What's Your Nature?

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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

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

Bringing Community back to the Classroom

By Rebecca Munn on August 4, 2016
For the past two days, I have had the amazing experience of absorbing all things Nature Up North through a teacher workshop on the St. Lawrence University campus. As a local science teacher, I spend a lot of my summer...yes enjoying a well deserved break from the daily grind...but also reflecting on the past school year. I am always brainstorming ways to make science content in the classroom more…
maple monitoring Erika explains the importance of citizen science Posting Encounters at Fall Island Maple identification quiz! Sugar Maple monitoring on SLU campus
Blog category: In the Schools

Wild Eats Episode 4: Nettle Ravioli

By India Harvey on July 25, 2016
In most cases it’s wise to avoid contact from anything that stings, yet nettles are a notable exception. Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are covered in fine hairs called trichomes, which inject histamines into your skin on contact, causing an unpleasant stinging sensation.  Fortunately for us, cooking nettles destroys the trichomes, leaving us with a mild-flavored and nutritious leafy green.…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged

An Enchanted Afternoon: 2016 Fairy House Workshop

By Cailand Sweeting on July 15, 2016
What’s a creative and imaginative way to engage with nature? Build a fairy house! Magic was definitely in the air at our fairy house building workshop this afternoon. Both kids and adults spent time first learning about the basics on how to build their own fairy house before beginning construction. Like any good architect, they first drew up plans and blueprints and considered what materials they…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Wild Eats Episode 3: Cattails

By India Harvey on July 12, 2016
Who needs mining gold when you can have swamp gold? What is swamp gold, you ask? Well, hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen: you’re in for a treat! The North Country may not have a lot of golden ore, but its wetlands are filled with cattails whose pollen transforms local swamps into a virtual goldmine. Cattails (Typha latifolia) are common wetland plants that are surprisingly useful to humans…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged

Vengeful Veggies

By Paul J. Hetzler on July 6, 2016
It’s not unheard of for people to burn vegetables now and then, especially if you’re as easily distracted as I am. I’ll think, the spinach is on low heat, so there’s plenty of time to run out to the garden for chives. Thirty minutes later I’ll be weeding the tomato patch, chiveless, when the smoke alarm indicates the spinach is “done.” Oops. While it sounds absurd to think a vegetable might burn…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Nature Up North Calendar Photo Contest

By Jacob Malcomb on July 5, 2016
  Calling all North Country nature photographers:  Nature Up North is hosting a contest for nature photos that will be featured in our 2017 wall calendar. Nature Up North encourages exploration and appreciation of the North Country environment. One way we do this is through the Encounters feature on our website. Encounters enable you to share photos and narratives from your outdoor adventures. …
Calendar Cover photo Calendar Preview
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Wild Eats Episode 2: Juneberries

By India Harvey on June 30, 2016
Amelanchier canadensis, a small shrubby tree native to our region, goes by many names: serviceberry, shadberry, shadbush, and juneberry. But my personal favorite is saskatoon berry. What a wonderful name for a fruit. It perfectly captures the pizzazz of these tiny reddish purple spheres, which are most commonly known as juneberries. This designation highlights its harvesting season, since the…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged