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Life & Times

A maple tree puts on a show of its fall colors in New Salem on South Main Street. In the distance is the Quabbin Reservoir.
Recorder/Paul Franz

Paul Franz, Franklin County's photographer

Friday, July 25, 2014

One recent morning when senior Recorder photographer Paul Franz was driving his daughter to school, he saw a man riding a bicycle in the pouring rain, one hand on the handlebars, the other holding an enormous umbrella the size of a patio umbrella over his head as he pedaled through the deluge. Franz shakes his head. “It seems like I … 0

Dining with History: Always up for a good potluck, Heath residents also serve up tasty stories

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Heath Historical Society has been going strong since 1900. It owns and maintains four historical sites in town. Its membership roll numbers more than 200. Its all-volunteer staff maintains three buildings with archives that include letters, diaries and numerous artifacts. Early in 2013, board members of the society came up with a … 0

‘Regent’s Punch’

Friday, July 18, 2014

Occasionally, the organizers of Dining with History like to feature food of past days. Kara Leistyna prepared this punch for one evening; she adapted it from “Saveur.” Ingredients: 1 cup sugar 1 cup cubed pineapple 2 lemons 2 oranges 2 green tea bags 1 cup brandy 1/4 cup dark rum 2 bottles Brut … 0

Speaking of Nature: Seaweed isn't a plant

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Some of my favorite summertime memories from my childhood revolve around visits to the ocean. I can remember wonderful trips to Cape Cod and the coast of Maine where it seemed that every sight, sound and smell was … 0

Tail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Unusual Connecticut River Water Levels NORTHFIELD — On Thursday July 31, water levels in the Connecticut River between Turners Falls and Vernon, Vt., will be lower than usual. FirstLight Hydro Generating Co. is supporting TransCanada Hydro Northeast in … 0

Savoring The Seasons: It’s time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK It’s time... to make “thumb jam” by using your thumb to smash fresh-off-the-vine raspberries onto hot buttered toast. It’s time ... to sit chatting with a friend on the porch while cutting green beans into bite-sized pieces, then blanching and freezing them to enliven winter … 0

Between the Rows: Flowers, so many beautiful choices!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Gardeners who want a flower garden usually want that flower garden to be in bloom all season long. There are different ways to do this. One way is to have different flower beds for different seasons. I have … 0

Between the Rows: You'll find this berry interesting

Friday, July 18, 2014

Elderberries and chokeberries are not as beautiful or familiar as spring’s strawberry, but these small, dark berries that ripen in late summer pack a nutritional wallop. I’ve known the elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) since childhood, but the chokeberry (Aronia … 0

Speaking of Nature: Bill's bumper crop of bluebirds

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

With mid-July behind us, it is now safe to say that the breeding season of our local songbirds is starting to wind down for the year. Some species, like the yellow warbler, may have already packed up for … 0

Voice of Aububon

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. An Acadian flycatcher continues to be seen down from Gate 22 at the Quabbin Reservoir. Two young Orchard orioles were found in the East Meadows of Northampton. A lesser yellowlegs was in Northfield and … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in our area

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Northfield Mountain 99 Millers Falls Road (Route 63), Northfield. 413-659-3714 or 800-859-2960. Owned and operated by FirstLight Power Resources. www.firstlightpower.com/ ∎ Totally Tree-mendous: Gnomes Knoll. Gnomes knoll is an evolving space for free nature play at Northfield Mountain, … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Small-batch preserving

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK When I think of canning, I imagine spending many hours in a hot kitchen with large boxes of produce, big vats of bubbling preserves, and rows of jars coming out of other vats of boiling water. It’s easy to get overwhelmed considering such a scene, … 0

‘Silver Eagle’ soars into his golden years

Thursday, July 3, 2014

From the first time David Mroczek snuck down to the Northfield Meadows to hitch a ride in Tommy Russel’s “tail-dragger” airplane at the age of 12, he knew how he wanted to spend his life. He only got … 0