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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

Ask A Fairy, Spring 2017

By Thimble & Blossom on June 9, 2017
The wait is finally over! The fairies are so happy that you found their houses, and they said the questions you asked this year were especially thoughtful. Thimble Hickory and Blossom Dewdrop are your fairy experts on North Country nature and fairy culture again for this round of questions. They’re on their way to their northern summer nesting spot, but they already can’t wait to pass through the…
Blog category: Ask a Fairy

Colton-Pierrepont Earth Week 2017

By Emlyn Crocker on June 9, 2017
It's late spring in the North Country, and the hills are alive with the sounds of birds and bees doing that important job - pollination. Last week Nature Up North joined Colton-Pierreont Central School's Earth Week Celebration, where pollination is the theme of this year's festivities. We challenged 1st-6th grade students to act out the story of pollination through a hands-on relay game, and…
Blog category: In the Schools

An In-Tents Infestation

By Paul J. Hetzler on May 31, 2017
Update: Tent-caterpillar outbreaks occurred in our region in June 2017, 2018 and again in 2019 with increasing severity. This article was originally published in 2017.   Given the cool rainy weather of late, one wouldn’t think tenting would be popular. But tents are everywhere this spring. They do not seem to respect sanctioned camping areas in NYS forests, and many have even invaded posted lands…
tent caterpillars
Blog category: Just Our Nature

2017 Earth Day 7K Recap

By Emlyn Crocker on April 21, 2017
Spirits were racing and spring was in the air last Saturday April 15th as excited runners and walkers hit the SLU trails at the second annual Nature Up North - St. Lawrence Land Trust Earth Day 7K in Canton. Despite a forcast for rain, the 71 participants enjoyed beautiful spring weather, with high clouds and a bright sun shining down on the wooded trails. The course followed the St. Lawrence…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Springtime Vernal Pools

By Amanda Brooks on April 4, 2017
April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring something else to the North Country: vernal pools. Vernal pools are small wetlands that temporarily form in spring and dry up by late summer. They form in woodlands and backyards in small depressions in the ground and are ecologically important for a variety of reasons.  In early spring, amphibians such as wood frogs, spring peepers, and…
Vernal pool. Photo: Robbt, Flickr Creative Commons. Wood frogs are often found feeding at vernal pools in the North Country woods. Photo: St. Lawrence Mammalogy Class 2016.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Spring Pruning: As Easy as 1-2-3.

By Paul J. Hetzler on March 29, 2017
As far as trees are concerned, the optimal time for pruning in northern NY is from early March until the buds start to open; usually mid-April. And given that early spring is often a pretty enjoyable time to be outdoors, you may tend to concur. Tree pruning may be done any time in the dormant season (or in late summer—more on that below), but during the four to six weeks leading up to bud-break,…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Four Fun Places to Snowshoe in the NoCo

By Kelsey Mattison on March 20, 2017
Happy Spring Equinox! Today may be the first day of spring, but spring hasn't sprung just yet in the North Country. One way you can take advantage of the snow this year is by getting outside and exploring on snowshoes.  Snowshoeing is fun for all ages and abilities, and is a great winter activity to share with friends or family. Plus, strapping on some snowshoes spreads out your weight on the…
Blog category: On the Trail

Snow Job

By Paul J. Hetzler on March 16, 2017
It is nice to know Mother Nature hasn’t forgotten how to make snow, but I suspect the recent dump we got was supposed to have been delivered in January. Probably it got held up at the border, or the packing slip got lost and the whole shipment has been sitting on a loading dock somewhere. Here we are a few days from the official start of spring, so maybe if we can find a tracking number we can…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Leprechaun Trees

By Paul J. Hetzler on March 16, 2017
My earliest memory of St. Patrick’s Day is how angry it made my mother, who holds dual Irish-American citizenship and strongly identifies with her Celtic roots. It was not the day itself which got her Irish up, so to speak, but rather the way it was depicted in popular American culture: Green-beer drink specials at the bars and St. Patrick’s Day sales in every store, all endorsed by grinning,…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

An Ill Wind

By Paul J. Hetzler on March 7, 2017
Bad-hair days might be a personal frustration, possibly even a social calamity, but bad-air days can send the population of a whole region into a tailspin. Literally. By “bad air” I don’t mean urban smog, although that certainly merits an article, if not an actual solution. And while the fetid pong in one’s dorm room after an Oktoberfest all-you-can-drink bratwurst bash and sauerkraut-eating…
Blog category: Just Our Nature