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 your organization's events!

Just Our Nature

Nature Up North program blog

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.

North Country Nature Noises

Nature Up North has spent the summer getting back outside after a hiatus from summer activities due to COVID. We have really focused on being outside as much as we can and encouraged ourselves and other North Country community members to connect with nature this summer.

On the Importance of Dirt

Have you ever spent time on a farm or around farmers? Do you remember helping your parents weed their garden as a kid–or do you make your kids help you weed yours? Chances are, you’re connected to agriculture in some shape or form, even if it’s just through the food you eat.

Shell-ebrating North Country Painted Turtles

As soon as the ponds thaw and the temperatures warm, we know the earth is preparing for spring and summer. The flowers begin to bud and the grasses green again. We pack away our winter jackets and dig out the t-shirts and shorts. But it’s not just humans who recognize this transition. Our North Country wildlife recognize these same changes in the environment and come out for the warmer months of the year. As we enter July you have probably noticed some of your favorite North Country animals reemerging. Birds, bears, bees, and painted turtles!

Fanfare in the North Country

It’s nesting season, which means the skies and waters are filled with life; chirping birds calling out for a mate, waterfowl patrolling the waters for a place to roost. But for a few centuries, wetland areas have been missing the notable honking of the largest species of waterfowl in the world. Weighing an average of 26 pounds and growing up to 6 feet in length, the massive Trumpeter Swan is truly an impressive creature.

6th Annual Earth Day 7k Recap

By now any sore muscles have been iced and the race signs have been put away until next year, but we're still thinking about what a great time we had with the runners and walkers who attended Nature Up North's 6th Annual Earth Day 7k last Sunday! Although the morning started off a bit dreary with some sprinkles, by the time the starting countdown hit "go" at 10:30am, the sun was shining and spirits were high. The course followed the St.

4th Annual Cardboard Sled Race Recap

The 4th Annual Cardboard Sled Race, held Saturday, February 5th was an exciting way to start off Canton’s annual Winterfest. It was a chilly but sunny morning, perfect for speeding down the hill. Competition was fierce, with many racers fighting their way to the finish line by dragging themselves on tattered sleds or getting a boost from a teammate. Participants competed 1 v. 1 within their division of either Youth (12 and under), Open (13 and up), or Family. See the competitors that went head to head listed below, with winners marked with an asterisk.

Beech Gone Wild: Raging Hormones

The American beech (Fagus grandifolia) has been slowly dying out for the last 140 years. As a result, beech saplings have overrun many woodlots, making them less diverse, less vigorous, and less valuable.  

That’s right – beech decline has led to a beech proliferation so extreme that in some places they are a barrier to forest regeneration. I’d call this an oxymoron, but don’t want to insult the bovine community. Strategies do exist to address this problem, though.  

close up photo of an american beech bud

Fungal Homes: Much Room, No Mushrooms

For some reason, mushrooms have spawned more than their fair share of puns. As a kid I learned that they’re all fun-guys, and that the only rooms you can’t enter in a house are mushrooms. The last one might not work these days, as entire buildings are now being made of fungus.  

A large group orange fungi grow on a tree trunk