Life & Times

Recorder reporter David Rainville has a moment of unsteadiness on cross country skis while coming down a small hill towards a Recorder photographer. Recorder/Micky Bedell

Leg work

Friday, February 27, 2015

Growing up an avid alpine skier, I used to watch middle-aged folks mush along the flats on cross-country skis and think “boy, that looks easy.” When I clicked into a pair of cross-country skis earlier this month, I found my earlier sentiments completely unfounded. Photographer Micky Bedell and I went to Stump Sprouts in Hawley to learn to cross-country ski. … 0

Between the Rows: Gardening for butterflies

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bill Benner is a man with many strings to his bow, but they all play tunes of the natural world and its fragility. He will be talking about the natural world, climate change and the impact it has on our own part of Massachusetts at Greenfield Community College’s Senior Symposium on March 10. … 0

‘Hurricane Island’ offers tense mix of political critique, gripping narrative

Friday, February 27, 2015

“Hurricane Island” by Ellen Meeropol (Red Hen Press, 314 pages, $16.95) I’m not really a thriller reader. Nevertheless, I have to admit that I read the political thriller “Hurricane Island” in one day. This second novel by Ellen Meeropol of Easthampton is so packed with suspense that it converted me to the genre, … 0

Here comes the wind, rejoice!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you. But when the leaves hang trembling The wind is passing through. Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I. But when the trees bow down their heads The wind is passing by. — Christina Rossetti, Victorian poet Little … 0

Kids & Critters: When will the grackles arrive?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Most people are familiar with the notion of bird migration. Birds that are primarily insect eaters are often forced to retreat to warmer southern regions during the cold, dark winters of more northern areas. But every winter ends … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Editor’s Note: Listings in Trail Mix are free. Email outdoor@recorder.com. The deadline is Tuesday by 8 a.m. Questions? Call 413-772-0261, ext. 276. Weather may cancel or force the rescheduling of some of these events. Additionally, space is often … 0

Speaking of Nature: The thrill of the hunt

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Last week, I introduced you to a gray catbird that has adopted my yard as its home base for the winter. Prior to that, I told the story of a swamp sparrow that had also turned up at … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Editor’s Note: Listings in Trail Mix are free. Email outdoor@recorder.com. The deadline is Tuesday by 8 a.m. Questions? Call 413-772-0261, ext. 276. Weather may cancel or force the rescheduling of some of these events. Additionally, space is often limited. Please contact organizers to ensure you can attend. This … 0

Voice of Audubon

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A northern shrike continues to be seen in Windsor, and a Bohemian waxwing was also found. A rough-legged hawk continues in Lee, and five black vultures were seen in Sheffield. A clay-colored sparrow continues … 0

Blue Plate Special: Christina’s in Erving serves up authentic Italian cuisine

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

By TINKY WEISBLAT Special to The Recorder Tony DiMaio has been in the restaurant business for 40 years — and he is only 54 years old. The chef and co-owner of Christina’s Restaurant and Tavern on the French … 1

Savoring the Seasons: Applesauce perfection

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

By MARY MCCLINTOCK I hope you had a wonderful time at Greenfield Winter Fare last Saturday. Sadly, that day I sat at home blowing my nose and nursing a bad head cold instead of enjoying the occasion. As I write this, I’m feeling somewhat better and I hope … 0

Life on the ice

Saturday, February 21, 2015

On a cold morning in February, the fish of Shutesbury’s Lake Wyola pursued their small-brained interests beneath a protective shell of ice 18 inches thick and topped with more than a foot of snow. But not for long. … 0

Between the Rows: A plethora of peas

Saturday, February 21, 2015

There are peas that need to be shelled, peas that only need to be snapped, peas named snow and sweet peas that can be smelled. There are pea plants that are small, and many that are tall. There … 0