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 - news, updates and insights

Large Predators: Who Lives in Northern New York and Who Once Did?

By Abrianna Schlickenmayer on April 30, 2019
What comes to mind when you think of a large predator? Maybe a powerful lion? Or a burly bear? Did you know that the Adirondacks and all of New York State were once home to a variety of top predators, including cougars, wolves, wolverines, lynx and black bears? Out of these five species, only one is still present here today… maybe you’ve seen it. That’s right, the only remaining top predator in…
Black bear photographed in Colton, NY
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Spring Fairy House Clues

By Thimble & Blossom on April 26, 2019
Come visit our fairy homes! Each spring we migrate through the North Country on our way home for the summer. We live in the woods, where we spend our days bonding with birds, talking with trees, buzzing with bugs, and getting friendly with fungi. As you might guess, we've become expert naturalists. At any time between now and May 13th, find our homes using the clues below and leave notes with…
Fairy house at the Nicandri Nature Center Fairy house at Indian Creek Nature Center Fairy house on the SUNY Canton trail
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

Wild Eats: Spring Foraging Fling

By Isabella de Buy Wenniger on April 23, 2019
One of the best parts of spring is seeing the first shoots of green poking out of the ground, replacing the gray and brown of winter with bursts of color. The first plants to sprout not only lift our spirits and remind us of the summer warmth and color soon to come, but can add flavor and nutrients to spring meals.  Known as spring tonics, commonly found early spring edible plants in the North…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged

The Bell Pepper Story: Too Much Clapping, Not Enough Applause

By Paul J. Hetzler on April 1, 2019
April 1, 2019 marks the 90th anniversary of the development of the modern sweet pepper, also known as the bell pepper. Native to Central America, as well as to Mexico and northern South America, there is evidence that numerous types of peppers (Capsicum annuum) have been cultivated by native peoples for at least 6,500 years. Hot peppers were the first New World crop grown in Europe, with seeds…
red bell pepper over black background
Blog category: Just Our Nature

North Country Voices: Mark Berninghausen

By Stephanie Muldrew on February 18, 2019
Mark Berninghausen owns Squeak Creek Apiaries in Brasher Falls, where he raises bees for their pollination services and produces honey. We had the opportunity to talk to him about bee keeping in the North Country.   Nature Up North: How would you describe your perfect day in the North Country? Mark Berninghausen: When I'm not packaging and delivering honey to stores, I’m working with my bees…
Photo: Christopher Lenney, Watertown Times Beehives
Blog category: North Country Voices

Nature Up North March 2019 Teacher Workshop

By Emlyn Crocker on February 14, 2019
Are you a k-12 teacher in the North Country? Take your science outside with us and learn to use place-based, local citizen science projects to meet Next Generation Science Standards at this CTLE approved workshop! Join the staff from Nature Up North at St. Lawrence University for an opportunity to (re)discover outdoor teaching as a way to motivate students and teach science standards. If you are…
mushroom identification
Blog category: Just Our Nature

SAD in the Winter: Get Outside and Feel Better

By Abrianna Schlickenmayer on February 13, 2019
In the midst of a North Country winter, you might be experiencing the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder. You may have low motivation and be tempted to withdraw from social interaction... it might feel like your own personal hibernation. Some people dismiss this as simply “the winter blues”. It might be, but it also may be more than that. Shorter winter days in the North Country result in a…
Mt. Arab
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Apply to be a Summer Intern!

By Emlyn Crocker on February 6, 2019
Want to spend the summer in the North Country hiking, meeting new people, and learning about environmental education? We're hiring! Nature Up North summer naturalist interns are talented, driven undergraduate students with interest in place-based outdoor education. Interns spend the summer developing leadership skills, leading outdoor programs and workshops, and becoming better environmental…
Alyssa at Hart's Falls
Blog category: Just Our Nature

North Country Voices: Bill (Dick) Hollis

By Abrianna Schlickenmayer on December 6, 2018
Bill (Dick) Hollis has been a duck decoy carver in the Ogdensburg area for over 50 years. Hollis first learned to carve from his father, and has now won numerous awards for his work.  He estimates he has made 1500-2000 decoys throughout his life. Despite technological innovations, Dick is one of few decoy carvers in the North Country that continues to carve with hand tools. We caught up with Dick…
Bill (Dick) Hollis in his decoy workshop Bill (Dick) Hollis' tools Bill (Dick) Hollis' carvings Bill (Dick) Hollis' carvings
Blog category: North Country Voices

Wild Eats: Tea Time

By Isabella de Buy Wenniger on November 29, 2018
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. In the late fall and winter, after deciduous trees and shrubs have…
Homemade white pine tea
Blog category: Just Our Nature