Life & Times

Charlene Manor resident Mary Jo McManus with Clarence. Recorder/Paul Franz

Big comfort

Friday, April 11, 2014

T here are many different types of heroes. There’s the handsome “super” man who makes a grand entrance wearing a red cape and the firefighter who rushes into a burning apartment building to save a tenant’s beloved cat. There’s the parent who makes it to every one of their child’s baseball games, whether that child plays every inning or warms … 0

Between the Rows: foliage plants hold a garden together

Friday, April 11, 2014

When people think of the ornamental garden, their first thought is of flowers, but it is foliage that holds a garden together. Flowers on naked stems would not be as lovely as they are when surrounded by foliage: leaves of various shapes and in various shades of green ranging from almost white, to … 0

Will we lose our monarchs?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Combined sources It wasn’t that long ago, says Karl Anderson, that an abundance of butterflies were attracted to the roughly seven acres of meadow and wildflowers his family maintains on the west side of Conway. “2012, we had monarchs like crazy,” said Anderson, adding his wife, Aimee, informs him there were also painted … 0

Speaking of Nature: Spring has pressed the button

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this is it. We stand on the precipice of time and look out into the vast expanse of the future with optimism and the hint of a smile on our collective faces, … 0

Kids & Critters: The red-winged blackbird

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Springtime is finally here and even though Mother Nature may still have a few tricks up her sleeve, we can finally start to feel the change of the seasons. The days are gradually getting longer and with the … 0

Voices of Audubon: bird sightings in our area

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. Migrating waterfowl still hold the stage in the valley with flocks of up to thousands of Canada Geese being seen. Also being reported are snow geese, American wigeon, northern pintail, blue-winged teal, bufflehead and … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Great Falls Discovery Center 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, 413-863-3676, www.greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org. Open to the public Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. All programs are free to the public unless otherwise noted. Facilities are accessible. ∎ … 0

Said & Done: Who has ever seen the wind?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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 … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Sprouts: gardening in a jar

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK If you’re like most vegetable gardeners I know, you’re busy planning this year’s crops and are eager to start gardening. Many folks are starting seeds indoors or in hoophouses. Last week, I mentioned the salad green seeds, soil, and flats I got at Ashfield Hardware … 0

Trail Mix: outdoor activities

Wednesday, March 26, 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/ ∎ Native New England Orchids. Pink and Yellow Lady’s Slippers, the Fairy Slipper, Purple-Fringed Orchids, all these and … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in our region

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. The variety and number of water birds in the region continues to be spectacular. Most often reported were mute swan, northern pintail, American wigeon, green-winged teal, ring-necked duck, bufflehead, common goldeneye, hooded merganser and … 0

Tempering steel: heating, cooling & timing

Friday, March 21, 2014

In the good old days, tinkers traveled the land repairing small metal things. They do no longer, leaving this vital function up to you. Let’s say you snap a chisel or the rivet in your favorite pair of … 1

A semi-practical application: Making a whittling knife from a worn-out hacksaw blade

Friday, March 21, 2014

There are some things that you just can’t buy and your only affordable option may be to make these things yourself. Woodworking tools aren’t in this category. Almost any woodworking hand tool you require can be bought, so … 0