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

Consider a Gift to Nature Up North

Huckleberry Lake. Photo by Bill Hill.

Consider a Gift to Nature Up North

Dear friends and neighbors,

It's that time of year again; the snow is flying, the geese have (mostly) left.  Must be time to consider making a contribution to support Nature Up North!  We'd be delighted and appreciative if you made a donation to help environmental education here in the North Country. 

Specifically, your gift will help to support activities such as:

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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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Wild Eats: Tea Time

Homemade tea from eastern white pine needles. Photo: Isabella de Buy Wenniger

Wild Eats: Tea Time

Have you ever wandered through the woods, looked at all the plants surrounding you, and wondered, “are any of these edible?” Good news: there are many species of edible plants found in the wild all around us! With a little knowledge of how to identify and prepare wild edibles, local forests become a bountiful place to explore.

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2019 Nature Up North Calendars

2019 Nature Up North Calendars

We are pleased to announce that 2019 Nature Up North calendars are on sale through early 2019!  These printed calendars features some of our favorite photos shared by community members as Encounters on natureupnorth.org in the past year. Plus, we include Nature Notes highlighting seasonal wildlife behavior local to the North Country to look for each month.  

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Happy Biology

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Ehpien

Happy Biology

Happiness may be elusive, but it sure has spawned a lot of aphorisms. Folk-wisdom indicates one can be happy as a pig in poop—or in mud, which makes me wonder if those two hogs are equally content, and if they had other options. It also suggests you can be pleased as a pig in a peach orchard, which would make sense unless harvest season was over. Additionally, one might feel happy as a pup with two tails, a monkey with a peanut machine, or a clam at high tide.

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Run, Dorothy—Emerald City is Falling

An emerald ash borer beetle on a leaf. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, USDA

Run, Dorothy—Emerald City is Falling

Watertown is poised to become an Emerald City, but that’s not good news. Jefferson and Lewis will soon be Emerald Counties, and St. Lawrence County began the process of change two years ago. Unfortunately, this kind of transformation does not involve happy endings.

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Plant a Tree, or Rent It?

Here's an example of three maple trees of similar ages, yet very different health statuses.

Plant a Tree, or Rent It?

Planting a tree isn’t rocket science, which is good thing. If it were that complex, I’d wager we’d have a lot fewer trees lining our streets. It may not take a scientist to plant a tree correctly, but a lot of money is spent each year to buy and plant trees which may as well be leased, because they will only live a fraction of their expected lifespan.

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The First Shall Not Last

The First Shall Not Last

Seems like competitiveness may be part of human DNA, but it does not always pay to be first.

No prize awaits the fastest car that passes a radar patrol, or the first person to come down with the flu at the office. And for trees, the first ones to turn color in autumn are not envied by their peers. If trees experience envy, which no one knows. The first trees to show orange and red and drop their leaves are telling us to get quotes from a tree-removal company, because they are not going to last.

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