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Life & Times

GREENFIELD - November 8, 2014. Contra dancing (Sometimes described as New England folk dance) at the Guiding Star Grange #1 Photo by Beth Reynolds

Up and down the contra line

Friday, November 28, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is part of series of occasional features in which staff reporter Kathleen McKiernan writes about her experiences learning new skills; hence its name: “The Newbie.” As I faced the line of dozens of dancers, I felt I was in the middle of a new-age Jane Austen novel and about to be swept into a formal dance. Then, … 0

Thanksgiving, the ulitimate potluck

Friday, November 21, 2014

By JEANMARIE BROWNSON Chicago Tribune Long gone are the days of one person cooking the whole Thanksgiving dinner. These days, many guests volunteer to bring a part of the meal, for a bunch of reasons — special diets or food preferences, but mostly, for the pleasure of cooking. They practically beg to bring … 0

Tea Guys: Blended brews

Friday, November 14, 2014

During a visit to Piccadilly Circus in London, Tea Guys co-founder Oliver Rich came across an open-air market, where he found vendors busy at work selling fresh lemons, spices and other foods. The crisp aromas swirled in the air, coalescing beneath the tea lover’s nose. That’s when inspiration struck. The experience gave him … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. The gray jay continues to be seen at Gate 41 of the Quabbin Reservoir in the town of Petersham. A cattle egret … 0

Between the Rows: thinking about gardens

Friday, November 14, 2014

As I‘ve worked to put my gardens to bed this fall, I’ve also been thinking about how they came to take this form and about how any garden takes form. Some people plan a garden in one fell … 0

Between the Rows: Pat finds connections at the Intervale Centet

Friday, November 7, 2014

My visit with my cousin Travis Marcotte at the Intervale Center in Burlington, Vt., stunned me with the varied ways an organization could support farmers, the vitality of their conservation effort, the size of a marketing project like … 0

Speaking of Nature: oaks

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I was very fortunate to get a day off on Tuesday. The weather was so mild and the landscape so peaceful that I couldn’t resist going for a walk in my back woods. Many is the day that … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A gray jay has been present all week at Gate 41 of the Quabbin Reservoir in the town of Petersham. A golden eagle and a northern goshawk were seen at the northern … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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

Between the Rows: The Intervale Center

Friday, October 31, 2014

Intervale: n. Regional. A tract of low-lying land, especially along a river. The Intervale Center in Burlington, Vt., has three goals: to enhance the viability of farming; to promote the sustainable use and stewardship of agricultural lands; and … 0

Speaking of Nature: A nuthatch saves the day

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sunday was an unexpectedly gloomy day. Saturday had been so warm and lovely in comparison that the annual chore of moving firewood seemed like an unacceptable use of time. So, rather than don the heavy clothes required for … 0

Kids & Critters: Want to know a secret?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My wife has recently been putting some extra effort into learning the names of the birds that come to our feeders. Summer birds can be difficult to learn because there are so many of them and they can … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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