What's Your Nature?

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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

Happy Biology

By Paul J. Hetzler on November 12, 2018
Happiness may be elusive, but it sure has spawned a lot of aphorisms. Folk-wisdom indicates one can be happy as a pig in poop—or in mud, which makes me wonder if those two hogs are equally content, and if they had other options. It also suggests you can be pleased as a pig in a peach orchard, which would make sense unless harvest season was over. Additionally, one might feel happy as a pup with…
Gray Squirrel. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Ehpien
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Run, Dorothy—Emerald City is Falling

By Paul J. Hetzler on November 6, 2018
Watertown is poised to become an Emerald City, but that’s not good news. Jefferson and Lewis will soon be Emerald Counties, and St. Lawrence County began the process of change two years ago. Unfortunately, this kind of transformation does not involve happy endings. When the emerald ash borer (EAB) kills an ash, something happens never before seen—the tree becomes brittle and hazardous very…
emerald ash borer
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Ask A Fairy: Fall 2018 Answers

By Thimble & Blossom on November 2, 2018
  Thanks for visiting the fairies this fall and leaving your notes inside! You had some really great questions, and Thimble and Blossom had so much fun answering them. They are already down in the tropics where they'll be spending the winter, but are excited to come back next spring! Keep reading below to find your question among the others, and let us know if you have any questions. Thanks…
fairy house
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

Ask a Fairy: Our Fairy Friends are Back!

By Thimble & Blossom on October 11, 2018
We eagerly await the fall season, because with it comes apples season, vibrant fall colors, and of course - visiting fairies! Our woodland fairy friends will be visiting the North Country on their migration south for the winter from October 12th - 28th. You're invited to find their homes and leave notes with your nature questions inside. Please also leave your first name and age, so the fairies…
Pumpkin fairy house
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

Plant a Tree, or Rent It?

By Paul J. Hetzler on October 8, 2018
Planting a tree isn’t rocket science, which is good thing. If it were that complex, I’d wager we’d have a lot fewer trees lining our streets. It may not take a scientist to plant a tree correctly, but a lot of money is spent each year to buy and plant trees which may as well be leased, because they will only live a fraction of their expected lifespan. When trees decline and die after 15, 20, or…
Maple trees at St. Lawrence University
Blog category: Just Our Nature

The First Shall Not Last

By Paul J. Hetzler on September 12, 2018
Seems like competitiveness may be part of human DNA, but it does not always pay to be first. No prize awaits the fastest car that passes a radar patrol, or the first person to come down with the flu at the office. And for trees, the first ones to turn color in autumn are not envied by their peers. If trees experience envy, which no one knows. The first trees to show orange and red and drop their…
A maple tree near a school with a bright orange top and green leaves below.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Hottest summer on record for the North Country

By Alexander K. Stewart on August 31, 2018
Are you younger than 96 years old?  Did you spend your summer here in the North Country?  If you answered yes to both, then you just experienced the hottest summer on record (1922-present)!  Yes, the summer of 2018 was a hot one.  Now, this might depend on how you define hot; is it the maximum temperature reached?  Probably not.  Instead, the best metric of “hotness” is probably the mean summer…
The Grasse River near Taylor Park, Summer 2018.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Become a citizen journalist!

By Erika Barthelmess on August 21, 2018
Nature Up North is proud to be working with the Weave News, North Country Public Radio, and The Hill News to sponsor the first annual St. Lawrence Citizen Journalism Incubator (SLCJI). The St. Lawrence Citizen Journalism Incubator is a new initiative designed to provide North Country students and residents with the opportunity to receive training and support for conducting independent,…
St. Lawrence Citizen Journalism Incubator
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Summer Intern Farewell

By Emlyn Crocker on August 11, 2018
  Summer in the North Country is a special thing - we live in a beautiful place, and enjoy the company great people and warm (but usually not too warm!) weather. Plus, there is an abundance of good swimming holes, if you know where to look. Here at Nature Up North, summer is a chance for us to put extra energy into creating interesting workshops and events to support community and family outdoor…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Nature Up North visits St. Lawrence - Lewis BOCES Tech Camp!

By Erika Barthelmess on August 10, 2018
The Nature Up North team was delighted to be able to present at the annual Tech Camp presented by the Model Schools team. Our goal was to provide an overview of the resources we have at Nature Up North to support environmental learning in K-12 classrooms.  We featured two of our citizen science projects, Monitor My Maple and North Country Wild, and also looked over a variety of other resources…
Title slide from presentation
Blog category: In the Schools