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

Got Gas?

By Paul J. Hetzler on March 3, 2017
Some foods give you gas, but this is the time of year when gas gives you a really delicious food. Maple syrup, which is nutritious enough to be listed by the USDA as a food (I say it deserves its own Food Group designation), is gas-powered. Carbon dioxide-powered, to be specific. If it wasn’t for a bunch of little gas bubbles in the xylem tissue, maple sap would not flow. Who knew that wood was…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Birds and Bees

By Paul J. Hetzler on February 24, 2017
Being a dad taught me that you can only put off addressing delicate but important topics for so long. Eventually you have to step up to the plate, face the music and take the metaphor by the horns. That said, it’s time we had the talk. You know, THAT talk. About the birds and the bees. Known for their resilience, and in many cases their astonishing physical endurance, birds and bees are also…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

DIY Valentine's Day Bird Feeders

By Amanda Brooks on February 17, 2017
Show some love to your local songbirds this Valentine's Day (or any time of the year) and make your own heart-shaped bird feeder! You can use any type of birdseed to attract different species. Cardinals tend to prefer black oil sunflower seeds, chickadees like sunflower and safflower, sparrows will flock to millet, or use a mix like we did in the video below to attract a whole range of birds.  …
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Road Salt's Distasteful Effect

By Molly McMasters on February 17, 2017
As anyone who lives in the North Country knows, winter can be tough on drivers. Slick black ice and quicksand-esque snow are a danger to everyone on the road, and should be taken seriously. Aside from plowing and driving with care, the use of calcium chloride, better known as road salt, leads the charge in combatting dangerous road conditions. Keeping the roads safe, however, comes at a cost.  …
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Get Outside!

By Jenna Levandowski on February 17, 2017
Stumbling upon a group of grown-ups in the midst of a snowball fight is a seldom sight to see. As we get older, we so easily fall into this concept of “adulthood” where all of a sudden engaging in play is no longer commonplace. There is this idea that you can only play like a kid if in fact you are a child or are in the presence of one. Earlier this year I was able to visit the Little River…
Kids at Little River Community School playing in the snow
Blog category: In the Schools

Water Wellness

By Paul J. Hetzler on February 7, 2017
If you don’t plan to send your water to college, why bother having it tested? Academic testing is in fact akin to water testing in the sense that they both can involve many diverse “subjects,” and that a passing grade in one department does not apply to other domains. Everyone knows that taking an algebra exam won’t determine your grade in anthropology, history or theatre class. But it isn’t as…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

2017 Nature Up North Calendars

By Jacob Malcomb on November 16, 2016
We are pleased to announce that 2017 Nature Up North calendars are on sale. Our calendars feature some of our favorite photos that local folks have shared as Encounters on natureupnorth.org in the past year. They also feature Nature Notes highlighting interesting wildlife behavior to look out for each month.  They make a great holiday gift! Proceeds from our calendar sales benefit Nature Up North…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Star Photography

By nick zachara on November 6, 2016
For the past year I’ve been experimenting with night sky photography.  I'm originally from suburban New Jersey, which is incredibly unfavorable for star photography -- you can hardly see the stars due to light pollution. But the clarity and perfection of the night sky around Canton, and near my family's camp in North Creek, inspired me to try capturing it on camera. In October 2015, at our house…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Don't Get Ticked This Fall

By Paul J. Hetzler on October 26, 2016
Even though I was born and raised in New York State, I never cease to be awestruck by the beauty of our changing seasons, and cannot imagine living in a place where the years pass with scant visible change in the environment. Yet there is one season I cannot abide, and it has arrived with a vengeance: hunting season. Mind you, I have no problem with safety-trained folks traipsing through the…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Ask a Fairy Part 2: Fairy Food, Autumn Leaves, and Migration

By Thimble & Blossom on October 25, 2016
Our fairy friends Thimble Hickory and Blossom Dewdrop are back to answer the rest of 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 Canton, NY next fall!  Click here to read Thimble and Blossom's responses in Part 1.    Why do tree leaves change color? (Lucy, age 5) Hi Lucy,…
Blog category: Ask a Fairy