Skip Navigation
on:

NCPR is supported by:

News stories tagged with "nature"

Poison Ivy. Photo: <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4f/Poison_Ivy_in_Perrot_State_Park.jpg">SWMNPoliSciProject</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Poison Ivy. Photo: SWMNPoliSciProject, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Poison ivy: neither poisonous nor ivy

But you should still definitely avoid the stuff.

"Leaves of three, let it be." Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about one of the common and annoying menaces to enjoyment of the outdoors.

They discuss whether it's really an ivy, why we call it "poison," and how humans and animals react differently to the plant.  Go to full article
A crew from New York state builds a fuel break in a fire in Washington state. Photo: NYS DEC
A crew from New York state builds a fuel break in a fire in Washington state. Photo: NYS DEC

Big Western fires pose challenge and opportunity for NYS crews

This summer we've been hearing about those big wildfires raging out of control in the western United States. Drought conditions have left California and parts of Oregon and Washington state particularly vulnerable.  Go to full article
Yellow perch. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_perch#mediaviewer/File:YellowPerch.jpg">Eugene Zelenko</a>, released to public domain
Yellow perch. Photo: Eugene Zelenko, released to public domain

Yellow perch, Adirondack natives after all

For decades, Adirondack resource managers have blamed the yellow perch for the decline of heritage trout strains, believing that perch were introduced to Adirondack waters in recent times and have been displacing the native strains from their historic habitat.

But lake sediment core samples taken by Curt Stager and his students at Paul Smiths College yield DNA evidence showing that trout have been co-existing with perch for at least 2,000 years there. While perch are aggressive competitors and native trout are in decline, the reason for the change in balance likely lies in other factors yet to be determined.  Go to full article
Wild Center visitors Manny and Betsy, use watercolors, brushes and sponges to paint trees in the open studio art space at the "Moments" exhibit. Photo: Todd Moe
Wild Center visitors Manny and Betsy, use watercolors, brushes and sponges to paint trees in the open studio art space at the "Moments" exhibit. Photo: Todd Moe

Art in the park: when nature meets art at the Wild Center

Visitors to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake this summer are being encouraged to pick up a paintbrush or camera and capture a moment in the natural world. It's part of a multimedia exhibit that includes videos, photographs, original art by renowned watercolorist Allen Blagden and an interactive studio space for creating new art.

Todd Moe visits the new "Moments" exhibit at Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, and talks with curator Caroline Welsh about using art to better understand nature and the environment.  Go to full article
Brown cricket in Hawaii, where some have "learned" to keep it quiet to avoid a predatory fly. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/wahiawaboy/200849410/">Dean</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Brown cricket in Hawaii, where some have "learned" to keep it quiet to avoid a predatory fly. Photo: Dean, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

What happens if you press "reset" on evolution?

When species move into a new habitat, some of the "tricks" their genes have learned no longer work to help them thrive. Some species will pick up new tricks--sometimes the same new trick more than once--and some will fail to adapt.

Martha Foley and Curt Stager look at silent crickets and flightless birds.  Go to full article
Allen Blagden traveled to the Wild Center to paint the resident porcupine Stickley especially for the "Moments" exhibit.  Photo: Wild Center
Allen Blagden traveled to the Wild Center to paint the resident porcupine Stickley especially for the "Moments" exhibit. Photo: Wild Center

Watercolorist Allen Blagden inspires "Moments" exhibit in Tupper Lake

The art of one of the nation's best watercolorists is on display at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. It's part of the inspiration for the "Moments, Reimagining Nature through Art" exhibit. The interactive display, that's part multi-media, part art show, part hands-on art project, encourages visitors to engage with nature through art.  Go to full article
Reindeer moss (Cladonia rangiferina) is actually a lichen. Photo: <a href="http://mushroomobserver.org/image/show_image/205412">Jason Hollinger</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Reindeer moss (Cladonia rangiferina) is actually a lichen. Photo: Jason Hollinger, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Lichens: living on next to nothing

What we call reindeer moss is nothing of the kind. It's not even a plant; it's a lichen. Lichens, which account for half of the natural nitrogen fertilizer used by plants and animals, are a combination of a fungus colony with algae and cyanobacteria that can live on practically nothing--dust, pollen, rain and snow.

Martha Foley and Curt Stager talk about nature's original minimalists.  Go to full article

Natural deceptions: crime (and punishment) among animals and plants

Social primates are supposed to share when they find food, but some will cheat. If they are caught, the group will punish them. Some plants and fungi use a kind of barter system to swap nutrients, and some of them will also cheat. But they risk being caught and cut off.

Martha Foley and Curt Stager look at crime and punishment in the natural world.  Go to full article
If you want the feeder to yourself, there's nothing like being able to imitate a hawk. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/57974696@N00/8015491794/">pwhellen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
If you want the feeder to yourself, there's nothing like being able to imitate a hawk. Photo: pwhellen, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: natural deceptions

Birds and other creatures have a sly side and will use deceptive communications to create an advantage for themselves in finding food and finding mates. Blue jays can imitate the sound of a hawk, scaring other species away from the feeder. Some birds mimic the alarm cries of other species, making them think that another of their kind is warning them about a predator.

But they can't pull the trick too often. "Crying wolf" has the same consequences in the animal world as it does in the fairy tale. Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss the "tricksy" side of birds, and of cuttlefish.  Go to full article
Male indigo bunting. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kristi_decourcy/7539738334/">Kristi</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Male indigo bunting. Photo: Kristi, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Well-dressed birds of the North Country

While the North Country is not exactly the tropics, we do have our share of exotically-colored birds. Blue creatures, for example, are rare in nature but we have the bluebird, the blue jay and the indigo bunting.

Then there are the goldfinches and the cardinals, the ruby-throated hummingbird and the oriole. Martha Foley and Curt Stager celebrate a little of the local color in colder climes.  Go to full article

1-10 of 275  next 10 »  last »