What's Your Nature?

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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

More Blissful Ignorance, Please

By Paul J. Hetzler on July 3, 2018
It’s a rare blessing to have a job I absolutely love, but it’s not all roses. Although some of it is, literally, roses. All too often it is my dubious honor to bring to public awareness a new invasive pest or disease, and history has not always been kind to the bearers of bad news. There is an old saying that knowledge is power, but there is another one that ignorance is bliss, and some days I’d…
A green emerald ash borer trap issued by New York State hangs in an ash tree.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

By Alyssa LaCoy on June 20, 2018
...to get to the other side! Many of us rely on crosswalks to safely navigate through bustling traffic, but wild animals are often not so lucky. Road kill is a major issue that continues to decrease animal abundance and biodiversity. While road signs are established for animal crossing in certain areas, there is no way to determine exactly when and where an animal will cross. As summer progresses…
Turtle crossing sign, Rt. 27 in Canton
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Take A Hike: Getting Back Outdoors

By Ella Gurney on June 13, 2018
There’s ice coating one of the boulders next to me. Water drips off of it slowly, tracing a path through some moss below. The boulder in front of me is much larger and steeper, but isn’t slippery with ice, and, looking around me, I can see that the only way forwards is up. Gritting my teeth, I grab a nearby exposed tree root that’s jutting out from the top of the boulder, dig my toes into a crack…
A hiker sits to the right on rocks on Ampersand Mountain in New York State's Adirondacks.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Welcoming Our Summer Interns

By Emlyn Crocker on June 11, 2018
Days are getting longer, butterflies and dragonflies are out, and it's swimming weather by North Country standards - summer is here! At the start of June we welcomed our three summer interns Alyssa LaCoy, Maggie Jensen, and Jess LaMay to the team here at Nature Up North. They'll be with us through early August, and are looking forward to spending their summer visiting farmer's markets, organizing…
Nature Up North summer interns Jess, Maggie, and Alyssa with Project Manager Emlyn Crocker at Indian Creek Nature Center's Conservation Field Day.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Ask A Fairy: Spring 2018

By Thimble & Blossom on June 8, 2018
The wait is finally over! The fairies are thrilled you found their houses, and have been working hard to answer all of the thoughtful questions. Thimble Hickory and Blossom Dewdrop are your fairy experts on North Country nature and fairy culture again for this round. They’re on their way to their northern summer nesting spot, but they already can’t wait to pass through the North Country again in…
North Country Fairy House
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

What's Good for Your Lawn

By Paul J. Hetzler on May 26, 2018
The Memorial Day long weekend is often a time to put in the garden, spruce up the yard, and of course, mow the lawn. After the snow from our prolonged winter melted away, many homeowners were disappointed at the condition of their lawn. Areas of dead grass are sometimes, but by no means always, due to heavy feeding by last fall’s grub crop. Grubs, of course, are beetle babies. Not like Ringo…
A mowed lawn, with focus on the cut grass in the foreground.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

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