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 sightings, landscape shots, photos from your outings, and even you organization's events!

Just Our Nature

Nature Up North program blog

Leprechaun Trees

Haw berries. Photo: FreeUsePhotos, Flickr Creative Commons.

Leprechaun Trees

My earliest memory of St. Patrick’s Day is how angry it made my mother, who holds dual Irish-American citizenship and strongly identifies with her Celtic roots. It was not the day itself which got her Irish up, so to speak, but rather the way it was depicted in popular American culture: Green-beer drink specials at the bars and St. Patrick’s Day sales in every store, all endorsed by grinning, green-clad, marginally sober leprechauns.

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Seeing Red

Lampson Falls this October. Photo: Emlyn Crocker

Seeing Red

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. The spate of mild sunny weather we’ve been having over the past couple of weeks, while very enjoyable, was clearly meant to be dispersed over the course of June and July to break up the nonstop rain. I’d be willing to pay a premium for timely delivery next year.

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Northern Oysters

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

Northern Oysters

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.

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An Introduction to Earth’s History as told by the North Country Landscape

An Introduction to Earth’s History as told by the North Country Landscape

Have you ever thought about what the earth was like millions of years ago? It’s hard to imagine the world before we were born, let alone before the human species existed. But if the history of our planet was represented by a single 24 hour day, the presence of modern humans would only be equivalent to less than 4 seconds. What do you think Earth will look like in another million years? The more we uncover about the past, the better we can understand how earth will change in the future.

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When the Sky is On Fire

When the Sky is On Fire

Every animal has a different perception of light and color meaning everything we see is through our own human lens. However, a sunrise or sunset is an especially unique experience for individuals, dependent on the makeup of our human eyes, and our specific location in the world.

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It's Better When It's Wetter: Four Reasons to Get Out in the Rain

It's Better When It's Wetter: Four Reasons to Get Out in the Rain

It may feel like these dreary days of rain will never end, but don’t fret! Rain brings many hidden gems out of the natural world that we usually don’t see during dryer weather. So, throw on your rain boots, grab an umbrella, and step out to explore our soggy wonderland!

1) Cast a New Light on Canoeing

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No Hitchhikers

No Hitchhikers

These days, walking on water is not the big deal it once was. Back a long time ago, it required a miracle, but now all you need is a bad infestation of invasive aquatic plants. Anyone who has viewed a serious case of European watermilfoil, water chestnut, or hydrilla knows that a solid mat of vegetation stretching across a once-open waterway is a barrier to swimming, fishing, and boating. And that sometimes you can literally walk across it (but only in places where the water is real shallow).

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An In-Tents Infestation

Forest Tent Caterpillars have taken to a number of trees on the St. Lawrence University Campus this spring. Photo: Emlyn Crocker

An In-Tents Infestation

Given the cool rainy weather of late, one wouldn’t think tenting would be popular. But tents are everywhere this spring. They do not seem to respect sanctioned camping areas in NYS forests, and many have even invaded posted lands. The tents in question here, of course, do not belong to people. They are the white silken nests of eastern tent caterpillars (ETC), which are less welcome than trespassing hikers. 
 
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