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!


Stone Valley waterfalls

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 

Brick church in Potsdam on the Island

This was a breath taking experience! Fresh morning dew all over the flowers . It was so beautiful 

This was such an amazing site. Fresh morning dew covered this beautiful flower and it had a tiny little bug collecting nectar

The fields  are full of babies


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!

Lilac flowers blooming

This is a test.



A calm and foggy morning made the Raquette river all the more inviting for a mid-morning swim.

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

Just love the garden with all the insects and wonderful creatures!

Wonderful photo in my garden. I was using an olloclip zoom lens.

Beautiful experience - it was very dark and the sky very red!!

I was driving by the bridge in Potsdam - next to Trinity Church - I had to stop my car and take the photo - it was just breathtaking!!!

One of my favorite features of the North Country is our beautiful skies. This morning the trees are outlined with snow and the colors of the sky were gorgeous. I love the nature in my backyard!

What a glorious day! The sun is out today and the blue sky really pops up the colors of fall foliage in Potsdam NY.

Beautiful afternoon at Bayside Cemetery on a glorious autumnal day, 13th October 2019.

Just before the rain started to drizzle this afternoon, the autumnal view reflected on Raquette River was quite magical. We are lucky to live in this beautiful area.

A still river becomes a mirror to doubly enhance the beauty that is autumn in Potsdam, NY.

You never know who is going to show up for lunch at the Potsdam Food Co-op.

Kayaking till the sun sets in Potsdam is a treat because the sunsets are amazing- these are 2 photos on different days in October 2019 in Potsdam

So grateful that I can still enjoy beauties in my garden. This morning my orange dahlias bloom majestically adorned by rain droplets from last night. My red peppers look so delicious ... what more can I ask on this beautiful day in Potsdam NY?

In awe of the many beautiful mushrooms on forest floor

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!

Glorious day in Potsdam NY is made perfect by majestic sunflowers and grand monarch butterflies.

Gardening is really fun and rewarding! My garden now attracts many butterflies, bees (different kinds of them), hummingbirds, sparrows, and American golden finches. To see this hummingbird sipping the nectar from my canna flowers is heavenly!

Hummingbird drinking nectar from my sunflowers? Heavenly!

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.

White butterfly or cabbage butterfly (Pleris rapae) fluttered among broccoli flowers, oh, so mesmerizing. Only later did I learn that it's actually not friendly to my brassicas. Oh well .... it is a pretty insect, anyway.

The hummingbird is one of my most favorite birds. I really enjoy watching them drink from the zinnias in my garden. An awesome encounter in my own backyard.

Fluttering and dancing among flowers, this swallowtail butterfly took my breath away.

Stone Valley trail is one of my most favorite trails in North Country. The sound of the river, the blue sky above, and the green trees soothe my soul.

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.

Backyard birding is fun!

We found high water and icy trails at Stone Valley this weekend. It made for slow walking but beautiful views along the way. The last photo is of porcupine chew on a birch tree, both from this winter and a previous winter. 

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.

The first snowfall of the season left my eyes in a magical land of beauty and peace.

One of the largest irruptions of Pine Grosbeaks in many years is happening this season due to a poor cone yield in Canada. Keep an eye on ornamental fruit trees for these birds, as hungry flocks of grosbeaks will gorge themselves upon the fruits (and will probably be unconcerned by your presence).

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

A great afternoon with Girl Scouts from Canton - De Kalb on a fall walk at Stone Valley. We explored how and why trees drop their leaves, and the group created this stunning color wheel with leaves collected on the trail.

These leaves stopped me in my tracks while running one fall morning. It reminded me that although change can be hard, it can also be beautiful.

At the start of our remarkably biting-insect-free August, this sunset in Stone Valley was particularly gentle.

I'm glad that I let the milkweed grow this year!

The weather cooperated beautifully for our exploration of Stone Valley's waterfalls -- sunny and not too hot. Very impressive whitewater and geologic formations!

Had a great hike on the stone valley Trail. Many beautiful water falls on the Raquette River. Great views of a fast moving river. Shady hike on a sunny day.
Nice day trip from our home base of camping in Higley Flow State Park.

We found this sweet little nest in the woods near Postwood Park... does anyone know what kind of bird might have made it? It's a tiny cup (2 or 3 inches in diameter) built directly on the ground in open deciduous forest, near a swampy area.

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

Today was such a good day. My kids WANTED to go hiking, and my son's 5th-grade class had recently taken a field trip to the Stone Valley trail. So, we packed a lunch and drove to check it out. The weather was perfect for hiking, not humid at all and a beautiful breeze to keep the bugs (mostly) away. My daughter had fun keeping track of the different maples (striped, sugar & red), and my son was happy with the occasional hill or steep section to challenge him. I got to see a lot of neat things, including some fungi and cool plants.

The Nature Up North team had a great time leading an Introduction to Fishing workshop at Ives Park in Potsdam. After much untangling of fishing poles, guests made two catches: both rock bass.

Pretty Flower, scary spider.

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!

Lots of new life on beaver pond.

I love the way the sun plays with the water...both showing off the others glory.

I was preparing to go to work when I saw my cat Billie interacting with a porcupine. They looked at each other and went their seperate ways.

Flowers are blooming and underbrush have buds. Raquette river is dangerously high with a high flow rate, but a beautiful sight. Plenty of mist from the rougher parts of the river that cool you down. Some flooding over earlier parts of the trail.

Enjoyed celebrating Earth Day by getting out to Stone Valley with some friends and our dogs. Water is high, and spring seems to have arrived!

Got out on the Kip Trail this today to check conditions for the Earth Day 7K run and walk tomorrow. The afternoon was gorgeous - 62 F and probably the first day it's really felt like spring weather. The first half of the trail closer to the Little River has a few spots that like to attract mud, but the conditions were drier than I expected. No large pools of standing water in the trail, and only a few muddy spots. Still, I'd advise anyone coming out for the race tomorrow to plan for some mud! 

Great place to explore. A few tough rocks to scramble up, but a fairly easy hike for all skills levels. 10/10 would visit again

My class was able to drive less than half an hour to an amazing trail with incredible views. Even at the trail head, we could see a massive waterfall. Although we didn't hike very far into the trail due to a time constraint, what we were able to see was beautiful even on an overcast day, especially when we walked out on the rocks next to the rushing river. Of course, images can't always capture the full beauty, so I strongly encourage people to visit the place for themselves!

As we marched along the Raquette River during our Geology Field Trip exploring one of the many hydro-electric systems along this 'powerful' river, I was distracted by the vibrant view of the turbulent waters of the River, Raquette and the bare forests rooted about it awaiting a signal of rebirth from mother nature as the winter snow slowly dissipates.   

This is always a great hike, and the warm temps & high water from the spring thaw made it pretty spectacular today. The trails are a little icy, so you will want to wear some traction for at least the next week or so. For more on this trail- visit: https://hikingthetrailtoyesterday.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/3275/

Saw some fresh tracks going to this shelter and the porcupine did not find it necessary to turn around and show me just a tail.

After a morning of freezing rain, the blue skies in the afternoon were a great incentive to get out. This was the first time taking my dog out to the trails at Stone Valley, and she enjoyed exploring the east side of the river. She even found a porcupine - luckily safely tucked away in his den! Trail conditions were very icy, I was glad to have crampons with me and would recommend them to anyone who goes out.

A beautiful view of Stowe Bay on the Raquette River

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.

Friday the 15th of September our Intro to Environment and Society Class met with Professor Tim Messner from Suny Potsdam for a bow drill demonstration. A bow drill is a prehistoric fire starting tool. There are several steps that are very important when using a bow drill. The main pieces are a hearth board, the bow, the spindle, and the bearing block. I, Summer Scovil, was unsuccessful creating fire with the bow drill even after working all period to attempt to make fire. It is very exhausting physically after a while of work. I, Ariel Garvin, was successful creating fire.

A beautiful hike with some great views. The trail is long but not overly difficult. Wonderful way to spend a day.

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.

Canoeing the Raquette River in Potsdam NY

I was strolling along the Racquette River in Potsdam when I noticed these wildflowers stretching toward the water and the sunshine. Another sign that summer had arrived in our lovely north country.

Out for a morning run I spotted this painted turtle by the side of the road. It didn't want to stay out for a picture so I crouched down and took an in-shell view. Was a beautiful morning for a run, where I saw a Great blue Heron hunting in some wetlands off of Eel Pond Rd. just a little further along the run. I love exploring these back country roads!

Hikers coming back on trail said there were 3 babies playing in the area. This little one got temporarily left behind. Mother did eventually come back to retrieve and drag back up the riverbank. Still remarkably quick carrying a big load.

Last picture in series of newts still in eggs was taken on May 19th. Have been checking pool ever since and was rewarded yesterday!

Beautiful Spring day and lots of wildflowers.

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:)

Wonderful trip out to Stone Valley with some of this year's graduating St. Lawrence students last week. So nice to share one of our favorite places with these students before they leave the North Country. We especially enjoyed listening to the warblers and catbirds calling along the trail. Stone Valley will be waiting when you come back to visit!

Encountered high water and lots of wild flowers while out trail running at Stone Valley. Hobble-bush has just begun to bloom, and there are several generous patches of bluets and trillium. Nice to see a few other folks out on the trail despite the rain. The section of trail by Lenny road is slightly flooded, bring boots or be prepared to get wet!

Morning walk at Stone Valley. The water was high, and we were just in time to catch the first spring leaves unfolding.

Kingfishers starting the cycle of life.

Suppressed so close to home.
Date is estimated.

Floating and twisting circular pancake ice is always fun to see floating along frozen rivers in the winter!

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.

The Bayside Cemetary in Potsdam is not only a great place to mourn loved ones, but is also a beautiful park to walk around and enjoy nature and fall foliage whether it's on the trees or the ground! Or in this case conduct a geology lab on the rate of weathering for different headstones based on rock type.

I was out hiking this weekend and it was the first time it has felt cold to me in a while. Walking along the Stone Valley trail I did not expect to see any fruiting bodies of fungi left. I thought the cold would have made the fungi shut all nutrients off to the fruiting body. However, the fungi called the coral hedgehog was not ready for winter yet. This is one of my favorite mushrooms because it looks like icicles and makes me think of winter.

passing a row of yellow topped trees during the fall on a dog walk.

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.

I was out with my parents on parents weekend just exploring. All three of us were looking around then my dad came across this strange looking tree. The tree looked as if it was growing on a rock. Now this was a topic of discussion for the next 20 minutes between the three of us. We thought enough soil could have landed there for a sapling to start and as it got older it needed to branch its roots system into something more stable. Then we came across an old mill foundation and it was a ways from the river.

Another geology lab in a cool spot where I stumbled upon some jewelweed, also known as touch-me-nots, snapdragons, or more formally, impatiens. Not only is this a beautiful plant both when it flowers and when the leaves shimmer under water, but the liquid from the crushed stems can be used as a natural treatment for poison ivy!

My mycology class was out looking for mushrooms and came across this beautiful mushroom, Amanita citrina. Its common name is the False Death cap. I found this mushroom interesting because of the the florescent pileus (cap). Being able to identify all the parts of the mushroom was another a fun part of my encounter: being able to fully see the annulus which is the web like tissue hanging from the stipe of the mushroom.

Abundant within the forest beneath Pinus sylvestris and Pinus resinosa.

These pictures were all taken on a trail in my woods.

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.

Various fungi found on the trail in my woods.

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

I went for a lovely ride at Stone Valley this past Sunday. This picture was taken on Lenny's Loop, one of the mellower trails at the Stone Valley area, but none the less a very fun one! It twists and turns through rolling hills has some very interesting terrain features that are fun for riders of all levels.

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!

Spotted this gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) on a shrub growing on a rocky outcropping in the river on the Stone Valley trail. Like chameleons, these frogs are able to change colors from gray to green depending on their surroundings. This was the first time I'd ever seen a green gray tree frog.

A blue chicory flower. This plant first came to North America with the Old World colonists. As I have researched, it is edible, and the root of the plant contains insulin.

We found the caterpillar on 9/28/15, it overwintered in its cocoon and emerged on July 2, 2016. We found a second caterpillar in South Colton on 8/1/16 and it made a cocoon that night. Waiting to see when it will emerge!

Venturing out on a hike connotes a collection of wagers with nature: What are the odds that it rains? What are the odds that I'll want to swim? That I'll be hungry? That there will be mosquitoes active? When photography is involved, a new layer of bets is introduced: What are the odds that this evening will offer a good sunset? What are the odds that I'll be in an attractive part of the trail when the sunset occurs? On this particular evening, the bet paid off. Hiking down Stone Valley through the evening, the sunset made lugging my heavy tripod down the trail worth the extra exercise.

I saw a patch of daisies on the CU trail this afternoon. After so much hot, dry weather, they looked happy to get a drink!

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.

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

A swallowtail butterfly resting on a red clover.

Hot and dry weather in May led to the lowest water levels I've seen at Stone Valley. We were able to explore some of the rock formations in the river bed that are usually covered by rushing whitewater.

I decided to wait until later in the day to finish weeding when I found this little one napping by my garden gate.

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

On the Racquette River as seen from the Bayside Cemetery in Potsdam NY. We saw this lovely family enter the river from the shore and swim off in such an orderly line :-)

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.

Heard that very distinct beautiful Baltimore Oriole song and looked out my front window to see this:

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.

Spotted a porcupine heading down the trail! A few deer as well! So excited, I decided to make a NatureUpNorth account!

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.

The sun was starting to set, it was cold and damp, everything was wet, and the fog made if creepy feeling someone was going to jump out at you...

Took this photo on a cold icy evening.

I had to stop in Colton for work and couldn't resist a short stop to check out the falls and test out a new camera at Stone Valley. Conditions were spring-like, with virtually no snow cover in the forest and very little ice on the river rocks. I wandered off trail to check out the old stone walls from the former tannery site near the west bank trailhead. Temps were in the upper 30s and I hardly needed gloves.

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

I love the Bayside cemetery - so much history, so photogenic. It is nice to see it from a distance, across the water, from the tip of sugar island.

Type: plant. Habitat: mixed hardwood. Natural history info: Sunscald and frost cracking can occur through rapid temperature changes that drop below freezing. When the temperature of bark increases, growth can be triggered, so when the temperature drops again, rapid freezing can occur and the inner bark tissues can die.
The result is rarely fatal for trees, but does leave a scar. I found it interesting that you can see the color of the tree beneath the inner bark. I like how the angle of the shot draws the eye up the tree.

The photo is blurry, so you'll just have to trust me on this one. I was sitting in my car lacing up my shoes for a run on the Clarkson trails when a young bobcat climbed out of a nearby brush pile and walked out into the middle of the dirt service road. I jumped out of the car with my phone in hand, and was only able to capture this blurry photo before it scampered off into the brush. You can barely make out its blurry form in the center of the photo, just above the cut logs.

While walking along one of the CU trails, I noticed the afternoon sun made these oak leaves glow.

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.

Fascinated by the berries that the Lily of the Valley produces in the Fall I couldn't resist recording this new discovery. I understand that many spring flowers produce berries in the Fall.

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.

A gorgeous fall day to take in the sights at Stone Valley while learning about the science behind leaf color change. Fall colors were at or near peak, and students from the SLU Communicating Nature class taught the group how to identify several tree species and why they show off their colors every autumn. Thanks to all who attended!

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.

It turned out to be a beautiful day on Saturday for the some St. Lawrence University students and parents to join the Nature Up North team for a hike at Stone Valley. Everyone had a great time taking in the fall views and learning about Nature Up North!

Nice morning walk at stone valley. Fun with fungi, nice fall colors.

Water flowing from the town dam and unfortunate at a low level when the photo was taken.

It was a nice cool morning.

Ran down to catch this beautiful sunset on Higley Flow

Higley flow is beautiful

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.

The moon was full and it was kinda eerie like in the movies when look up and you see the moon but there's just a few clouds covering it. The experience was good, I was with my friends and we were outside playing football at night.

This pond is located on the road into Lake Meachum camp ground. Kayaking on it is such an adventure because it is true to its name being crystal clear.

Driving from Canton to Ogdensburg I had passed this old barn so many times and would always marvel at the character it displayed.

Camping and kayaking at Mountain Pond off of Route 30 near Barnum Pond and Paul Smith's we had these frogs vocalizing every evening through the night. It sounded like there were thousands!

Having bird feeders at our home in Watertown provides me with many photographs of birds that display a variety of attitudes.

Watching this muskrat was fascinating. Catching breakfast, cleaning, and eating he/she was being very patient. This was in early spring all the ice had not left the small pond at the Brookside Cemetery Park in Watertown, NY.

Kayaking with a friend on the Raquette River, Stump Bay near Higley State Park the water was like glass so the reflections were amazing!

Watching this bunny on a cold sunny day going in and out of its safe place, it finally sat up for a photo with its shadow!

While checking out the canoe landing near Catamount Lodge off of Route 56 there was lots of activity among the wild flowers.

I was walking the Stone Valley Trail with a good friend who was visiting the area, and on our way back, we came across this little guy right on the trail. I had never seen a North American Millipede, and I never knew how big they were. This one was about 5-6 inches long (not for the faint of heart with bugs - my friend refused to pick it up, so I handed her my phone to take a picture while I moved it to a more open spot), and seemed unperturbed when I picked it up. All of those little legs come together for one pretty strong grip!

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!

Along the gravel road by the pipe, heading to fish at stone valley, I came across a fresh set of moose tracks.

This trip was so fun because it was just my brother and two sisters on a boat at 5:00 in the morning!

We tagged along with CPCS summer school on a hike to Lampson Falls.

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.

Looking for some good sunset shots. We found a row of scrubby vines from the winter that made the sunset more interesting

We had a great walk along the Stone Valley trail this morning looking for Letterboxes and edible plants! It seems that there was a water release at a dam upstream raising the water level significantly and giving us amazing views.

Taking a closer look on the forest floor, you might find that the wintergreen berries are ripening. The leaves have a wonderful wintergreen mint scent and I've heard the berries are good for flavoring ice cream or tea! If you find some, be careful not to overharvest from one place so the plant can re-establish itself in the future.

Facebook users can see my posted collection of photos from the walk. They are in my album called Clarskon Riverwalk.

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.

NUN worked with Living Environment students from Colton-Pierrepont Central School on a deer population lab. There was not a lot of evidence for the deer population BUT temperatures and recent rain made it perfect conditions for a salamander hunt. Students also practiced their flora identification, impressing their teacher.

Nature Up North worked with the Colton-Pierrepont Living Environment class on a lab surveying deer droppings at Stone Valley. While it seems deer density is low, we found a many red-backed salamanders and jack-in-the-pulpit flowers. The cool, overcast weather made for a great day in the woods.

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.


It was a little chilly but the moon was so bright i could see everything around me.

Fine day once the rain stopped!

Type: close up. Habitat: description hardwood forest by a river. Natural history information: Woodpeckers peck into trees for several reasons; they do so in order to create nesting sites, or in search of food. They also peck in a hard rapid motion in order to sharpen their bills. The holes in this tree were started by a woodpecker and have become enlarged over time. This photo intrigued me because the tree was so rotted it was hollow in some parts, and I think the angle made for a cool shot.

Type: Animal Sign. Habitat Description:Hardwood forest by a river. Natural history info: Beavers use trees for both food and building dams. Though they prefer to eat Aspen, Cottonwood, Willow and Dogwood, they will ultimately eat and fall any tree that will help them with their dam construction. They build dams in order to flood areas for protection from predators, underwater entrances to their den, and access to food supply. I found this photo interesting because we can see the hard work that a beaver once put in.

There are many natural highlights at the Red Sandstone Trail in Potsdam, including the Hannawa gorge with its class four rapids, The Sugar Island Flow, and a predominant pine, hemlock and beech forest. This four season trail is perfect if you are looking to get out and experience the call of the wild close at hand. I took this shot on top of a hill that overlooks the river. This image captures the magnificent flow of the water moving northward. A great image overall!

Type: Landscape. Habitat Description: hardwood forrest by a river. Natural History information: The Red Sandstone trail lies along the bank of the Racquet River, south of Potsdam. The trail goes between the Hannawa falls and Sugar Island, both of which are known for their dams. The river is the source of 27 hydroelectric plants. I like this photo because I think the rushing water, melting snow, and small buds beginning to appear, are hopeful signs that spring is on its way.

Since a young age, I have always enjoyed observing sunsets, and for a while, I would sketch them using water color paints. This sunset was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life, and it was in the town right next door, Potsdam! This picture was taken on a highway, so the clarity of the photo is not the best, and it did not capture the essence of its true beauty, but I wanted to include it anyway. The habitat surrounding me, other than pavement and cars, was hardwood forest.

I took this photo at Lampson Falls because of the shear beauty of the frozen river. Lampson Falls is one of the most popular hiking destinations in up-state New York and contributes heavily to both environmental education in New York state and local tourism (though there is no entry fee for the trail, drawing people to the area inevitably means drawing customers to local businesses). I chose this photo because it really captures the diversity of the North Country.

When we went snow-shoeing in Stone Valley, located in Colton NY, we got to explore the outdoors on our own, at our own speed. I was able to snap a lot of pictures, one of them being this close-up picture of what seems to be fungus growing on a tree. This tree was a Sugar Maple, and there was a large bunch of fungus growing on it. This particular fungus is called Northern Tooth Fungus and it is looks similar to a beehive, at first glance.

The is a photo of motion. The water flowing over the rocks to me represents the emergence of life at the tail end of a long winter. The natural frame of the photo moves the viewers eye toward the overflow. During the spring this must be one monster hydraulic.