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 you organization's events!

Encounters

Arriving at the summit of Blue Mountain when I hiked it in early December was a spectacular sight. Bellow the summit was a typical Adirondack day— Cold, Gray, and Snowy. However, the last 200' before the summit I began to climb above the clouds. By the time I got to the summit I was completely above the clouds revealing a spectacular sight. Pictured here is the fire tower encrusted in snow and ice.

Finding green plant life is rare in a North Country winter unless you are looking at one of the conifer tree species that populate the area. On my hike along the Stone Valley trail from the Colton side, I was very surprised to find green plant life if a wet area just off the trail. The plant pictured here, completely engulfed the wet area that was surrounded by a deep snow pack. The water was no more that 3'' deep, allowing for easy access for pictures, but was enough to provide a throbbing habitat for the plant species.

Finding green plant life is rare in a North Country winter unless you are looking at one of the conifer tree species that populate the area. On my hike along the Stone Valley trail from the Colton side, I was very surprised to find green plant life if a wet area just off the trail. The plant pictured here—Water Crest, completely engulfed the wet area that was surrounded by a deep snow pack. The water was no more that 3'' deep, allowing for easy access for pictures, but was enough to provide a throbbing habitat for the plant species.

This is a photo of some standing cattails off the side of the road when heading towards Ogdensburg from Canton. They're not growing because it is still cold, but they remained standing throughout the entire winter. Cattails are a wetland plant, most commonly found in large marshes or at the edge of ponds. They can grow as tall as ten feet.

This Pink Lady Slipper Orchid (aka Moccasin Flower) was found in the Spruce Forest along the Wilson Pond trail. Lady slippers like fairly acidic soil. It is one of only a handful of orchid species that grow in the Adirondacks. They are a very delicate species, and should not be picked. Although they are often found in relatively decicent sized groups, removing one can disturb the whole population.

The pink globe is very distinct among the forest floor. Besides not picking them, precautions should be made to avoid damage to them when recreating.

Habitat: Lowland, young mixed-wood forest.

These patterns in this softwood tree were almost definitely caused by a hungry porcupine, which we discovered nesting in its lair a few feet away. Rodents like porcupine and beaver love softwood trees like hemlock for their delicious wood below the bark. What is being nibbled at in this picture is the cambium layer of the tree, which is the area of new growth that is packed with nutrients, in order to make more vascular xylem and phloem every year. Porcupine have large incisors so they can effectively get at and remove the cambium.

Title: Beaver Lodge
Date: Summer 2012
Location: Back Woods Pond- Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y.
Habitat: Pond

Habitat: Snow-packed trail along the Raquette River. Mixed wood forest, but the spider's actual den was undetectable.

Habitat: The core of a softwood tree that was chain-sawed on the trail.

Habitat: Fallow Fenced North Country field.