intended to give us a record-setting wet summer; I just think all the good weather probably got misplaced on a loading dock in Topeka, or something like that.

Colton-Pierrepont Intro to Environment and Society students met with Dr. Timothy Messner from SUNY Potsdam to learn about fire-making. In the Schools

Ever made fire by hand? Students in the Intro the Environment and Society class at Colton-Pierrepont High School met with Dr. Timothy Messner, Archaeology professor at SUNY Potsdam, this September to learn how to make fire by hand using just a simple tool and the energy in their hands and breath. Below, students Summer Scovil and Ariel Garvin provide an insight into the experience:

Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Marshal Hedin Just Our Nature

Carnivorous oysters are lurking about in the North Country, and residents who venture into the woods are advised to carry butter and a skillet at all times. Oyster mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus, native wood-decaying fungi often found on dead and dying hardwoods, are delectable when sautéed in butter. Maybe hikers should carry a few cloves of garlic and a press as well. It’s good to be prepared.

Events Up North