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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

Don't Get Ticked This Fall

By Paul J. Hetzler on October 26, 2016
Even though I was born and raised in New York State, I never cease to be awestruck by the beauty of our changing seasons, and cannot imagine living in a place where the years pass with scant visible change in the environment. Yet there is one season I cannot abide, and it has arrived with a vengeance: hunting season. Mind you, I have no problem with safety-trained folks traipsing through the…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Ask a Fairy Part 2: Fairy Food, Autumn Leaves, and Migration

By Thimble & Blossom on October 25, 2016
Our fairy friends Thimble Hickory and Blossom Dewdrop are back to answer the rest of your questions about North Country nature and the lives of fairies. While they're settled into the warmth of the tropics for winter, they're already excited to return to Canton, NY next fall!  Click here to read Thimble and Blossom's responses in Part 1.    Why do tree leaves change color? (Lucy, age 5) Hi Lucy,…
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

Ask a Fairy Part 1: Introducing Blossom and Thimble

By Thimble & Blossom on October 17, 2016
Each year a group of migrating group of woodland fairies passes through Canton on its way south for the winter. Woodland fairies know all the North Country plants and animals, and this year they invited us to visit their houses and ask questions about North Country nature. If you were walking along the Kip Trail, exploring Heritage Park, or running through the Remington Recreation Trail last…
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

North Country Voices: Joel Howie

By Amanda Brooks on October 17, 2016
Joel Howie is the owner of Canton Apples, a U-Pick apple orchard located on the corner of Barnes Road and County Road 25. He is originally from Rochester, NY, but moved to Canton in 2002 with his wife, Becky. Joel loves working outside all day long alongside his workers and friends and family who come to help out, and it shows in the quality of his product and the atmosphere on the orchard from…
Blog category: North Country Voices

Winter Is Coming: A Tale of Three North Country Species

By Lizz Muller on October 3, 2016
Come fall, we all start to prepare for winter in our own ways. We unearth the sweaters that have been accumulating dust since spring, and pull out our wool hats and mittens.  Some of us chop wood and stack it next to the door, or restock the storm candles in the drawer by the stove. We can food, stocking pantry shelves with jars of red tomatoe sauce, purple sauerkraut, green dilly beans. There is…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

The Great Blackbird Migration

By Paul J. Hetzler on September 13, 2016
Migrating birds of all stripes—and wing patches, tail bands, and other markings—are impressive. My hat is off (figuratively only, of course) to all the songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl that fly from their Northern breeding grounds to warmer climes, in some cases thousands of miles, without benefit of Google Maps or a travel agent. Hummingbirds weighing about the same as a handful of paper clips…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Whitewater Kayaking on the Raquette

By Amanda Brooks on September 9, 2016
Kayakers from all over the Eastern US and Canada convened at Stone Valley in Colton on Labor Day Weekend for the Raquette Race, part of the Whitewater King of New York Series. The series includes competitions along four Northern New York Rivers: the Raquette, Black, Beaver, and Moose. The Raquette section of the race is a Class 5 rapids, the most challenging of the Whitewater King of New York…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

The Color of Dry

By Paul J. Hetzler on August 28, 2016
It turns out that, in terms of fall foliage, the color of too dry is officially known as “Blah.” This would undoubtedly be the least popular color selection if it was included in a jumbo Crayola crayon pack. Basically, it is a jumble of faded hues with a mottled brown patina. This year’s dry summer could mean that “blah” may feature prominently in Mother Nature’s fall hardwood forest palette. Why…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Wild Eats Episode 5: Wild S'mores

By India Harvey on August 15, 2016
No campfire is complete without a few s’mores. S’mores hit the proverbial sweet spot of flavor and entertainment – enjoyed around a crackling campfire with family and friends, the challenge of roasting the perfect marshmallow can keep you occupied for hours. The classic marshmallow, graham cracker, and Hershey bar s’more has existed since at least 1927, when the recipe for “some mores” was…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged

The Drought of 2016

By Paul J. Hetzler on August 5, 2016
They say that every cloud has a silver lining, but what happens when all you really need is a cloud? The Drought of 2016 (sounds more ominous when I capitalize it like that) has really beat up on gardens and landscapes. You know it’s dry when dandelions begin to shrivel up, which is the case in my yard. The problems wrought by the drought are (mostly) obvious, but is there a silver lining…
Blog category: Just Our Nature