What's Your Nature?

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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

Best Buds: How Spring Plants Survived Winter

By Ella Gurney on May 23, 2018
While our springtime in the North Country has been a bit more unpredictable than usual, there’s still the usual spring trend: warmer weather and sunny skies! We’re not the only ones starting to venture out- animals are waking up from hibernation, and we’re starting to see signs of new growth in all our favorite flowers. But how are flowers still here? I mean, it gets cold out there in the winter…
Butterflies on purple aster.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Spring has Sprung: Waking Up In The North Country

By Ella Gurney on May 8, 2018
It’s spring in the North Country! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the animals… are waking up! When I think about hibernation, an image of a bear curled up in a cave comes into my mind. The bear is cozy and warm, and when spring finally comes outside, he opens his eyes, yawns, stands up to stretch, and then walks outside like he’s waking up from a long nap. I imagine that all the…
Chipmunk pausing on a log
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Woodland Fairies Visit North Country Trails

By Thimble & Blossom on May 6, 2018
The fairies are here, the fairies are here! Each spring a merry group of fairies migrates through the North Country on their way home for the summer. These aren't just any fairies – these fairies live in the woods, where they spend their days bonding with birds, talking with trees, buzzing with bugs, and getting friendly with fungi. As you might guess, over time they’ve become expert naturalists…
Two fairy houses, one made from birch bark nestled among the pieces of a fallen tree, another made from stones and tucked into the nook of a tree with four diverging trunks.
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

Trap Trees

By Paul J. Hetzler on March 26, 2018
When I hear the phrase “trap tree,” an image of Charlie Brown’s kite-eating tree in the Peanuts comic strip comes immediately to mind. But trap trees, or sentinel trees, are meant to nab a much smaller airborne object, the emerald ash borer (EAB). The idea is to make certain ash trees more attractive to EAB, to serve both as a monitoring tool and as a means of slowing the rate of ash death. Early…
An trap tree under examination by an emerald ash borer survey crew in Wisconsin in 2006.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

North Country Voices: Andy Hurlbut

By Andy Ostler on March 14, 2018
Owned and operated by Andy and Elisha Hurlbut, Hurlbut’s Maple has been producing local Maple products since 1995. Andy Hurlbut first started tapping trees in high school, working and learning from his father and grandfather. Alongside their maple sugaring operation, the Hurlbuts also grow several acres of corn, beans, and hay and raise grass-fed beef.   Nature Up North: Describe your perfect day…
Maple producer Andy Hurlbut at his maple farm. Hurlbut's Maple sells syrup across New York State and beyond. Finished syrup comes in many colors. The evaporator at Hurlbut's Maple.
Blog category: North Country Voices

Invasive Species Awareness Week

By Paul J. Hetzler on February 27, 2018
In Grade 3, a brilliant joke made the rounds. We’d hold up a sheet of blank white paper and announce it was a polar bear in a snowstorm. Genius is relative for kids. But the first time I drove into a whiteout made me realize how accurate that “art” project was. Anything can hide behind a veneer of snow. This leads me to ask why February 26 – March 3 was chosen as “National Invasive Species…
Emerald Ash Borer
Blog category: Just Our Nature

2018 Canton Winter Olympics: Recap

By Emlyn Crocker on February 12, 2018
Do you love getting outside in the winter? If so, you might just have what it takes to be a North Country Olympian! As winter enthusiasts all around the world prepared to kick off the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, Nature Up North and the Canton Recreation Department teamed up to challenge North Country residents with a local challenge... the first annual Canton Winter Olympics.  The…
Cross Country Ski Race at the Best Western Clubhouse in Canton on Sunday, February 11th.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Measuring Science

By Paul J. Hetzler on February 7, 2018
The good news is that Imperial Forces are losing the battle for planetary dominance. The bad news is that we still play for their team. The British Imperial System of measurement, born in 1824 to help streamline a host of odd units inherited from various cultures, was at the time an improvement. But in 1965, the UK adopted the decimal-based metric system, despite the fact it was invented by the…
Measuring a tree for Nature Up North's maple monitoring project.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Not in Tents, Just Intense

By Paul J. Hetzler on January 25, 2018
Winter is not a season when many people think about tents, except maybe to be glad they do not live in one. I do have some friends who love winter camping, and the fact they have never extended an invitation is evidence of how much they value our friendship. Oddly enough, winter is a crucial time to look for signs of forest-tent caterpillars (FTC). In spite of their name, FTC do not weave a…
Forest tent caterpillars on a tree in Canton during the 2017 outbreak. Photo: Erika Barthelmess.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Name-Calling

By Paul J. Hetzler on January 12, 2018
Encouraging people to make friends with wild plants can be a challenge. Sometimes there are genuine concerns. Nettles, as an example, make an early-spring cooked green par excellence, even though its fresh leaves and stems have stinging hairs that can cause an uncomfortable, if temporary, rash if care is not taken when harvesting it. Other times, it is a matter of perception. Critical to the…
Jewelweed in flower, many green vine-y leaves with small yellow flowers.
Blog category: Just Our Nature