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

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

Nature Up North 2022 Calendars For Sale

By Kayla Edmunds on December 2, 2021
Nature Up North calendars are on sale at local businesses through early 2022! These printed calendars feature our favorite photos shared by community members as Encounters on natureupnorth.org in the past year. Calendars also include Nature Notes highlighting seasonal wildlife behavior local to the North Country region. Proceeds from calendar sales benefit Nature Up North's community…
2022 Calendar Cover, foggy Mt. Arab sunrise by Bill Hill 2022 Calendar back cover, featured photos by month.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Thanksgiving History and Indigenous Culture in the North Country

By Aurora Hager on November 23, 2021
It’s Thanksgiving week! Tis’ the season of fall leaves crunching as we step on them, the smell of warm apple cider on the stovetop and fresh baked pumpkin and apple pies using grandma's secret recipes. An array of food on the dining table every fourth Thursday in November is also a time to be thankful for everyone in your life, surrounded by family and friends. Each house has their own traditions…
Coloring Page: Haudenosaunee Flag Coloring Page: The Three Sisters
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Crows: Bad News or World’s Best Puzzle Solver?

By Abigail Lateer on November 11, 2021
We’ve all heard their croaking song, seen their black bodies circling, and heard the folklore and myths. It’s no wonder why people assume crows are bad news--a group of them is even called a murder. Sounds scary, right? These birds are often labelled as pests and nuisances, and it’s a commonly held belief that they’re detrimental to gardens and linked to disease. But what people aren’t usually…
A crow flying over green water
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Fall Foliage Fun!

By Peter DiNinno on November 8, 2021
         If you have been enjoying all the North Country outdoors have to offer the last few weeks, you have probably noticed trees bursting out in their beautiful red, yellow, and orange fall colors. The change in the color of leaves is caused by the breakdown of chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for photosynthesis, as the tree gets ready for winter. As the green chlorophyll leaves the leaf…
Looking up the trunk of a red maple tree with beautiful leaves
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Ask a Fairy: Fall 2021 Answers

By Thimble & Blossom on November 5, 2021
Our fairy friends Thimble Hickory and Blossom Dewdrop wrote back and answered your questions about North Country nature and the lives of fairies. While they're settled into the warmth of the tropics for winter, they're already excited to return to the North Country next spring and they wanted us to say thank you for all your great questions!  1. Olivia, 21, Are magaritifera known to occur in this…
A fairy house with a birchbark roof and a green door sitting at the base of a tree Selfie with brown fairy house with bark roof Cluster of poison ivy, three green leaves
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

Hiking Tips and Tricks

By Aurora Hager on November 2, 2021
Hello fellow adventurers! The North Country and the Adirondack region is full of hiking opportunities and mountainous beauty. You're certain to find beautiful and unique views on shorter hikes such as Mount Arab or Azure, mid-level mountains like Ampersand and Scarface, and all the way up to the most difficult, like Iroquois or Allen. Before jumping right into these hikes, it is important to note…
Sunset Hike at Coney Mountain (Encounter: Kelsey Mattison)
Blog category: Just Our Nature

The Invisible Songbird Serial Killer

By Langley C Sieve on October 27, 2021
We have officially reached the season many of us living in the North Country spend all year looking forward to: fall! This is the time of year that we all start to watch a variety of red, orange, and yellow leaves fly from tree branches and chevron after chevron of Canada geese flap their way south. The geese, honking from up above, call attention to themselves, piquing our interest and forcing…
Black-throated blue warbler eating a berry Tennessee warbler Baltimore oriel sitting on a bird feeder
Blog category: Just Our Nature