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!


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!

While renovating the campus nature trail, St. Lawrence Central High School students noticed a baby owl sitting on a fallen log. Striving to be a unnoticeable as possible, some of the bolder students crept closer for a photo op.

Sampling a tributary of the St. Regis River for macroinvertebrates yielded a small crayfish! The little arthropod was quite relieved to be returned to its habitat after St. Lawrence Central High School students had the opportunity to observe those mighty claws.

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.

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!

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.

Took a very long wrong turn on the way to Vermont for the weekend, but the accidental detour paid off with an up-close red-tailed hawk encounter. It was either flying very low or on the road when we came over a slight hill, then swooped up and over our windshield, just missing the car. Got a great look at its outstretched wings (speckled/barred), white belly, and rust-colored tail.

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.

Abundant within the forest beneath Pinus sylvestris and Pinus resinosa.

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.

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.

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

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...

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

Students in my Vertebrate Natural History class and I had a great visit last night with Mark Manske, owner of Adirondack Raptors, helping him net and band saw-whet owls. Mark has both state and federal permits, plus years of experience in the safe, proper ways to work with raptors. On this project, he runs a saw-whet owl banding station, working to band the owls during their fall migration. These are the smallest owls in the northeast, weighing in at about 90 grams (=3 fat mice). They prey on deer mice and are preyed upon by larger owls, among other things.

Visiting my cousin in Brasher Falls, NY I have enjoyed the rushing waters of the St. Regis River and by the bridge is part of a wall that once was a Mill. The vines and vegetation that has grown over and around it has given it such character. Every season it stands with a beauty surrounded by the rushing water.

The St. Regis River in Brasher Falls has many areas of flat rocks that form pools. The reflection of a tree with its Autumn colors inspired this photograph.

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

Seen on two subsequent days while working on a job in North Lawrence.

Exploring the St. Regis River, and found some remnants of the dairy farms that used to cover the area.

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.

Weeding in my flower garden today, I discovered powdery mildew on some of the Monarda. In the past I have sprinkled Sevin Dust on them but now would like to find a more organic remedy to rid the yearly appearance.

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

This was a photo I took on February 23rd, 2014 of my friend Alex Ball when we went fishing at the St. Regis River. The photo was taken from a bridge that goes over this part of the river.

Habitat Description: This photo was taken along a stretch of the St. Regis River. The St. Regis River is 86 miles long and originates from the St. Lawrence River and flows southward through New York. During my visit to the river, the majority of it was frozen over, but there was a small part of the river exposed.