What's Your Nature?

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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

Seeing Red

By Paul J. Hetzler on October 2, 2017
We need to figure out a way to have Amazon deliver the weather in the future. I don’t believe Mother Nature intended to give us a record-setting wet summer; I just think all the good weather probably got misplaced on a loading dock in Topeka, or something like that. The spate of mild sunny weather we’ve been having over the past couple of weeks, while very enjoyable, was clearly meant to be…
Lampson Falls in early October
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Making Fire by Hand

By Emlyn Crocker on September 27, 2017
Ever made fire by hand? Students in the Intro the Environment and Society class at Colton-Pierrepont High School met with Dr. Timothy Messner, Archaeology professor at SUNY Potsdam, this September to learn how to make fire by hand using just a simple tool and the energy in their hands and breath. Below, students Summer Scovil and Ariel Garvin provide an insight into the experience: Friday the…
Colton-Pierrepont Intro to Environment and Society students met with Dr. Timothy Messner from SUNY Potsdam to learn about fire-making.
Blog category: In the Schools

Northern Oysters

By Paul J. Hetzler on September 18, 2017
Carnivorous oysters are lurking about in the North Country, and residents who venture into the woods are advised to carry butter and a skillet at all times. Oyster mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus, native wood-decaying fungi often found on dead and dying hardwoods, are delectable when sautéed in butter. Maybe hikers should carry a few cloves of garlic and a press as well. It’s good to be prepared.…
Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Marshal Hedin
Blog category: Just Our Nature

An Introduction to Earth’s History as told by the North Country Landscape

By Maya Williams on August 3, 2017
Have you ever thought about what the earth was like millions of years ago? It’s hard to imagine the world before we were born, let alone before the human species existed. But if the history of our planet was represented by a single 24 hour day, the presence of modern humans would only be equivalent to less than 4 seconds. What do you think Earth will look like in another million years? The more…
Layers of shale and limestone at Whitaker Falls. Photo: Helen Eifert Extent of Laurentide Ice Sheet over North America. Photo: NPS Natural Resources, Creative Commons Satellite image of Lake Massawepie showing the esker deposit. Map data: Google Hiking along the slope of the esker at Lake Massawepie. Photo: Molly McMasters
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Nature Up North made me Nuts About Nature!

By Nancy LaFaver on August 2, 2017
I attended the Nature Up North Summer Workshop to find new ways to incorporate nature and to enhance my Nuts About Nature after school program. After two days of information overload and field experience, I was able to map out an entire school year of nature programs and activities!  It was wonderful to not only hear about what Nature Up North is doing but to feel like it could be integrated into…
Teachers learn to monitor water quality
Blog category: In the Schools

Nature Up North Teaches the Teachers!

By Susan Dodds on August 2, 2017
Let the adventure begin! Once again the NUN crew delivered on their promise to provide relevant and engaging environmental education activities to our area teachers. This year's group of teachers included some veteran's of the NUN program and a couple of newcomers. Participants were engaged throughout the two day workshop in activities such as an Encounter walk at Heritage park, MOWing the Grasse…
Visiting Heritage Park to take Encounter photos
Blog category: In the Schools

Nature Up North Calendar Photo Contest

By Emlyn Crocker on July 10, 2017
  **contest closed -- winning submissions will be announced by mid October, 2017**   Calling all North Country nature photographers! Got your camera at the ready? Nature Up North is once again hosting our annual calendar contest for nature photos that will be featured in our 2018 wall calendar. At Nature Up North we hope to inspire exploration and appreciation of the North Country environment.…
2017 Calendar Cover 2017 Nature Up North Calendar Back Cover
Blog category: Just Our Nature

When the Sky is On Fire

By Maya Williams on June 30, 2017
The sun sinks low on the horizon and the sky comes to life in a fiery burst of color. You grab your camera and run outside, in awe of the saturated sky above you. But your dog is thoroughly unimpressed, only interested in the possibility of playtime. It has no idea the sky is on fire. Every animal has a different perception of light and color meaning everything we see is through our own human…
Sunrise on Alger Island, Fourth Lake captured by Sherrill Barlow Sunset over the St. Lawrence River, captured by Suzan Mcdermott Many small mammals such as dogs and cats cannot perceive shades of red and green (Photo: Cara Valentine, Edits: Maya Williams)
Blog category: Just Our Nature

It's Better When It's Wetter: Four Reasons to Get Out in the Rain

By Molly McMasters on June 27, 2017
It may feel like these dreary days of rain will never end, but don’t fret! Rain brings many hidden gems out of the natural world that we usually don’t see during dryer weather. So, throw on your rain boots, grab an umbrella, and step out to explore our soggy wonderland! 1) Cast a New Light on Canoeing Typically, canoeing is perceived as a sunny day activity. But sometimes, a paddle in the rain…
Ripple in Still Water. Photo by Jay Fuhrman. An angler testing the waters. Photo: Molly McMasters. The rain brought out the slugs! Photo by Molly McMasters. A fantastic coral fungus. Photo by Jacob Malcomb.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

No Hitchhikers

By Paul J. Hetzler on June 26, 2017
These days, walking on water is not the big deal it once was. Back a long time ago, it required a miracle, but now all you need is a bad infestation of invasive aquatic plants. Anyone who has viewed a serious case of European watermilfoil, water chestnut, or hydrilla knows that a solid mat of vegetation stretching across a once-open waterway is a barrier to swimming, fishing, and boating. And…
Water Chestnut. Courtesy of Michael Figiel of Flickr Creative Commons. Flowering Hydrilla. Photo: Big Cyprus National Preserve, Flickr Creative Commons. Eurasian Milfoil. Courtesy of Ed Dunens of Flickr Creative Commons.
Blog category: Just Our Nature