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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

The Unthinkable, The Possible, and The Inevitable: Invasive Species Awareness Week

By Paul J. Hetzler on February 22, 2016
February 21-27 is National Invasive Species Awareness Week, not to be confused with New York State’s Invasive Species Awareness Week, which happens in July. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer a Blissful Ignorance Week when it comes to creepy insect pests. But since I can only keep my head in the sand so long before my ears get itchy, what the heck—bring on this “Awareness” stuff. Naturally,…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Ice Trees

By Paul J. Hetzler on February 19, 2016
The willows are weeping, but then so is every other flavor of tree in northern New York right now. The storm that hit the northeast on President’s Day brought significant ice to New York state’s northern tier, ice which has persisted for nearly a week now. If your birches are bent, spruces sagging or crabapples crooked, don’t let the ice get you down as well. As long as we don’t get a heavy snow…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Clifton-Fine Adirondack Winter Whiteout Weekend 2016

By Justin Dalaba on February 18, 2016
Sub-zero temperatures and the first blizzard snowstorm of 2016 greeted the Adirondack Whiteout Weekend in Clifton and Fine, which kicked off on Friday, February 12th. Several of the outdoor events were cancelled or rescheduled due to the extreme cold, but that didn’t seem to stop attendees from making the best of their day. The planned events stretch from Cranberry Lake to Star Lake, drawing in…
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The St. Lawrence County Whitewater Park Proposal: 7 Things to Know

By Jacob Malcomb on February 16, 2016
  Whitewater parks could one day make a splash in St. Lawrence County, according to a recently released report on the St. Lawrence County Whitewater Park Project. At a public meeting on February 9th in Canton, Scott Shipley of Colorado’s S2o Design and Engineering presented the results of a study examining the feasibility, and economic impacts, of a proposed network of whitewater parks in Canton…
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The Secret Lives of Bees in Winter

By Samantha Haab on February 10, 2016
  The winter weather may have taken its time getting here this year, but I think we can agree that the North Country has once again been transformed into the icy, frigid landscape we have come to know and love (or at the very least, tolerate begrudgingly). With snow covering the ground, ice coating our walkways, and Jack Frost nipping at our noses, agricultural pollinators are probably the last…
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Maples in Peril

By Paul J. Hetzler on January 25, 2016
  Remember that kid at school who was good at everything? Smart, athletic, popular, usually in a higher income bracket—seems like there was one in every class who must have taken more than their fair share when luck was handed out. And didn’t you find them annoying some days? I imagine that’s how the rest of the forest community feels about sugar maple, Acer saccharum. Also known as hard maple,…
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A Winter With Everything

By Paul J. Hetzler on January 22, 2016
  “Make me one with everything.” If you had to guess, you’d probably say that was either a request to a short-order cook at a diner, or else a supplication to the Divine. This winter, I think someone whispered that line in Mother Nature’s ear, because even though it is not yet half over, she has already made us a winter with everything. It’s as if she glanced at her weather playlist and hit the…
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Moody Weather Tricks Local Species

By Paul J. Hetzler on January 4, 2016
This winter took a long time to wise up. Snow lovers lamented, but I was among those who enjoyed the break from snow shoveling and firewood hauling during our pseudo-September. However, I noticed some less positive effects of the tropical weather. For one thing, the buds on my currant bushes decided it must be spring and began to open. Coltsfoot, dandelions, and Johnny-jump-ups bloomed. Buds on…
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Porcupine Trails

By Paul J. Hetzler on December 23, 2015
What fearless animal has an adorable face, plows snow all winter and has a six-million acre park named after it? One of 29 species worldwide, the North American porcupine is the largest New World species, growing to 36 inches long and weighing as much as 35 pounds. That makes it the second-largest North American rodent (behind the beaver), but still only half the size of an African crested…
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Late Season Tick PSA

By Paul J. Hetzler on December 11, 2015
In northern New York State, autumn temperatures have been between seven and eight degrees above average, allowing us even more time to procrastinate fall chores. This has been welcome to those who have to work outside, and anyone concerned about their heating bill is loving the warm weather too. Obviously, skiers and other winter enthusiasts aren’t happy, but I think the rest of us should get…
Blog category: Just Our Nature