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!

Encounters

Spotted this black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) hanging out in the shrubs behind Johnson Hall of Science today. I was especially impressed by the size of this individual - roughly that of a half dollar coin - and some quick research informed me that females range from 0.75 mm to 1 in., which is up to 4x larger than males! If this spider is in fact a female, she has likely already produced an egg sack, and will die once the weather turns cold. The eggs will overwinter, and up to 1,000 spiderlings will hatch in the spring. Impressive!

St. Lawrence students in the Sustainable Communications class joined Nature Up North on campus to learn tree identification and to start collecting data for the Monitor My Maple citizen science project. After a tour of the four maple species found on the St. Lawrence campus - sugar, red, silver and norway - they jumped into data collection, pairing up and exploring campus trees on their own. While clearly still suffering from the recent tent caterpillar outbreak, maple trees near the SLU fitness center are bursting with seeds and already starting to change color!

This would have been a wonderful, short walk through the woods if it wasn't riddled with trash. It was a nice easy hike for my dog and I but I was constantly looking at the ground which took away from the experience. There were condoms and broken glass, which poses an obvious threat. I also found an entire couch. Other than the litter issue the trail was well maintained. It is a shame that such a nice trail was so dirty.

Very nice paddle around the river. First trip out we did 7.5 miles. Nice scenery with lost of birding opportunities. Plante of waterfowl can be seen including mergansers, ducks and loons. Very enjoyable place to kayak and spend the day.

This mountain is fairly difficult but worth the effort. It is part of the Saranac 6 as well as the ADK 29ster challenges. The last portion of the mountain is rocky and very brutal. At one point you have to stick your foot into a tree trunk and lift yourself straight up. Not for the faint of heart.

I did this mountain as part of the Saranac 6. It is also part of he ADK Firetower Challeng. The first 2/3 of the mountain are deceptively easy. It starts out fairly flat, just some tree routes that may trip you up. The last 1/3 is quite steep and rocky. It can also be a bit slippery after the raid so keep that in mind. Would recommend to anyone in mountain climbing shape.

This is a very fun thing to do if you happen to be waiting in between ships at the Seaway. Admission is free and the facility is amazing. There are a lot of live animals as well as taxidermied ones. There also backpacks available for kids to rent to use on the nature trails. They are filled with field guides and other useful things. Would recommend to anyone who's in the area for even a short time.

It was a treat on a mid-March day to watch this Barred Owl perch on a fence post, then swoop onto the snowy ground in chase of prey, and then return to the fence post when its attempt was unsuccessful.

This Hairy Woodpecker enjoyed foraging on a beautiful autumn evening.