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!
The last rainy view on our way up Whiteface
This was our last view of the mountains when hiking up Whiteface
Squirrel eating out of a chair
The squirrels love to use this feeder and often visit it as an alternative to the bird feeders in the yard.
The First Snowfall of the Season!
The first of many chilly and snowy mornings in the North Country has me looking forward to all the winter months have to offer.
Hike on Azure mountain
Sustainability Farm Goats
Foxy and Snowball, the goats at the SLU Sustainability Farm are enjoying their new pasture! These two are very sweet goats; they love to explore and interact with human visitors.
Belted Kingfisher in against autumn leaves
I was kayaking on Black Lake on an unusually warm October afternoon when I heard the call of the belted kingfisher. I allowed the wind to blow me closer where I was able to take a few photos and I didn't drop my camera in the water! :)
Azure Mt Morning
Azure Mt Firetower
Sunrise at Azure
Azure Mt Firetower Sunrise
Geese flying over the harvest moon
While out on my regular morning walk, I heard Canada geese approaching. As I looked up I realized they were about to fly in front of the still glowing harvest moon. I am happy I had my camera with me.
Northern flickers on stump
While I was on my morning walk here on Black Lake, I noticed a group of flickers seeming to check out the various boxes around our property. I was happy that I had my camera handy when these two males were competing over the tasty snacks in this old tree stump. The approaching flicker is showing off his yellow under feathers that give them their name "Yellow Shafted Northern Flicker"
Touche! Hummingbird fencing tournament
Ruby throated hummingbirds dueling over garden territory.
Chipmunk Getting Ready for the Winter
I am pretty sure this chipmunk lives in the Canoe House, everyday it scurries around with some food in their cheeks.
Beautiful view on a fall day
Ruby Throated Hummingbird perched on a sunflower
Each morning I take a walk to greet the new day. I love seeing what birds are enjoying the flowers and trees around our home. On this September morning, this little lady was kind enough to pose for me on a dew covered sunflower branch.
Mt Arab Sunset
Ruby Throated Humminbird on tithonia
While working in the garden there is always a flury of hummingbird activity this time of year. They battle for control of the best feeders and flowers. I captured this photo after this hummingbird successfully chased off the competition and went on with enjoying the flowers.
Ruby Throated Hummingbird on zinnia
Hummingbirds are fighting over the flowers in the gardens. This little one found a perfect spot to sip a zinnia blossom with flowering dill in the background.
I noticed a bird flying around our property and the hayfield next door, it flew like a bat in circles. There were lots of insects on this hot and humid September day. I realized it was a nighthawk. A rare sighting during daylight hours. Please allow me to add proper tag. Nighthawks are on decline, and it would be great if people could properly tag their sightings.
Ives Park Sunset Potsdam NY
I think this was a spiny oak-slug moth caterpillar. It was really beautiful, I can't recall ever seeing another caterpillar that looked like this before.
Remember when it wasn't raining?
Eye contact! Juvenile Male Ruby throated hummingbird with pollen on his beak
This little cutie was perched on the Blau Hilde bean vines in my veggie garden. He seemed to be staring right into my lens. He reminds me of a young teenager just getting his facial hair with his ruby feathers just starting to come in. I love that his little beak is covered in pollen. I had more hummingbirds around than ever this season. They were so much fun to watch and photograph.
Hummingbird nectaring on hyacinth bean flowers
This little beauty showed up while I was sipping coffee on our porch. I have an abundance of hummingbirds this season, much to my delight. I think they enjoy the multitude of native and annual flowers I have planted for them. The hyacinth bean vine was a new addition to my annuals this summer. Hummingbird approved!
We took family on the St. Lawrence River and saw this large ship. It was amazing!
American Goldfinch on red sunflower
I always have one of my cameras handy while I am in the garden. I plant flowers not only for myself to enjoy, but for the birds. This American Goldfinch was kind enough to pose on my sunflowers.
American Goldfinch on red sunflower
I always have my camera with me while I am out in the garden. This little goldfinch posed for several photos, it was difficult to choose my favorite.
Asian lady beetle on a flower
This photo depicts an Asian lady beetle, a species similar in looks to a ladybug but very invasive in the North Country. It can be hard to tell the difference between the two but the main giveaway that I look for to distinguish them is the black "M-shaped" marking located behind the Asian lady beetle's head. Despite the invasive nature of this species, they are still stunning and photograph beautifully.
Sunset at Barnhart Marina
Fungi at Heritage Park
We had so much fun learning about fungi!
Leaves Already Changing?
Enjoyed a nice morning walk on the SLU XC trails, but am surprised to see some leaves already turning red. Keep hearing that everything is “two weeks early,” plus these trees are on the edge of a soccer field right next to the road, so maybe not the healthiest habitat, contributing to some external stressors…
I was heading out to the garden when I heard the birds sounding the alert. I looked around and sure enough this little one was running along the stone row. I waited on the other side for him to peek out. He seemed to be interested in the clicking of my camera and struck a cute pose. I am pretty sure this stoat is one of the young ones I saw Momma carrying earlier in the season.
Hermit Flower Beetle
Seek identified this as a “Hermit Flower Beetle” he was the size of a half dollar, maybe a bit bigger, and I love that you can see the lamellate antennae, which is very characteristic of scarab beetles. This fella is similar to the beetles we know as june bugs, but not the same. Apparently they can emit a noxious odor when frightened!
Fungi & Fairy Houses at Lampson Falls
A rainy walk to Lampson Falls to build fairy houses, collecting material along the way, led to the discovery of lots of different fungi, all probably much happier than the humans at the damp conditions. despite the rain it was a joyful afternoon!
Sunshine and Leaf!
I just love the way the sun shines through this leaf and you can see all of its intricate veins, and the rest of the tree stands a little out of focus in the background. Nature is so awesome!
Yellow Warbler in dill
This little yellow warbler was hunting insects in our veggie garden.
Birds at the Boat Launch
I work as a Watercraft Inspection Steward to manage invasive species and, when the boat traffic is slow, I try to see what the feathered fellas are up to! There are many places for them to hang out at the boat launch: grasses and reeds, trees, even industrial structures! They are good company for a long day outside and I never get tired of listening to their conversations.
Ducks in the ADKs
In the velvet
Beautiful little buck stopped in my yard to eat.
Bumblebee Robber Fly!
Visited by a bumblebee robber fly at the canton farmers market! These flies are cleverly disguised as bees with their yellow and black coloration and fuzzy bodies - but a closer look and a few clues will give away their status as flies (members of the Diptera order). First - this guy only has one pair of wings. Bees have two pairs! He’s got short antennae, and his eyes are more round whereas bees generally have oval shaped eyes. Finally the giveaway that this isn’t just any fly, but a robber fly - the mustache (technical name: mystax, a collection of stuff bristles on the face).
This freshly fledged northern flicker visited me while I was working in our garden. He was calling for his parents and they were returning the call from afar. Our home on Black Lake is like a small bird sanctuary with so many birds nesting in our trees and bird boxes.
Kayaking down the Grasse River at dusk.
I walk my dog every morning at 4:30am and this is my view along the way.
Giant Water Bug With Eggs
Having a snack
This dragon fly landed on my son and just happened to have caught a spider to have for a snack.
Early morning groundhog
Jack in the pulpit
Maple Leaves Are Out!
So exciting to see the new, bright green leaves on these sugar and Norway maples on SLU campus. Not just here but all over campus and beyond the beautiful greenery is just so lush and fresh - it really feels like a breath of fresh air and new beginnings.
Bee and Flower
This little bee kept coming back and landing on my book and my sweater while I was outside. I was wearing a yellow sweater with flowers so he may have liked that. When the little friend was on my book he was rubbing his antennae and legs - and you can see how full the tibia on its hind legs are with pollen! So cool!
Amphibians of Black Lake
Black Lake "fish food"
Scott and I sampled the lake today and towed a zooplankton net behind the boat near Raspberry Island. Fun times on a beautiful spring day
Spotted this little beauty in my backyard while hiking my dog
Birding with St. Lawrence Land Trust
Birding walk led by Tom Langen and the St. Lawrence Land Trust at the Upper and Lower Lakes Wildlife Management Area. Some of the most exciting sightings (to me at least) were the Virginia rail (pictured here creeping through the marsh), a Northern Waterthrush (not pictured), an American kestrel hovering (not pictured), and the Baltimore oriole we saw at the very end (pictured in a blossoming tree). Other birds we encountered were:
Mergansers take off
Do you want to know a secret? Tree Swallow nesting pair
This sweet tree swallow pair ended up raising a little family in our veggie garden nest box. It appears they are discussing the local real estate here prior to making a decision. I love having tree swallows nesting on our property. They eat lots of insects!
Great Blue Heron breeding plumage in tree
This beauty appeared in a tree while I was making dinner. I was able to capture a series of photos in the perfect late afternoon light. This is among my favorites. I love seeing Great Blue Herons in their breeding plumage. I love living on Black Lake!
Great Blue Heron in tree
I spotted this beauty from the window while I was making dinner. He landed in the perfect evening sun.
Buddy was zoomin from tunnel to tunnel
Tree Swallow Pair
Tree Swallow pair in our little vineyard on Black Lake. I look forward to their arrival each spring. We have at least 6 nesting pairs a season. I love watching their aerobatics.
I was watching the sunrise over Black Lake when I spotted some ducks moving closer. I was able to capture a photo of this hooded merganser as it passed. I love his reflection on the water.
Wandering the wetlands
This semester, Nature Up North has been helped by two St. Lawrence University students participating in a "Community based learning" course. Among other things, Julia and Ilana helped us to put out some game cameras in early March. We went out today to retrieve the game cameras. Knowing that the St. Lawrence University Kip Tract is primarily forested wetland, and that the trails are flooded, we donned chest waders just to walk the trail and get the cameras. We were successful in collecting 3 of the 4 cameras; one that we had placed near the bank of the Little River was under water!
Kayla and I went out to do some morning birding on the Kip Trail. After abandoning the trail on the Wachtmeister side due to flooding, we headed to the Pike Rd. entrance. Though I have no bird pictures to share, we saw and/or heard at least the following: Eastern phoebe, kingfishers, mallard ducks, brown creepers, hairy woodpeckers, chickadees, a northern cardinal, red-breasted nuthatch, and likely a yellow warbler!
We happened upon more flooding on the trail and also found some evidence of recent beaver activity near the lean-to.
Flaming clouds at sunset
Stoneflies on the Porch!
iNaturalist identified this as a "Winter Stonefly," there have been a bunch on my porch. It's still pretty chilly - how do these insects survive? So cool!
Tracks in the Snow
Saw some tracks in the snow, not sure what they were, maybe a raccoon?
Walk Along the Saddlemire Trail
Went for a walk while it snow!! Very peaceful
Owl was soaking up the sun.
Meeting at the feeder
First Time Skiing
My first time skiing at Titus was so much fun! Most of the day was cloudy and spent a while on the "bunny" slopes, my friends and I had a great time.
Backyard Blue Jay
It was a beautiful afternoon just after a snow storm when a few Blue Jays fluttered about in the backyard. This one loved to pose for the camera.
Cold and Beautiful
Beautiful sunny and cold January day
Cardinals on ice
A little icing to start the year
New Year Owl
Beautiful Barred Owl was sitting on the edge of the wooded area.
We were working around our yard when I heard the blue jays sounding alarm calls. I looked to see what they were upset about and spotted this barred owl just through the branches in the wooded area behind our house. My partner grabbed my camera for me, teamwork!
Views of Huckleberry Lake
Our first hike to Huckleberry Lake in the Wolf Lake State Forest in St. Lawrence County. An easy 1.7 mile out-and-back led to a ledge over the still-as-a-mirror lake.
Sunset from the Site
We saw this beautiful sunset from a campsite at Meacham Campground.
Hill at Meacham
We visited Meacham Lake and got a great picture of the hills.
Colors in the Rain
I was driving down the road, and I saw some really nice fall colors. The trees almost made a mini tunnel over the road, and it looked like a great picture opportunity.
Sparkles by the Lake
This beautiful view was at Ausable Point.
Heron in a Marsh
This was taken in Peru at Ausable Point.
Brandy Brook Colors
It was a clear and calm Fall day along the beautiful area of Brandy Brook, just outside of Waddington.
It was amazing to see this little bee at work
Fall in full bloom
This sight was absolutely breathtaking
Autumn on the Oswegatchie River- High Rock Paddle
I've been paddling to High Rock on Columbus day for several years now. I enjoy this trek immensely, and the autumn season makes it that much more enjoyable. The leaves are past peak, but still, it's an amazing trip this time of year. The forecast of sunny skies took a while to get there, but eventually, the skies cleared. To top it off, I saw a bald eagle and a bear.
Beautiful fall hike up Goodman Mountain
Had a beautiful hike up Goodman Mountain one Sunday morning, the leaves were all shades of green, yellow, orange, and red and the path was so soft and beautiful with the ones that had already fallen. An amazing short hike!
Autumn on the Beaver Narrows Trails at the Wolf Lake State Forest
The Beaver Narrows trail is awesome any time of year, but the fall is by far my favorite.
Autumn at Moose Pond
A short but great hike into Moose Pond during the peak of the foliage.
Reds of fall 2022
Oh the color palette! Wow!
Color of 2022
Misty Blue Morning
Looking for a few moments of peace before I headed to work I stopped at the Public Beach in Blue Mountain Lake to be rewarded with this spendor!
God is the perfect artist
Walking to the end of a trail and looking out over the hills and pond was so beautiful
Chilly but beautiful leaf peeping day!
Buck in velvet
Was fortunate to see the velvet still hanging on...
Old golden glow
Old maple that I grew up playing under as a child .
Heard some rustling outside and thought that maybe I was about to make a new friend. I don't usually judge a book by its cover but when dealing with skunks, it is safe to assume that it would not want to be my friend.
The Bog River and Lows Overlook
This is an annual event for us. The foliage seems to run a little earlier along the Bog River area and this year was great. The paddle up the Bog river and then the hike up to the overlook make a perfect "surf and turf" outting.
Cedar River Flow
Always a blessing to be here!
All your geese in a row
Unexpected Hike on Scarface
Peak weekend, decided to go hiking with a few friends, the high peaks were too crowded with hikers so decided to take a smaller trail. Found some unique features along the way. Now, I am halfway complete with the Saranac 6...
Sunset Over Water
Sunset from my backyard, on the Grasse River in Massena, NY.
Sunset atop Mt. Azure
Another beautiful reminder that we are blessed to live in the best place on Earth.
Path of Trees
Fall at Sandstone Trail
Paddle at Cranberry Lake!
Got out on the water and paddled cranberry lake with a group! Got to get off and explore some rocks, go for a chilly swim, and camp out! It was so fun to be outside and enjoy being with new friends!
Mother Nature's Canvas
A Day Canoeing on Long Lake
The waters were a little windy, which made canoeing a little bit more difficult than originally planned. The trees surrounding the lake were just beginning to change their colors, so mainly green with a few leaves of red and orange. But the views of the mountains along the lake were absolutely stunning.
Waterfall and fall leaves
The water was roaring and so amazing. The air crisp and steam flowing from the water with the changing leaves in the distance
This is a fallen tree on the Lampson Falls trial. Such a beautiful piece of nature
This beautiful girl wanted her photo taken!!
Hard at Work
My family went to Hidden Pastures Dairy to pick sunflowers and we came across many honey bees enjoying the sunflowers.
Mother Dove's Nest
This is a mourning dove's nest we discovered in our spruce tree in the fall.
Sunset Hike on Mount Arab, lots of bugs, but the view was worth it.
Sweet little mouse looking for a morsel was relocated to an area where there would be plenty of food, water and warm places to make a home.
Spreading those Wings
This was a monarch butterfly that we grew from a caterpillar. We released it and it lighted on a plant in our yard.
Sandhill Cranes near Wilson Hill WMA
It was a delight to spot this pair of Sandhill Cranes grazing in a grassy field near the Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area in Louisville, St. Lawrence County, NY. Sandhill Cranes breed in several locations in the county, including the Wilson Hill WMA, Upper & Lower Lakes WMA, and the Lisbon Swamp Complex. Keep your eyes out for these majestic birds that can reach four feet in length and have wingspans of 6.5 feet. Better yet - keep your ears open for their distinctive rattling/rolling calls.
Nature and Buildings
This was such a beautiful site as I was walking along the trail across from this gorgeous building that I could not resist the urge to capture its beauty
Golden Hour Sunset
On an evening walk at my friend's house, I noticed we were walking by a very simple but beautiful scene. And as someone who lives in the city, I was quite enchanted by it--I just had to get my camera out.
Nature at Work
This was a breath taking experience! Fresh morning dew all over the flowers . It was so beautiful
Barn in the Evening
Out for a strole
I was out for a Strole and saw this beautiful family of geese heading out for a swim
After a rainy hike up for our annual August 31 sunset hike, we were greeted at the top my the most beautiful double rainbow. The clouds then continues to part and the sunset was stunning.
Queen Anne’s Lace and Butterfly
Wildlife in my yard
Looking into the Sky
This was taken at the Malone Rec Park, on what we call Snake Hill.
A toad climbed far up to an abandoned bird house.
The fields are full of babies
Panther Mt. - Tupper Lake
At just over 1.5 miles, this short trek is an easier mountain than most. For details : https://hikingthetrailtoyesterday.wordpress.com/2022/08/31/panther-moun…
Deer in Canton
A very unwary deer encountered us on Peter Van de Water Walking Trail in Canton. He continued to munch leaves and watch us until he decided it was time to walk to the next island.
We saw these pretty flowers on a trip to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
Duckling along shoreline
Driving along the Oswegatchie river, I saw something white. Took out my camera...and oh my goodness...I have never seen one of these! This banded kingfisher was my first ever sighting.
Eagle on Raquette River
Eagle spotted on the Raquette River in Norfolk, NY
Model with bear in background
Taking model shots of my coworker and spotted the bear behind her (look to the right) picture of bear posted by itself as well on profile/encounters 🥰
Bear in Reynoldston
I was taking model shots of my coworker on the bridge and spotted the bear behind her! Had to quickly change my settings! This bear just strutted across the river, not a care about our presence!
Fishing on the St Lawrence River
This was such a beautiful site . Watching the sun go down as we were fishing on the St Lawrence River
Couple watching a beautiful sunset at Barnhart Marina
Mink with crayfish
After hearing mink running around chirping along the rocky shore I followed them from farther away and sat there watching them. After a little bit I ran back in and got my camera and when I came back there were only 2 left. One was sleeping on a rock and then there was this little guy who came back with a huge crayfish!
Gazing at the Sky
This was taken during a camping trip to Meacham Lake this past year.
Beautiful Sunset Over Rollway Bay
Just spotted this fella out for an afternoon stroll
Not much to say except for this fella was big and he was NOT bothered by us
A sweat bee with some mites
This sweat bee seemed to have some sort of mites bothering it, not sure if it’s the same mite that infests honeybee hives (Varroa destructor) or something similar or even completely different.
Giant water bug with eggs!
Super cool find at Conservation Field Day at Indian Creek Nature Center - a male giant water bug with eggs on its back!! Giant water bugs reverse parental roles and the males carry the eggs on their back until they hatch. These cool insects also have a sinister nickname: toe-biter!
The slugs are feasting!
Love finding large, cool fungi but love even more seeing how all the other forest critters use them! Breakfast is served for these slugs!
Edwards Nature Trail
The Edwards Nature Trail is such a hidden gem! It’s so cool to be able to walk along the old train trestle, and the trail itself is very accessible and easy to find. And of course crossing the Oswegatchie River is lovely!
Lilac flower in bloom
I was walking around with my camera and every time I would go outside, I would always get a big whiff of the lilac bushes! Finally I grabbed my macro camera lens and took some photos of the flowers!
This little guy was the first to arrive in May. He made himself comfortable, I think he was a regular. He would buzz past me while I took my morning walks with my camera. On this morning, he chirped and then landed nearby and began stretching and preening his feathers. He put on quite the show, I got a great series of photos. I gave this guy a name, Harold, because he was quite bold and seemed to recognize me as the human who was filling the feeders and growing his favorite flowers. I get a great number of hummingbirds here each season on Black Lake.
Saw a ton of these beautiful red trilliums on Cranberry Lake! A lovely way to start the morning after sleeping in the lean-to.
Round Lake hike
A nice hike into Round Lake (Sabattis NY). for details- https://hikingthetrailtoyesterday.wordpress.com/2022/05/09/round-lake-h…
Baker's Finest View
This was taken atop Baker Mountain.
Atop Baker Mountain
It was an amazing early spring experience.
Answering the call
Enjoyed watching this shy male fish until we heard his mate calling from down the lake and off he took!
Beautiful Sunlight on Kip!
Beautiful, dappled sunlight captured on a cool, April evening on the Kip trail at St. Lawrence University.
I was humbled that she allowed her picture taken without judgement.
Signs of Spring!
The signs of spring are popping out - honeysuckle, trout lilly, and trillium! I love them all and am excited to see the white/orange, yellow, and red blossoms once they bloom! Even if the honeysuckle is non-native :(
Spring in the woods
Eagles take osprey nest.
Just happened along the eagles sitting in the osprey nest before the ospreys returned. Always awesome to see eagles up close.
First garter snakes of the year
Saw the first garter snakes of the year this morning by our beaver pond.
Wood Frogs and Chorus Frogs have started
Wood frogs are loud and proud in the vernal pools, even though they're still half covered in ice. Wood frogs started calling two days ago, chorus frogs started with their creaky door trill this morning.
No peepers yet!
Woodpecker watching Cardinal
First salamander of the new year
Doing spring clean up in the yard at the Nicandri Nature Center and found our first salamander of the year. Not sure if it is Jefferson or Jefferson/blue spotted hybrid (which we believe we have in the park). Dark slate with barely visible blue. Was cold and we moved him to safe leaf litter from the sidewalk.
Skunk cabbage is up!
The area around the beaver pond has several spots where skunk cabbage is emerging. Lots of tracks where critters have nibbled it or passed by.
Nature Walk on Cross country @SLU
On a nature walk this afternoon outside of St. Lawrence University. Today was a warmer day than usual resulting in the snow melting and being able to see the ground again!
Walking on the Kip Trail
Black-capped chickadee on branch
St. Regis Winter Hike!
Had the best time hiking up St. Regis! A sunny day, broke out my snowshoes, it was quite chilly. Not too challenging of a hike except for one short, steep bit. Definitely recommend, especially on a winter day like this one!