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!
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.
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
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
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?
Went for a walk while it snow!! Very peaceful
Walk Along the Saddlemire Trail
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.
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.
Fall in full bloom
This sight was absolutely breathtaking
It was amazing to see this little bee at work
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.
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.
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 at Moose Pond
A short but great hike into Moose Pond during the peak of the foliage.
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...
Reds of fall 2022
Oh the color palette! Wow!
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 atop Mt. Azure
Another beautiful reminder that we are blessed to live in the best place on Earth.
Sunset Over Water
Sunset from my backyard, on the Grasse River in Massena, NY.
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.
This is a fallen tree on the Lampson Falls trial. Such a beautiful piece of nature
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 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.
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
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
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.
Out for a strole
I was out for a Strole and saw this beautiful family of geese heading out for a swim
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.
Duckling along shoreline
We saw these pretty flowers on a trip to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
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
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!
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 🥰
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
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.
Not much to say except for this fella was big and he was NOT bothered by us
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!
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.
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!
First garter snakes of the year
Saw the first garter snakes of the year this morning by our beaver pond.
Woodpecker watching Cardinal
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.
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.
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!
Peavine Swamp Lean-to, Wanakena
A great day snowshoeing on the Peavine Swamp Trail.
To read more about it- https://hikingthetrailtoyesterday.wordpress.com/2022/02/06/peavine-swam…
Chilly Hike Up Baker Mountain!
Had a lovely but bitterly cold day (although the shining sun helped) hiking Baker Mountain, one of the Saranac Sixers. Very nice hike, close to Saranac lake with lovely views.
Snowy Walk on the Kip
A chilly, snowy walk on the Kip Trail looking for birds. Not much to be seen there but still a lovely golden hour adventure.
Mt Van Hoevenberg- South Meadow Trail (Lake Placid)
It was an uncharacteristically pleasant day for the middle of December in the High Peaks. Virtually no snow, but there was plenty of ice- we used microspike the entire way up and down. This is the older trail that sees much less traffic than the new trail leading from the Olympic complex on the other side of the mountain. Round trip mileage was just under 5 miles with 925' of elevation gain. The day was quite hazy, so the views of the MacIntyre Range were not as spectacular as usual. Still, it's a fairly easy hike (for being in the High Peaks) with some nice views.
This is a test.
Trumpeter Swans on the Grasse River
In driving down Route 68 toward Canton, I spotted a good number of Trumpeter Swans on the Grasse River. I pulled over in a safe space and was able to count 15 of them! I captured this photo showing two adults and three immature swans (the ones with the grayish necks and heads). So named for their trumpet-like calls, the Trumpeter Swan is the largest waterfowl native to North America, getting to be six feet in length and with wingspans of 8.5 feet!
Black & Long Ponds- Paul Smiths
A nice easy trek along two Adirondack Ponds- Black and Long. The trails are part of the Pauls Smiths VIC. Three lean-tos along the way are nice to stop and take a few pictures. Total mileage was about 3.4 miles RT.
The Night Owl
A nighttime stroll on the St. Lawrence XC Trails with the SLU Powerhouse searching for cryptids like Bigfoot or Mothman ended with us spotting an owl!! Most likely a barred owl, we watched it for a while before it eventually took off. Although the picture is a little blurry, I was surprised to even be able to make out the owl since it was dark except for the moon behind the clouds. So exciting!
Awakening to a fresh coat of snow here in Indian Lake.
Baldface Mt- Duane NY
Baldface is a short but steep (gains over 1000' in a mile) mountain that is a real gem. The trailhead is virtually unmarked, and there is nothing but a few old ribbons on the trail. It is old school -straight up the mountain, no switchbacks. It had rained the day before and the leaves were very slippery. The steepness got our attention, but the views were awesome from the mountain's bald summit. Debar Mt. is west of the summit and Debar Pond between the two. There is a second lookout that has views south towards Loon Lake Mountain.
High Rock Paddle -Star Lake
I spent Columbus Day with a solo kayak trip up the Oswegatchie River (Fine NY) to High Rock. The leaves are well past peak, and the water was REALLY low. I didn't have to carry over anything, but I ran aground several times. The temperature was great considering it's October
A Colorful Mount Arab Hike
Although a cloudy day, the leaves on the trees were absolutely beautiful! Captures the true image of the Fall season in the North Country.
Clarksboro Trail- Clare NY
The Clarksboro Trail- Claire NY
I have been trying to get to the Clarksboro Trail since early summer. I had someone ask about the trail, and I’d never heard of it. After a little research, I found that it is a fairly new trail on the 51,950-acre Grasse River Easement Tract. The trailhead is on the north side of the Tooley Pond Road, 2.6-miles from Rt 27 in DeGrasse. The trailhead is marked and starts at gate #1 on an old logging road.
Stone Valley hike!
Hiked the beautiful Stone Valley with some families for SLU parent weekend! Perfect weather and some lovely views. Will definitely be going back!
Sunsets over the Sustainability Farm
Beautiful sunsets beautiful place
Grasse River Paddle
A gorgeous afternoon for a kayak on the Grasse, thanks to SLU’s canoe shack! The first signs of fall are starting to show in the yellowing of leaves. Spotted a few turtles sunning themselves, lots of frogs hanging out on the algae, a few remaining flowers. Followed two belted kingfishers up the river for a while, but they just wouldn’t pose for a good photo. A beautiful day!
Paddle on the Little River
Took a lovely afternoon paddle on the little river. Light breeze, few bugs, starting to see some fall color.
Chicken of the woods!
Found this neat fungi by the Grasse River right off of Miner St. I identified with the help of iNaturalist and really enjoyed the name chicken-of-the-woods, named not for appearance but taste! Who knew!
Sunset on Lake Ontario
I went camping in Sackets Harbor on Lake Ontario in 2021 over Memorial Day Weekend. It was a beautiful trip, one of the last my family ever took in our RV. Here is a picture I took of the sunset on one of the nights we were there.
Toad in Hole
We had the pleasure of watching this cub in the woods, near our home. Frolicking and celebrating Spring.
Sure signs of Spring!
Walking through the woods and came across the site sign of Spring...pussywillows!
At the falls I noticed this limb in the water with these beautiful and unique icicles hanging off from it. The sunlight and water were reflecting from them just gorgeous and it reminded me of a chandelier!
As the sun went down, and I walked towards the golf course at SLU, the sound of spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) filled the air! Following their sound and the light of my flashlight, I eventually found one of the tiny frogs in a vernal pool. Herping season is here!
When going out on the back porch of my townhouse last night on St. Lawrence University campus, I saw this Jefferson salamander! I believe this is a Jefferson salamander, but it has been a while since I took herpetology here at SLU.
A snowy Sunset
With a fresh layer of snow, the woods and fields lay under a blanket of white. This blanket muffles and hides the subtleties of the woods leading the mind to wonder what critters scurry below the layers of snow. Above the snow the trees stand tall awaiting the spring to waken and continue their growth into the sky. But for today, a sun sets on another beautiful winters day.
Playing in the snow!
I was in the zen garden of sykes and played in the snow with my roommate!
Owl on Kip Tract Trail
I was walking on the Kip Tract Trail in the evening and was lucky enough to see a beautiful owl! I don't know what species it was.
St. Lawrence Golf Course XC-Ski
A fellow classmate and I had a joyous time skiing around the St. Lawrence University Golf Course, sticking to the track for a while until we came upon a wooded area we wanted to explore, where we broke trail, took a quick nap on a log, and appreciated the serenity of it all. I love mixing up some speedy track skiing with slowing down and appreciating the way the snow settles on the trees or how the giant, fluffy flakes puff up around me when I fall.
Snowy Pyrites Adventure
It was a beautiful day for an adventure! The 20°F weather felt unusually warm in the sun after all of the cold temps we have had. I snowshoed from Rt. 47 along the Grasse River to the hydro plant and back. The snow depth was quite variable and had drifted up to knee-height in places. Snowshoes were helpful but the snow was too dry to stay on top of it. Gaiters would be a nice addition next time.
Trails under the snow!
I was walking on the Saddlemire Trail this evening and saw these little trails under the snow. I thought they were so fascinating, and am wondering what creature is responsible for them! My best guess would be some small rodent, like mice or voles.
A friend and I decided to go Nordic skiing. It was probably the fourth time in my life I’d gone, and it was an absolute blast. We explored the packed trails and through the untracked forest. It was an incredibly peaceful time in a wonderfully snowy afternoon.
Snowy Owl in Massena
During my ornithology lab at Robert H. Moses State Park, we saw this beautiful snowy owl perched at the top of a pine tree. These photos were taken through a magnified spotting scope.
In Otter's way!
I was photographing the fresh snow when I heard a rustling... Turned around to find I was being watched:)
Coney is always a nice hike with some of the best views for your effort. The trail is hard-packed and microspikes were all we needed. This is part of the popular Tupper Lake Triad, along with nearby Goodman Mt and Mt Arab.
A calm and foggy morning made the Raquette river all the more inviting for a mid-morning swim.
Ferns in fall
Always looking up
Red skies at night
Peak Sugar Maple
A brilliant sugar maple on the edge of the forest, and a view towards Big Tupper (Mount Morris).
Fall in the ADKS
Hiked in to Low's Lake Overlook on a warm Sunday in September. The colors were spectacular!
Colors of fall
Visiting the Beach in Blue Mountain Lake when we had a visitor.
A mink of a day!
While visiting the Blue Mountain Lake beach we were greeted by this adorable Mink
Clear Pond - Long Pond trails
A nice 5.5-mile hike from Clear Pond to Long Pond, and Little Rocky Pond.
Love this color purple! Proof that beauty can be untouchable.
Sugar Maple on a school lawn with a lot of sunlight. The circumference is 26 inches and the bark has a lot of moss growing on its bark. Leaves are still early in changing color; very few leaves on the ground. No fruit.
Mt Arab sunrise
Mt Arab is always a favorite in winter, but I decided to do a summer hike for the sunrise. As you can see, it didn't disappoint. The low fog really made it great.
It’s that time of year when it sounds like machine guns going off at my sisters camp. She has a metal roof and when these fall it sounds like Gun shots going off.
Copperas Pond- Wilminton
A short but steep hike to a great little Adirondack Pond. The west branch of the Ausable River runs right in back of the parking area. Wonderful views of Wilmington Notch as well. 1.5-miles round-trip to the lean-to.
Bees on Leek Bloom
Just love the garden with all the insects and wonderful creatures!
Sunrise Color play with Clouds
Early morning sunrise with beautiful display of colors before we got a storm!
Wasp on Flower
Wonderful photo in my garden. I was using an olloclip zoom lens.
Red Sky on Raquette River
Beautiful experience - it was very dark and the sky very red!!
My dog and I pulled into camp and these three turkeys were visiting. They didn’t stay to chat though!!
Beautiful summer flowers in the garden.
Up close minis
I love these little tiny mushrooms.