What's Your Nature?

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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

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


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

Weather or Not

By Paul J. Hetzler on January 3, 2018
Weather modeling has become quite a big deal in recent years, with meteorologists falling all over themselves to report what the latest models say. It sounds like a fun job, and I am trying to find out how to apply for a position. No doubt I could model categories like “large stationary front” or “high pressure system” pretty well. If it involves appearing in a swimsuit, though, forget it. I love…
First snow of the season on Bear Mountain in Cranberry Lake. Photo: Bill Hill.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

2018 Nature Up North Calendars

By Emlyn Crocker on December 1, 2017
We are pleased to announce that 2018 Nature Up North calendars are on sale now through January!  The printed calendar features some of our favorite photos shared by community members as Encounters on natureupnorth.org in the past year.  They also feature Nature Notes highlighting seasonal wildlife behavior to look for each month.   Proceeds from our calendar sales benefit Nature Up North's…
Calendar cover photo, featuring orange fungi on a mossy background. Back cover of calendar, with thumbnail photos of all 12 months and Nature Up North sponsor credits.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Caterpillar Soup

By Paul J. Hetzler on November 22, 2017
When it comes to personal growth, the Wicked Witch of the West had the right idea. Quite possibly she got it from monarch butterflies, which must exist in Oz, since they are found worldwide except for polar regions. Many times, a rearrangement of the self-image we have come to know is needed to achieve our fullest potential. In my experience this is always hard, and seldom is it voluntary. We…
Monarch butterfly
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Trees and Streams: Citizen Science in the Schools

By Emlyn Crocker on October 16, 2017
A student shouts— “This one! This one’s ours!” and runs back for a measuring tape. She and her partner have found their assigned maple tree on the school lawn, and are about to record seasonal observations for the first of many weeks this fall. The student, a 7th grader at Norwood-Norfolk Middle School, is participating in Monitor My Maple - one of several citizen science initiatives at Nature Up…
7th graders at Norwood-Norfolk Central School walk out of the woods after a lesson on nature observation with Nature Up North this September
Blog category: In the Schools