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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

Forest Succession: A Living Symphony

By Paul J. Hetzler on March 24, 2016
Senescence is the decline in vigor that happens to all creatures great and diminutive as they close in on the life expectancy of their species. People my age suddenly find they require reading glasses to see the phone book. Though I suppose by definition anyone still using a phone book is old enough to need glasses, right? The onset of this process varies—you probably know of families whose…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

The Shades of March: A Photo Blog

By Lizz Muller on March 15, 2016
Transitions between seasons often seem drab and monotonous. The glistening snow and ice sculptures of winter are left behind, and summer's vibrant palette has not yet arrived. But beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and March has more to give then it might seem. Patches of green can be spotted nestled in the thawing ground, and melting ice leaves reflective mirrors in its place. Spring is a…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Snowbirding in St. Lawrence County: the Balmy Winter of 2016

By Alexander K. Stewart on March 10, 2016
  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to retire and become a snowbird—move south for the winter, maybe Florida or South Carolina, dodge the winter bullet? Heck, some of you might be reading this from those warmer climes, wondering about the winter you missed out on.  In short, we’re coming out of the 2nd warmest winter on record.  Well, for those of you wondering about snowbirding your…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Maple Syrup: A Timely Tradition

By Justin Dalaba on March 7, 2016
  Maple syrup and maple sugar production have deep roots in the North Country, and for some it has been a way to make a living for generations. Imagine for a moment how the maple syrup on your pancakes made it to the table. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to see what goes into the process, you’ll surely understand why the real syrup costs a bit more than the artificial stuff. As any…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged

The Wonders of Wool

By Lizz Muller on March 1, 2016
  Driving through St. Lawrence County, no matter what time of year, it's not uncommon to see herds of livestock along the roadsides. The strong speckled bodies of cows stand together in groups, their hooves barely denting the frozen ground beneath them. Sheep gather around mounds of hay, some of them practically camouflaged under the piles of snow that accumulate on their backs. Most North…
Sheep outside in a winter field
Blog category: Just Our Nature

The Unthinkable, The Possible, and The Inevitable: Invasive Species Awareness Week

By Paul J. Hetzler on February 22, 2016
February 21-27 is National Invasive Species Awareness Week, not to be confused with New York State’s Invasive Species Awareness Week, which happens in July. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer a Blissful Ignorance Week when it comes to creepy insect pests. But since I can only keep my head in the sand so long before my ears get itchy, what the heck—bring on this “Awareness” stuff. Naturally,…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Ice Trees

By Paul J. Hetzler on February 19, 2016
The willows are weeping, but then so is every other flavor of tree in northern New York right now. The storm that hit the northeast on President’s Day brought significant ice to New York state’s northern tier, ice which has persisted for nearly a week now. If your birches are bent, spruces sagging or crabapples crooked, don’t let the ice get you down as well. As long as we don’t get a heavy snow…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Clifton-Fine Adirondack Winter Whiteout Weekend 2016

By Justin Dalaba on February 18, 2016
Sub-zero temperatures and the first blizzard snowstorm of 2016 greeted the Adirondack Whiteout Weekend in Clifton and Fine, which kicked off on Friday, February 12th. Several of the outdoor events were cancelled or rescheduled due to the extreme cold, but that didn’t seem to stop attendees from making the best of their day. The planned events stretch from Cranberry Lake to Star Lake, drawing in…
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The St. Lawrence County Whitewater Park Proposal: 7 Things to Know

By Jacob Malcomb on February 16, 2016
  Whitewater parks could one day make a splash in St. Lawrence County, according to a recently released report on the St. Lawrence County Whitewater Park Project. At a public meeting on February 9th in Canton, Scott Shipley of Colorado’s S2o Design and Engineering presented the results of a study examining the feasibility, and economic impacts, of a proposed network of whitewater parks in Canton…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

The Secret Lives of Bees in Winter

By Samantha Haab on February 10, 2016
  The winter weather may have taken its time getting here this year, but I think we can agree that the North Country has once again been transformed into the icy, frigid landscape we have come to know and love (or at the very least, tolerate begrudgingly). With snow covering the ground, ice coating our walkways, and Jack Frost nipping at our noses, agricultural pollinators are probably the last…
Blog category: Just Our Nature