What's Your Nature?

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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

On the Importance of Dirt

By Abigail Lateer on June 30, 2022
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. Some issues with the U.S. industrialized agriculture system seem more or less obvious. Most people intuit that…
Diagram showing the difference in composition of compacted soil versus uncompacted soil
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Shell-ebrating North Country Painted Turtles

By Leslie Herold on June 30, 2022
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…
A baby painted turtle An adult painted turtle
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Fanfare in the North Country

By Liz Hart on June 30, 2022
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…
Trumpeter Swan spreading its wings Swan a-swimming Swan over water Family of Trumpeter Swans
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Ask A Fairy: Spring Into Summer With the Fairies!

By Thimble & Blossom on May 27, 2022
We just heard that Thimble and Blossom, our migratory fairy naturalists, are back in the North Country! In the spring they like to bounce on blooming buds, zip around with dragonflies, and take cold dips in freshly melted puddles! Through all their woodland time they’ve become excellent naturalists, and are now here to answer any questions you may have! Between May 27th and June 24th, use the…
Fairy house under a log White birchbark fairy house in between tree trunks on the ground Brown bark fairy house with moss in between three tree trunks
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

6th Annual Earth Day 7k Recap

By Kayla Edmunds on May 3, 2022
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…
Two slu runners coming onto the avenue of elms during the 6th annual earth day 7k Happy faces were caught on trail cams that were placed on the course during our 6th annual earth day 7k More excited runners coming onto the avenue of elms during our 6th annual earth day 7k Prizes are raffled off to all participants during our 6th annual earth day 7k
Blog category: Just Our Nature

4th Annual Cardboard Sled Race Recap

By Kayla Edmunds on February 9, 2022
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…
College team Calc-U-SUS from Clarkson goes for one last slide in their slightly tattered cardboard sled A cardboard replica of Red Five X-Wing from Star Wars veers off course into a crowd of reporters from NCPR, North Country Now, and Watertown Daily Times Team Senegal Sparks is all smiles in their speedy sled with a duct tape covered bottom Thomas the Barbarian and The Pirate get a friendly boost as their pirate ship sled begins falling apart One member of the team the I-Don't-Knows races down the hill in his cardboard sled Sled racers representing SUNY Canton and Clarkson University go head to head in a speedy slide down the hill The Clarkson and SUNY Canton sled race teams use their hands to pull themselves to the finish as their sleds don't quiet make it The 7 member sled team Calc-U-SUS from Clarkson gathers for a group photo with the remains of their speedy cardboard sled The Flying Apple sled wrapped in recycled plastic bags speeds by the Senegal Sparks sled piloted by Team Leo
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Beech Gone Wild: Raging Hormones

By Paul J. Hetzler on January 26, 2022
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 …
close up photo of an american beech bud
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Fungal Homes: Much Room, No Mushrooms

By Paul J. Hetzler on January 19, 2022
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.   Given that mold inside our homes can make us ill, you wouldn’t think that being surrounded by the stuff would be a…
A large group orange fungi grow on a tree trunk
Blog category: Just Our Nature

An Army of Legs

By Paul J. Hetzler on January 12, 2022
Whether one has owned a pet cat, dog, chinchilla or what-have-you, or merely admired the grace and beauty of a horse or deer, most of us develop positive links with at least one four-legged animal. But for everyone except maybe scientists, warm and fuzzy feelings evaporate when you move up to critters with a thousand or more legs.   Insects, all of which have six legs, seldom elicit an oxytocin …
Black and res American giant millipede on a rock
Blog category: Just Our Nature

The Blazing Yule Log

By Paul J. Hetzler on December 22, 2021
The tradition of burning a Yule log has largely fizzled out in most parts of the world. While holiday cards often feature cute, picturesque birch rounds in the hearth, old-time Yule logs in 6th and 7th century Europe were monster tree trunks that were meant to burn all day, and in certain cultures for twelve continuous days, without being entirely used up. Apparently, if you didn’t have a…
A roaring fire in a fireplace
Blog category: Just Our Nature