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 you organization's events!

Encounters

Our summer interns set up two funnel traps for the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle over the course of yesterday and today. The purpose of these traps is to determine the presence of EAB within the area. Each trap has pheromones that attract nearby insects and a fluid that preserves each specimen. These will be checked every two weeks and taken down in the fall!

Greeted by sunning frogs and a gushing waterfall, the day was a perfect one to carry out water monitoring procedures along the Grasse River. The team waded into clear water about a foot deep to determine water quality using a number of chemical and physical testing methods. After an hour of sorting through dozens of macroinvertebrates including caddisflies, riffle beetles, and mayflies to analyze species ratios of varying tolerances, the water quality of Hart's Falls is looking good!

We just had to pull over to get pictures of the stunning sunset, and then on our way back to the road we startled this raccoon. They climbed about halfway up the nearest tree, then paused to peer out at us.

Just some of the flora & fauna we came across on a recent trek to Cat mountain, near Cranberry lake. A great long hike, but well worth it.

The clouds dissipated just in time for a clear evening, initiating the start of our summer campfire series. Our guest, Len Mackey, taught the group how to use natural materials to build a fire by friction. As the sun set, we enjoyed our man-made campfire with a drumming circle and toasty marshmallows!

The Nature Up North team had a great time today at Colton-Pierrepont Central School's Earth Week. The theme was 'Loons,' so we came prepared with some fun loon games, such as Loon Mythbusters. The kids really impressed us with their loon knowledge!

The Indian Creek Nature Center trails were swarmed with hundreds of dragonflies this week, a lovely compromise for nasty mosquitoes! Adult dragonflies eat other flying insects, particularly midges and mosquitoes. I admired this beauty for a couple minutes before it took back to the sky!

Starting my walk on the Avenue of the Elms, I stumbled upon a groundhog pup. Born in mid-April, groundhog pups stay close to the mother’s burrow for two to three months before finding a new home. Some pups, though, will stay around for up to a year, leaving only when the mother prepares for a new litter.

So, in spite of how much I love the natural world, I'm really sick and tired of watching these forest tent caterpillars defoliate trees.  On the SLU campus this summer they are abundant, and appear to be feeding on oak, ash, and maple species in particular.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.  Let the socially-transmitted virus that knocks them back arrive and thrive!

This little one was so engrossed in dinner that I was able to get within six feet of the dining spot.