Life & Times

MATT BURKHARTT
Mary Jo Maffei of Shutesbury stops to take a drink of water while snowshoeing with her dog Walter in the woods behind her home Friday January 9.

‘There is a sacred quality to it’

Friday, January 23, 2015

Several times a week during the winter months, Mary Jo Maffei steps into her snowshoes and heads out the back door of her Shutesbury home and off along a trail that was cut by her son. The red-blazed trail, which the family calls the Quackenbush Connector, leads uphill into a forest of hemlock, maple and birch. She hikes quickly, usually … 0

Strap on & Go!

Friday, January 23, 2015

“Put a pair of snowshoes on,” says Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center manager William Gabriel, “and you can go just about anywhere.” For those looking for more specific locations, however, here are a few: DAR State Forest, 78 Cape St., Route 112, Goshen, 268-7098, http://tinyurl.com/qy99cuj Skinner State Park, 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, 586-0350, http://tinyurl.com/mfoknft Mount Holyoke Range State Park, The … 0

Between the Rows: Conifers, a large and versatile family

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pines, firs, junipers, spruces and others are all conifers, cone-bearing evergreen trees. Within this large family there are many sizes, from low-growing ground covers to very tall trees, with many types of foliage and many foliage colors from green to blue-green to gold. Evergreens like pines, firs and spruces have needles, while junipers, … 0

What the heck is an album & why would I want one?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Just before the turn of the 20th century, the gramophone record revolutionized the way the world listened to music. “Just having a disc that you could put on a turntable and play was probably the single biggest transformation … 1

Between the Rows: houseplants and nurseries

Friday, January 9, 2015

Some of us may have gotten a gift plant during the holidays. If we are not experienced indoor gardeners, this can cause some anxiety. “Now what do I do?” the recipient may wonder when the gift givers have … 0

Speaking of Nature: Birding

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

One of my favorite things to do on a cold winter’s morning is to get a cup of something warm to sip and then grab an old book off the shelf and lazily peruse its pages. The enjoyment … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, January 7, 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: bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from Voice of Audubon for Western Massachusetts. A snowy owl is still being seen occasionally on the roof of the Smith & Wesson building off Roosevelt Avenue in Springfield. Rough-legged … 0

Lovers of vinyl have their reasons

Monday, December 22, 2014

What keeps people listening to vinyl records? Customers at John Doe Jr. Used Books and Records in Greenfield have their own reasons. “I’ve had a turntable for three years and I’m trying to build a jazz collection,” said Zack Finch of Williamstown. “The jazz world opens up when … 0

Between the Rows: ‘Digging Deep’

Friday, January 2, 2015

In her book “Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening” ($14.95), Fran Sorin makes the point that we are all creative creatures. Every baby ever born learns something new every day, laughs at something new every day. … 1

Caught in the spell

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

“Within my earthly temple there’s a crowd, There’s one of us that’s humble, one that’s proud. There’s one who loves his neighbor as himself, The other cares for naught save fame and self. There’s one who’s brokenhearted for … 0

Kids & Critters: Master Edwin

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Many years ago, my mother received a phone call from a lady who had a question. She had found a tiny baby animal and she didn’t know what it was. Furthermore, she had no idea how to take … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, December 31, 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