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!


A nice 5.5-mile hike from Clear Pond to Long Pond, and Little Rocky Pond.

Traveled to Parishville Sand Dunes to look for insects, and in the parking lot I spotted this dark, nearly see-through chrysalis. When we came back down to the parking lot an hour later the chrysalis was gone, a little bit of searching revealed the newly emerged monarch expanding and drying its wings!

I saw a black bear cub on the trail to Little Rock Pond from Clear Pond. He was looking at me maybe around 10-15 meters down the trail at the top of a hill and he ran off. I turned around not wanting to get in between the cub and the mom.

A short walk at the end of the day at Stone Valley Area yielded an assortment of birds showing signs of breeding activity, plus some fun dragonflies and butterflies.

A nice remote hike to Close Pond on the High Flats state forest, off of Donovan drive. Just a little over 2 miles round trip.

A perfect end to a busy day drive home from Malone.

These two experienced anglers were pretty pleased with their evening catch. And those big guys are back in Lake O gettin' even bigger!

Saw very little swamp milkweed this year:( One of my favorite flowers. Great scent!

Pretty Flower, scary spider.

Lots of new life on beaver pond.

Tons of Painted Ladies! Once I got closer a variety of bees (some of which my be types of flies?) At least 6 distinct buzzing insects. And one Monarch.

I was digging in the soil near Hemlock and Yellow birch trees and happened upon these deer truffles, or Elaphomyces species. These are hypogeous fungi, meaning they form their fruiting bodies beneath the leaf litter. Although in the same phylum, these are not the same genus as the gourmet cooking truffles that more people They rely on mammals to dig them up and consume them, dispersing their spores in the feces of the mammals. Some small rodents, such as the Northern Flying Squirrel, rely heavily on fungi in their diet.

Came inches from destroying the spider's web with my face. Happily I noticed it just in time and then was able to instead provide it with a small portion of the blackfly cloud I travelled with:)

Kingfishers starting the cycle of life.

Suppressed so close to home.
Date is estimated.

The Whitefish in this picture was not the species of fish I intended to catch on this particular day of fishing, but as temperatures grow cold some species seem to be more desperate than others. It struck this dry fly on the waters surface in a pool below the upper Allens Falls an area which is known to hold smallmouth bass, and various species of trout. Pertaining to the Salmonid family, this species migrates up stream to higher order streams in order to spawn.

On a Sunday afternoon fishing trip to Allens Falls, I assisted a middle-aged Snapping Turtle crossing the road. While I handled the territorial reptile, I made sure to hold it by its hind quarters, and as I did so the angry creature made several attempts to snap at me. It reached backwards and to the sides of its shell before I released it gently far back into the understory on the side of the road closest to the water. Turtles make these migrations for a number of reasons, but seeing them out and about in the fall is unlikely.

Abundant within the forest beneath Pinus sylvestris and Pinus resinosa.

Hypomyces completes is a parasitic fungus that grows on other fungi, In this case causing Suillus pictus to turn completely white. This photo shows Suillus pictus on the right and an infected cap of Suillus pictus on the left.

Monotropa hypopitys along the trail beneath Pinus sylvestris and Pinus resinosa.

Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus) along trail sunning; eyes opaque; it will be shedding skin soon.

We took advantage of the final stretch of blueberry season this afternoon. This farm had dozens of bushes, each with hundreds of bright berries ready for the taking. Many had begun to go soft, but were just as sweet and tasty as ever. Joined by some dragonfly friends, we made light work of it. A gallon later, we headed out through the rest of the garden, spotting some wayward giant sunflowers. A hot, humid, sweet day!

I was kayaking back toward our camp at Lake Ozonia and was able to photograph several loons. One took to the air not far from my kayak and I was able to capture this image.

Getting up at sunrise pays off. I saw this out my window, grabbed my camera,and ran outside without a jacket in order to capture this picture before the sun rose too high.

While kayaking along the shore of Lake Ozonia, I was surprised to see a raccoon as it was nearly full daylight. I took some photos of it on a log but after it crawled out of sight into the weeds, I continued to paddle. I looked back over my shoulder, and it was standing next to a tree = presumably about to climb it. I was able to get this photo before it moved on.

Orange lilies are everywhere, I only have a few in my camp garden in Colton, NY but up close they are even lovelier.

The moth was on a chair on the deck of our camp, which is in a densely wooded area right on the water. Our resident moth expert (Pete Wyckoff) thought it appeared to be just "hatched" from its chrysalis. I arrived late afternoon and it stayed in the same place until dark. It was gone in the morning.

From my kayak on Lake Ozonia, I was delighted to be able to photograph loon parents with their two young chicks when they swam into an almost perfect family formation!

we were having a campfire and some tree frogs were chirping beside us!

Lots of brown trout feeding on the West Branch of the St. Regis right now. Caught and released these hungry fish on a trusty old green weenie fly.

My dog scared up this little frog from the grass. We rescued it and put it up on the fence before the dog could play with it.

I jumped! As you can see, the toad is camouflaged very well on this log.

The West Branch of the St. Regis was raging over Allen Falls on Saturday. It was sunny with temperatures in the 50s and only a little bit of ice remained on the trails.

Took this photo on a cold icy evening.

It's always exhilarating to find a cardinal at my feeder! He patiently waited until his turn.

The beautiful fall colors on the St. Regis River made for a perfect day of fly fishing with my friend Jeff. We caught a couple of Brown Trout, one bass and a few good size shiners.

Some shots from a fall mountain bike ride at High Flats State Forest. Colors are near peak, but leaves that have already fallen made the trail difficult to find. Beautiful fall day.

Beautiful fall day for a mountain bike ride on the O'Malley Brook/Lenny's Loops trails in Colton. Colors are nearly peaking, maybe just a week away. I noticed that many of the maple leaves on the ground had circular holes in them -- evidence of maple leaf cutter moth damage.

Rented kayaks at the Parishville Town Beach. I think it was the last day they were open. Such a wonderful place to paddle and enjoy the last of summer.

This beautiful great blue heron hangs out at the pond here everyday looking for his next meal. Unfortunately, he doesn't let me get very close to take a picture, so when I came nearby he took off for the other side of the pond.

Snapshots taken from winter, spring, and summer in Buckton. Each season provides its own opportunities for unique encounters!

Sunset outside Garden Place Estates after a rainstorm.

What a delight to arrive at our cabin with my two great nephews in July only to find this lovely and huge Luna Moth (large green moth photo) on the ceiling of our front porch! In the following week, we thoroughly enjoyed a variety of beautiful (both strikingly colored and subdued) moths, from the tiny to the huge by leaving the porch light on all night. Using a newly purchased Peterson's guidebook to moths, I was able to identify the following correctly: Luna Moth, Modest Sphinx Moth, Yellow-Collared Scape Moth, LeConte's Haploa, and a Rusty Tussock Moth caterpillar.

I was kayaking along the shore of Lake Ozonia when I saw this black bear at the shoreline. I was able to take several photos before it disappeared into the trees and vegetation that line the shore.

I was taking an evening walk near my home, when I slowed down to admire the marshy area along the road. I was about ready to pick up the pace when I saw this turtle near the side of the road. I grabbed my phone and took a few pictures. She stayed still but kept an eye on me as I took her picture from a safe distance. On my way back from my walk, about 10 minutes later, the turtle was in the same place and hadn't moved.

Sunday, May 31, 2015 was a beautiful day to be in the woods. It was rainy in the morning but under the leaves we felt few of the drops. We looked under many logs and found salamanders, snails, slugs, centipedes, beetles and fungal mycelium. Red back salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) were found under every other log or so. We didn't record officially, but in about 45 minutes we saw 8-10 salamanders, walking a total of 0.4 miles in a circle. Many of the logs were also excellent for balancing on, an activity that juvenile Homo sapiens seem to enjoy.

Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) spotted while trail running in the High Flats State Forest/Seven Springs area. This distinct woodland wildflower is also sometimes called eastern red columbine.

My kids saw this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail drinking and placed some rocks around it. It kept drinking and then eventually flew away. Beautiful.

Beautiful, heavenly sunset over the St. Regis River.

The beautiful Stone Valley trail is a man made trail made by LEWIS "LEW" WEEKS. His vision in the 1940s is what gives us the ability to walk through the beautiful woodlands that is the Adirondack Park preserve. These woods are beautiful and visionary. Some of the sights are things two beautiful to be scripted. This picture is interesting because it almost looks as if and architect put these trees in this exact spot so they look like a portal to the sky. It is also interesting that these leaves are still on the tree in the winter which shows they are some type of pine tree.

It was awesome seeing the bear.They are such beautiful animals.

9-19-14 - “First Frost” - There is no looking back now....Mother Nature stepped up her game...her pace...yesterday morning...when she invited back one of her cronies...the well known artist and purveyor of “worse things to come”....Jack......Jack Frost. He doesn’t seem so bad now....still a bit of a thorn...”Do I need to cover my tomato plants and hanging baskets?”.....all seems worth it under the blue skies of autumn as Jack uses the hillsides as his canvas...his palette loaded with reds, oranges, yellows...his brush creating a masterpiece with every stroke...such breathtaking beauty.

I was walking my dog and I came across this butterfly just laying on the road so I took a picture.

9-8-14 - “The Harvest Moon” - I’ve got Neil playing in my head.....just dancing on the dock....pup in my arms...she must think I'm crazy.

Come a little bit closer
Hear what I have to say
Just like children sleepin'
We could dream this night away.

But there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night.

Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

The steamy mist sits quietly upon my dreams... waiting...
Somehow it knows I am not ready...
I need more...time
Time to breathe in its life...
Slowly...then, as if not to interrupt my thoughts...
It lifts the blanket of support to unveil the subtle light of day...
And the excitement pulses through my body...like the steady beating of a soft drum...
Pushing me to enjoy this gift...
Another chance! A new beginning!

I saw this guy run across the road in front of me, so I drove by the spot and stopped. Sure enough, about 5 minutes later he came out of the woods and ambled down the road.

9-2-14 - “Soup Du Jour” - You could be nestled in your sleeping bag while camping within the Yukon Territory in Northwest Canada listening to the howls of a gray wolf pack.....on a sailboat anchored for the night amazed by the songs of the humpback whales...or with a small group of Maasai warriors armed only with spears crouched at an evening fire listening to the growls of the big cats in Africa...

We found a baby garter snake and picked it up. It must have felt threatened, b/c the snake began to regurgitate a large earthworm. I didn't know garter snakes could regurgitate, or that they did it as a defense when they're too young to bite effectively or release their "stink".

8-19-14 - "If This Is A Dream..." - I always forget..."On which day did God create the Adirondacks?" Ha. I took my camera with me kayaking yesterday morning as promised. The result was that I didn't get much of a workout....well my smile lines around my mouth and eyes certainly did. There was beauty everywhere I looked. I must have taken 300 photos and don't have the heart to delete any of them. Another day to remember on Lake Ozonia. Have a great day!

8-19-14 "Loonesta" - Just sending you a little sleepy Adirondack love this morning. It looks to be a steamy start to the day here at the lake...must go paddle. I promise to take my camera. Have a great day!

8-12-14 - “Twerly” - Silly me...as I paddled in earnest to the south end of the lake, my brain suddenly wanted to experience the fragrance of Nymphaea odorata. It had been so long....I can’t even remember the last time....so long that I don’t have a clear memory of it....only that it is pleasant....and powerful....filling the air with its sweet scent when one is among a large grouping of them. I knew there would be a several of them in the shallow water at the far end of the lake.

Unlike this plantar fasciitis, I will never tire of observing deer coming down to the lake at sunrise for a drink and bath. That distinctive tan color can easily be spotted from afar. They are not as brazen as they were earlier in the summer....when they would stand there looking at me inquisitively...ears upright....wondering exactly what kind of animal my kayak was to be so rudely and noisily interfering with their lake time. I can only imagine how good the cool water must feel on all of the various fly and tick bites they must surely have on areas of exposed skin.

8-15-14 - “Perigee Paradox” - I didn’t want anyone to think that I didn’t almost forget to photograph the supermoon on August 10th. I took this photo at sunrise just before the super duper moon disappeared behind a thick bank of clouds on the horizon never to be seen again as a full moon until September 28, 2015. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t recall perigee moons being called supermoons until fairly recently, and my eyes and brain can’t discern any difference between a supermoon and any other full moon.

8-8-14 "What's Wrong With This Picture?" - As I was paddling my kayak at warp speed yesterday morning...concentrating on my arm movements...stretching that left achilles tendon on the foot peg....my breathing pattern....why the "needs servicing" light came on in my truck yesterday...what fruit I would use in my Nutribullet for breakfast....things I need to get done before I head to San Fran....why Tiger Woods even bothers...where are the loons this morning....etc, I looked up and was startled. Late winter....now this! My thoughts switched to firewood and Florida....not yet!!

8-8-14 “Azurific” - There is not a morning that I don’t look forward to making the turn around Split Rock in my kayak and having the panorama of the south end of Lake Ozonia and Mt. Azure beyond come into view. Some mornings the scene is better than others....none are ever a disappointment. This one made me put on the brakes...set down my paddle....take a few photos to get the camera settings I like...then just lay back for a few minutes and watch....it doesn’t take long for this scene to change...not at this time in the morning.

8-6-14 “Amazing” - From my cottage I could tell very early on that it was going to be a spectacular morning for photography...so I took Nikki on her poopy walk extra early and brought a camera with me as I jumped in the kayak for my daily paddle. I wasn’t disappointed...it was a photographer’s dream.

We went swimming by one of the falls along the river in Parishville.

Beautiful to see, Can't describe in words. Have to see. Loved the fact that we were able to bring in the kids. Then discovered there are several trails we would like to explore when we don't have the kids. We will be returning I'm sure.

This little frog, less that 1.5" long was hiding on top of a Raspberry leaf.

A short hike to the falls but requires some scrambling up and down some hills.There was a second waterfall behind the main one but the hill there was a little on the wet side so I didn't attempt it.The water seemed high but it looks as though it is possible to walk farther along the shore in different seasons.I'll have to try again this summer.

Landscape Photo: This photo was taken on top of Azure Mt. on March 26th, 2014. As a class we hiked up Azure Mt. in order to see the magnificent view from above. Azure Mt. is located in Franklin County, New York and has a 35 foot fire tower on top of the Mountain. The fire tower was my favorite part because you could climb so high and look down upon everything. The fire tower has been standing on top of Azure since 1918. Azure Mountain is a 2,518-foot mountain and I would really enjoy coming back here.

This photo depicts a very interesting phenomenon. I am not really sure how this happens but I thought it was really cool. This snow is on top of a maple tree. Xylem are dead cells that transport water due to the stickiness of water. Phloem transports sugar around the tree and allows the tree to grow.

This picture shows red squirrel tracks going up a tree. Red squirrels are found much more in the wild than the regular Canton city squirrels. This picture is difficult to tell that it is a red squirrel but when we got close to it we could see the individual toes which is indicative of a red squirrel and since we did not see any dragging we know that it was not a porcupine.

The falls really show how powerful nature is and how beautiful the North Country is. I am still very much in awe of it.

I made this thing and I thought it was really cool. It reminds me of Andy Goldsworthy.

a week later and its beautiful outside

Beautiful falls just off the road in Parishville. The hike in is about 1/10 of a mile. For scale in the first picture, you can see two people at the bottom of the waterfall.

Close Up 1:Plants are about 90% water when properly hydrated. Its is a necessity to all of its functions, beginning with keeping itself upright. Water exerts turgor pressure onto the cell walls which keeps its form steady and helps with the process of growth. The overall hydration of the plant also directly affects the opening and closing of the stomata, which in tern affects the amount of CO2 the plant can take in, which limits the amount the plant can photosynthesize.

Close up 2
Moss retains some of the characteristics found in the first plants on earth. While plants ventured from water to land, the firt land-growing plants needed an abundance of water. Therefore, moss will only grow in places where sufficient moisure can be found. As the early earth lacked soil, moss evoled short roots that allow them to hold onto surfaces of rocks. Since all cells in the plant can photosynthesize, moss plants to not require a vascular system. Moss use spores to transport their offspring. Generally, moss is not found to be harmful towards trees.

While for many humans snow can casually be disregarded as nuisance or a recreational perk, it can be a life-saving blessing for many land mammals, particularly rodents. The evidence lies in a sharp decline in rodents in the North Country following a dry winter with little snow. In the winter, animals depend on natural shelters for protection, storage, and temperature regulation. Many animals find comfort in hybrid spaces that result from previous structures (such as trees and rocks) getting snowed over.