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

I found this tiny snake with the help of some students during a visit to the Forest School at Stone Hill Farm. After some research, I believe he or she is either a juvenile Northern Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) or a juvenile Northern Redbelly Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata). 

I came across this huge common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) attempting to cross County Route 25. Another concerned motorist pulled over too, and together we used long sticks to coax her/him across the highway in the direction she was facing. While we were successful, snappers are dangerous to move - sticks and/or shovels have worked for me, but I generally recommend staying on the side of caution. 

This hike was along the long abandoned Grasse River RR bed. This section starts from below the Massawepie area and goes through to RT3 near the Grasse river rest area. It's a little over 8 miles. Although the trail is wide and obvious, there are many branches, so you'll want to be proficient with map and compass (or GPS). There is a movement to open this from Conifer to Cranberry lake.

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.

Climbed 5 pitches up the Chapel Pond Slabs in Keene to watch the sunrise. The sunrise was brief and mostly cloudy, but the foliage more than made up for it!

Found a few Puffball mushrooms in the woods behind the Canoe Shack at SLU! The common names of this species are the common puffball, warted puffball, gem-studded puffball, or the devil's snuff-box. The scientific name is Lycoperdon perlatum-- Lycoperdon translates to wolf farts, and perlatum means widespread.

I worked with Nature up North to moniter water quality on the Grasse River in Canton, NY and we found a bunch of different macroinvertebrates! I learned that this means that the quality of water here is very good.

This is a great trek either by land or water. I kayaked in from Low's lower dam to the upper dam (3 miles). This alone is an amazing experience. From there i took the trail up to the ruins of Hitchen's park and then the trail to the overlook (+/- a mile). The views of the Bog river plains and the high peaks are breathtaking. You can also walk in from the Horseshoe lake road.

This is a short (3 mile round trip) hike on the old G&O railroad grade. It starting to look like fall, and the continuous flocks of geese made it sound that way too.

For Nature Up North, fall means maple monitoring season, and I'm enjoying getting outside to record observations for the maple trees we're monitoring on the St. Lawrence campus. If you drive along Park St, you'll probably see the purple ribbons! This tree, a silver maple (Acer saccharinum), was distinctive. Not only does it have some spectacular orange lichen clinging to it's trunk, but it has pretty significant damage/loss of leaves in the crown. Clearly, not a happy tree, but we'll need to study it longer to learn more about what's going on here.