North Woods Guides Blog

Animal Track App

November 28th, 2009

MyNature Animal Track App is happy to announce it’s sales in the iTunes store are improving with a little more exposure on the web.

iPhone Animal Tracks

November 27th, 2009

So far the MyNature Animal Track app has a couple followers. Glad you all like it so much. I hope you can help us get the word out that you can now buy a great app for identifying animal tracks on the iPhone. Have them all visit us here at

Mynature Animal Tracks

November 26th, 2009

You can find our new app at the Apple Store. Just search for MyNature Animal Tracks or just type in animal tracks in the search bar. I know you will find it useful on your next outing


August 23rd, 2009

   I’ve been getting ready for a trip to Yellowstone in a few weeks, I’m really excited about going since I have never been there.  Not to thrilled with the plane ride since it’s 4 different boardings to get there and it takes up a whole day but the flight was cheap and I’m on a shoestring budget.  I’ll be staying in Cooke City so if anyone out there has ever been please send me along some tips or interesting places to see. I’m loaded up with memory cards, picked up a new day pack, raincoat and a great new collapsable fishing pole with a low profile reel for my pack. I’m hoping to get a lot of track shots and some tree pics for a new project.  Kind of thought that after school started that there wouldn’t be a ton of people there but judging on the no vacancies at all the hotels I was wrong on that. I still hope to get some alone time though and I printed off quite a few day hikes to take. I think I need to get in a little better shape before I leave so I did a short up hill run last night. It wasn’t supposed to be short but my legs said otherwise.  Amazing how fast your body goes as you get older. I rememeber I used to run four stories with a guy on my back when I was wrestling in high school a short 30 years ago.  Wow!!! 30 years, time does fly. I fear I’d have a heart attack trying to go one flight with someone on my back today.  I wonder if I could make 14 steps? Seriously though……… if you have any tips or great places to see let me know, I’m looking forward to seeing Tower Falls.  Happy Hiking!!

Raquette Lake

August 10th, 2009

   Went up to Raquette Lake last Friday and canoed the south inlet.  It was a nice paddle but a little windy.  Someone told me it was about 2 miles back into the waterfall. I pretty much took my time, just about three hours to get to the end of the still water. I did quite a bit of exploring on the way and just a tad bit of fishing. There wasn’t much in the way of wildlife to my surprise. I did see a Kingfisher, on the way in and for the first time I can remember I heard a bear  growling/roaring, a little of both. He was in the back water about half way in, in a large setback off to the left. I paddled in to see if I could get a glimpse of him but nothing ever materialized.

  I was also pretty surprised by the lack of frogs there, although I did see only one Blue Heron they must be putting a huge dent in the frog population as this place was ideal for big bull frogs and I never saw even one.  The water lillies were beautiful and I did manage to get some pictures of them as well as a few Orchids. Back into the falls I did a little trout fishing and caught to nice ones about 9 to 10 inches each. As I’m sitting here writing this their still swimming in the pools I caught them in. Kinda neat to think about!!  Someday I’ll keep a few for a nice trout dinner. There’s nothing like a fresh brook trout with butter and lemon juice on the barbecue.  I’ll be heading out to Yellowstone in a few weeks to do some photography. I’m getting pretty excited to be heading there, it’s one of the places I always wanted to see. That just leaves Alaska on the list to do before I die.  Hey if your ever in Raqutte lake make sure you canoe the inlet, it’s a nice easy paddle for a day trip.    Enjoy!!!

Turkeys and Rain

July 25th, 2009

   Seems I remember years ago reading an article on the mortality rate being high on turkey poults when it was a wet spring. Well, this is the wettest spring as well as summer that I can ever remember and I have seen more poults than I have ever. In fact I nearly ran off the road trying to avoid running over about a dozen crossing the pavement the other day. I have been doing a little schooling the past week and drove the same 3 hour route every morning. Granted they were most likely the same turkeys I was seeing everyday but I was seeing nearly up to 75 poults of varying sizes in the same locations.  Most were fairly developed in size and there were a couple groups that hadn’t hatched all that long ago. That would to me shoot down the theory of to much rain attributing to low turkey survival rates.

   The other wildlife viewings on my long drives were the usual deer crossings and much to my dismay about a half dozen Porcupines that weren’t to lucky with road crossings. Most people would love to kill all the Porcupines out there since they are destructive to trees but since I rarely see them in my hikes I rather let them live to see another day. I also saw quite a few Loons canoeing last weekend. I love to paddle in Garnett Lake a nice spot up here and there usually from my experience in the past is one pair of Loons but this time there were atleast three pairs that I noticed and two of them had young chicks with them. You’ve probably read it a million times but there really is nothing like the sound of a loon calling on a misty morning.  If anyone out there has any pics of tracks or animals they would want to send in and possibly be put on an I-phone app I have coming out drop me an email and we may consider usiong it if the quality is good.  Happy Hiking and enjoy the weekend!!!!

Life in the Field

July 12th, 2009

Not my life in the field, that would bore most  anyone who happens on this article. I’m talking about new life, the deer dropped their fawns two to three weeks ago. One doe has hung around the field out here chasing the cats away and snorting at them everyday. It’s quite comical actually to see the deer chase the cats away and the cats chase the doe right back. I think their more playing with each other than anything. The doe hanging around everyday was a sure sign that her fawn was close by. Try as I might I could not locate her.  It wasn’t until last week that I saw them in the adjoining field together. When the doe spooked to draw attention away from the fawn, the fawn ran about 20 feet and immediately laid down. It figured that, that was the one day I was late getting out to work and left the camera at home.  I wish I had gone back for it and I could have gotten a nice pic to post here. They are beautiful animals.  They will be out together shortly so I will have another chance for a photo, Ill be back!!!!    Happy Hiking.

Animal Tracks

June 17th, 2009

Here’s a few tracks I found in the woods behind the house.  I took some time and did a casting of each for my collection.  If your interested in finding tracks to cast or just photograph then pay attention to the wet area you come across, especially beaver dams and under old crab apple trees.  It’s usually muddy in the two spots and leaves a good clear

Plaster Casting

June 7th, 2009

Hello again!! I was going to post some new pics but figured I would do a little writing instead. I’ve been out casting tracks the past couple weeks and thought I would share just how easy it is to make a plaster cast of a animals track as well as how to get your kids involved in something fun. How do I know kids will like it you ask?? Because if my 14 year old daughter who finds my life as mundane as watching paint dry found it interesting enough to try then I know there must be some fun involved.

Your first mission is to go down to the hardware store and pick up a box of Plaster of paris about $5 bucks for a box, that’s it, all the money you need to spend. Find yourself a nice clear track impression, you can even do the family dog or cat if you want a keepsake of their footprint.  The best place to find tracks is near water, the edge of a beaver pond, lake or stream. All animals need water so they all visit watering holes and there is usually some good mud along the shoreline where they leave nice clear track impressions.

I carry my plaster in ziploc bags, it’s easier than lugging the box around and you can seal the bag up better than the opened box so it won’t get all over the inside of your pack. Once you find a good track use your hands to scrape up some dirt or mud to build a dam completely around the track. Stay about 2 inches from the sides of the track and make the dam about 2 inches high. Smooth it all out on the sides so you have a nice smooth cast when your done.  Use another ziploc bag to get some water. Now your ready to mix, pour some water into your bag holding the plaster and nead the bag with your fingers or stir witha stick or spoon. You want the mixture the same consistency as pancake batter. Just add more water or powder if needed. Once your mixed up pour the plaster into the track impression first and then fill the surrounding dam area. Wait 15 minutes and lift your casting up, brush off all the dirt and debris that may be stuck to it. That’s it, all there is to it and now you have a pretty cool track impression.

If you wanted to get a little fancier and make a wall plaque of the track, before you mix up your plaster place a stick on the outside of your dam pointing in the same direction the tack is pointing, this is just for orientation purposes. After you pour the plaster in the dam place a paperclip or an I-hook in at an angle toward the stick. Once the plaster is hard you have a built in wall hanger. It’s a pretty fun way to spend time with your kids and get back to nature. Enjoy!!!  Happy Hiking


May 24th, 2009

It took me several days of reconfiguring a dirt spot to finally get a image of some woodchuck tracks but the persitence paid off. He would litterally walk around it or use the back exit hole he had. The first few days my dirt spot would dry out and the tracks were faint. I finally took some nice goey mud and kept adding water to it every morning. After about 6 days I finally got the image!!!


North Woods Field Guides
PO Box 107  Wevertown, NY 12886
Phone:  518-744-6011  Email:

© Copyright J. Greco / North Woods Guides Inc.  All rights reserved