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

North Country Nature Noises

Image taken on the Little River of the evening sunlight against the trees
By Leslie Herold on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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. There is so much to see, but our sight is only a small part of how we can really connect. Using all our senses when we are…

Ask A Fairy: Spring 2022 Answers!

smiling person in front of a fairy house
By Thimble & Blossom on
Blog: Ask a Fairy
After a lengthy stay on North Country trails and in our backyards, our favorite naturalist fairies decided to continue north for the rest of the summer. But, before they left they made sure to write back to all of your wonderful nature questions! They wanted us to tell you that they loved answering your questions, and they hope you keep exploring and being curious about all the wonderful things…
small child in front of a fairy house on the ground fairy house covered in bark and moss in a tree three small houses hanging from tree branches in front of a larger fairy house on the ground

On the Importance of Dirt

Diagram showing the difference in composition of compacted soil versus uncompacted soil
By Abigail Lateer on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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…

Shell-ebrating North Country Painted Turtles

A baby painted turtle
By Leslie Herold on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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…
An adult painted turtle

Fanfare in the North Country

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

Ask A Fairy: Spring Into Summer With the Fairies!

Fairy house under a log
By Thimble & Blossom on
Blog: Ask a Fairy
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…
White birchbark fairy house in between tree trunks on the ground Brown bark fairy house with moss in between three tree trunks

6th Annual Earth Day 7k Recap

Two slu runners coming onto the avenue of elms during the 6th annual earth day 7k
By Kayla Edmunds on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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…
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

4th Annual Cardboard Sled Race Recap

College team Calc-U-SUS from Clarkson goes for one last slide in their slightly tattered cardboard sled
By Kayla Edmunds on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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…
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

Beech Gone Wild: Raging Hormones

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

Fungal Homes: Much Room, No Mushrooms

A large group orange fungi grow on a tree trunk
By Paul J. Hetzler on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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…