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Life & Times

GREENFIELD (August 2, 2014) — Two jars offer "Easy" and "Harder" words for aspiring poets to use in creating poems during Saturday's garden party at Greenfield poet Mary Clare Powell's home on Silver Street. Recorder/Trish Crapo

Poets of Franklin County: The houses that Emily Dickinson built

Friday, August 15, 2014

Walk or drive down Silver Street near Greenfield High School and you’ll see that three new houses have cropped up on what used to be a wide, grassy lawn. No, it’s not a sudden housing boom but an art installation hosted by Greenfield poet Mary Clare Powell and her partner Violet Walker at 170 Silver St. The “houses” are actually … 0

Between the Rows: Sunny flowers for August

Friday, August 15, 2014

I am an August baby, born under the sign of Leo, and I am in love with the sun and the golden rays of summer-blooming flowers. In fact, many summer flowers like black-eyed Susans, sunflowers and heleniums do not have petals, they have rays around a central disk of tiny florets. One of … 0

The Newbie: What, wonders our reporter, will happen when she hits the rapids?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of occasional features in which staff reporter Kathleen McKiernan writes about her experiences learning new skills; hence its name: “The Newbie.” The dark black waves sucked me forward. I held tight onto my paddle, sat tall and looked straight ahead toward the rushing water … 0

Speaking of Nature: The eastern phoebe

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Phoebes have been of special interest to me ever since I moved into my red house. Prior to that I never had the physical structures in any of my previous homes or apartments that would entice a phoebe … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in our area

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. An immature little blue heron was found at Szot Park in Chicopee, then at the Springfield Plaza in a pond next to the theater parking lot. Four common loons, two great egrets … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Beets; a root for all seasons

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

By VINSULA HASTINGS (Mary’s Note: I’m on vacation this week. Vinsula’s a recent UMass graduate and great cook who aspires to involve food and local eating in her work.) Since mid July, I’ve been scouting my local farmers markets for beets. Perhaps this sounds strange, since most people … 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 … 0

Between the Rows: beans and squash and rabbits

Friday, August 1, 2014

Beans are among the most common vegetable crops. Because they are so common, perhaps we don’t think about the great variety of beans that we can grow and enjoy. Beyond string beans, we have shelly beans, long beans, … 0

Rise of the ‘usie’

Thursday, July 31, 2014

NEW YORK — What do you call a group selfie? An usie, of course! As in “us.” Pronounced uss-ee, rhymes with fussy. “Usies are a growing trend that I think have far more social value than selfies,” said … 0

Said and Done: Can a woodchuck swim? Sure!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

According to notes we have here on the building of the Quabbin Reservoir, the main dam was plugged in the summer of 1939 with an immediate effect on the trapped waters of the Swift River. People in the … 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

Trail 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