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

An Army of Legs

Black and res American giant millipede on a rock
By Paul J. Hetzler on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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 …

The Blazing Yule Log

A roaring fire in a fireplace
By Paul J. Hetzler on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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…

Nature Up North 2022 Calendars For Sale

2022 Calendar Cover, foggy Mt. Arab sunrise by Bill Hill
By Kayla Edmunds on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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 back cover, featured photos by month.

Thanksgiving History and Indigenous Culture in the North Country

Coloring Page: Haudenosaunee Flag
By Aurora Hager on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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: The Three Sisters

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

A crow flying over green water
By Abigail Lateer on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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…

Fall Foliage Fun!

Looking up the trunk of a red maple tree with beautiful leaves
By Peter DiNinno on
Blog: Just Our Nature
         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…

Ask a Fairy: Fall 2021 Answers

A fairy house with a birchbark roof and a green door sitting at the base of a tree
By Thimble & Blossom on
Blog: Ask a Fairy
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…
Selfie with brown fairy house with bark roof Cluster of poison ivy, three green leaves

Hiking Tips and Tricks

Sunset Hike at Coney Mountain (Encounter: Kelsey Mattison)
By Aurora Hager on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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…

The Invisible Songbird Serial Killer

Black-throated blue warbler eating a berry
By Langley C Sieve on
Blog: Just Our Nature
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…
Tennessee warbler Baltimore oriel sitting on a bird feeder

Ask a Fairy: The Fairies Are Back!

Brown wooden fairy house in woods with poster nailed to tree behind it
By Thimble & Blossom on
Blog: Ask a Fairy
We are SO excited to share that the fairies are back! As the leaves begin changing color and the air starts to cool, Thimble and Blossom will be making the long trip south for the winter. Through all of their woodland travels they’ve become great naturalists, talking with toads, playing with opossums, and singing with cicadas. Now, they’re here to answer any questions you may have! September 7th…
Brown bark covered fairy house hanging in tree with poster below it White paper-birch covered fairy house resting against log with poster nailed to log next to it