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!

Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

The Bell Pepper Story: Too Much Clapping, Not Enough Applause

By Paul J. Hetzler on April 1, 2019
April 1, 2019 marks the 90th anniversary of the development of the modern sweet pepper, also known as the bell pepper. Native to Central America, as well as to Mexico and northern South America, there is evidence that numerous types of peppers (Capsicum annuum) have been cultivated by native peoples for at least 6,500 years. Hot peppers were the first New World crop grown in Europe, with seeds…
red bell pepper over black background
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Nature Up North March 2019 Teacher Workshop

By Emlyn Crocker on February 14, 2019
Are you a k-12 teacher in the North Country? Take your science outside with us and learn to use place-based, local citizen science projects to meet Next Generation Science Standards at this CTLE approved workshop! Join the staff from Nature Up North at St. Lawrence University for an opportunity to (re)discover outdoor teaching as a way to motivate students and teach science standards. If you are…
mushroom identification
Blog category: Just Our Nature

SAD in the Winter: Get Outside and Feel Better

By Abrianna Schlickenmayer on February 13, 2019
In the midst of a North Country winter, you might be experiencing the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder. You may have low motivation and be tempted to withdraw from social interaction... it might feel like your own personal hibernation. Some people dismiss this as simply “the winter blues”. It might be, but it also may be more than that. Shorter winter days in the North Country result in a…
Mt. Arab
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Apply to be a Summer Intern!

By Emlyn Crocker on February 6, 2019
Want to spend the summer in the North Country hiking, meeting new people, and learning about environmental education? We're hiring! Nature Up North summer naturalist interns are talented, driven undergraduate students with interest in place-based outdoor education. Interns spend the summer developing leadership skills, leading outdoor programs and workshops, and becoming better environmental…
Alyssa at Hart's Falls
Blog category: Just Our Nature

North Country Voices: Bill (Dick) Hollis

By Abrianna Schlickenmayer on December 6, 2018
Bill (Dick) Hollis has been a duck decoy carver in the Ogdensburg area for over 50 years. Hollis first learned to carve from his father, and has now won numerous awards for his work.  He estimates he has made 1500-2000 decoys throughout his life. Despite technological innovations, Dick is one of few decoy carvers in the North Country that continues to carve with hand tools. We caught up with Dick…
Bill (Dick) Hollis in his decoy workshop Bill (Dick) Hollis' tools Bill (Dick) Hollis' carvings Bill (Dick) Hollis' carvings
Blog category: North Country Voices

Wild Eats: Tea Time

By Isabella de Buy Wenniger on November 29, 2018
Have you ever wandered through the woods, looked at all the plants surrounding you, and wondered, “are any of these edible?” Good news: there are many species of edible plants found in the wild all around us! With a little knowledge of how to identify and prepare wild edibles, local forests become a bountiful place to explore. In the late fall and winter, after deciduous trees and shrubs have…
Homemade white pine tea
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Consider a Gift to Nature Up North

By Erika Barthelmess on November 27, 2018
Dear friends and neighbors, It's that time of year again; the snow is flying, the geese have (mostly) left.  Must be time to consider making a contribution to support Nature Up North!  We'd be delighted and appreciative if you made a donation to help environmental education here in the North Country.  Specifically, your gift will help to support activities such as: Free or low-cost environmental…
Huckleberry Lake in late autumn. Photo by Bill Hill.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

2019 Nature Up North Calendars

By Emlyn Crocker on November 15, 2018
*Update: As of February 1st, 2019, we only have a handful of calendars left. If you would like one for $5, please email us at info@natureupnorth.org.  We are pleased to announce that 2019 Nature Up North calendars are on sale through early 2019!  These printed calendars features some of our favorite photos shared by community members as Encounters on natureupnorth.org in the past year. Plus, we…
Cover Photo: Mt. Arab at Sunrise by Maya Williams 2019 Calendar backcover
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Happy Biology

By Paul J. Hetzler on November 12, 2018
Happiness may be elusive, but it sure has spawned a lot of aphorisms. Folk-wisdom indicates one can be happy as a pig in poop—or in mud, which makes me wonder if those two hogs are equally content, and if they had other options. It also suggests you can be pleased as a pig in a peach orchard, which would make sense unless harvest season was over. Additionally, one might feel happy as a pup with…
Gray Squirrel. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Ehpien
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Run, Dorothy—Emerald City is Falling

By Paul J. Hetzler on November 6, 2018
Watertown is poised to become an Emerald City, but that’s not good news. Jefferson and Lewis will soon be Emerald Counties, and St. Lawrence County began the process of change two years ago. Unfortunately, this kind of transformation does not involve happy endings. When the emerald ash borer (EAB) kills an ash, something happens never before seen—the tree becomes brittle and hazardous very…
emerald ash borer
Blog category: Just Our Nature