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Life & Times

Among the Quabbin’s attractions are beautiful shorelines, miles and miles of old roads to explore and abundant wildlife, much of it not easily alarmed by humans since hunting in the area is mostly prohibited. These pictures were taken at various times last year. Recorder/Paul Franz

Life & Times: Walking the Quabbin

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring is awakening on the Quabbin. The scent of wet earth, the gentle song of the chickadee and the scream of the bluejay are just a few signs. The trails that dot the north end, many of which are located in or just outside of Franklin County, are still a little wet — you may have to hop a puddle … 1

Taking flight in Charlemont

Friday, April 10, 2015

I stood high in a tree at the edge of a platform, my toes over the edge like a surfer hanging 10, looking out at waves of fall foliage. Then, I took a step forward. Gravity took over, and I began to pick up speed. There was no turning back. Luckily, my full-body … 0

'Aberfan': one woman's elegy for a Welsh village's young disaster victims

Friday, April 3, 2015

Heavy rains had fallen for days on Aberfan, in the Mether Vale district of Wales, in late October 1966. But they’d stopped by the time the young schoolchildren from around the mining village walked to Pantglas Junior School the morning of Friday, Oct. 21. By 9:15, the pupils — the boys in their … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Parsnips! Perfect for ... tacos?!?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I don’t get many text messages, so I was surprised last Friday to find a message when I opened my phone to make a call. I didn’t recognize the number, but once I read the message, I knew … 0


Friday, March 20, 2015

The package arrived mid-December, just as the boxes of presents from my more forward-thinking relatives began to arrive. It was addressed in the square, neat printing of a designer or architect. Inside the plain, brown wrapping was what … 0

Between the Rows: trees

Friday, April 3, 2015

Trees are an important part of our domestic landscape, giving it substance as well as beauty. Planting a tree requires more thought than planting a perennial or pots of annuals. A tree cannot be moved at will. No … 0

Holy Week Services: all are welcome

Friday, April 3, 2015

Editor’s note: We would like to thank area churches for their help in putting this list of services together. If you do not see your church here, please contact it directly to learn what it has planned. Easter … 0

Kids & Critters: the wood duck

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

People will tell you that the robin is a sure sign of spring. This, I think, is more a matter of association than truth. The fact is that some robins spend the winter with us every year, though … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Editor’s Note: Listings in Trail Mix are free. Email 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

Savoring the Seasons: Enjoying Locally Grown Food Year-Round: Stepping Up…

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I’ve lived in my house for almost 31 years, but I’m still a newcomer in Conway. Like other small towns in Franklin County, in Conway being an “oldtimer” isn’t counted by years. “Oldtimers” are folks whose families have been in town for generations. I am grateful for the … 0

Book review: ‘The Nightingale Bones’ by Ariel Swan

Friday, March 20, 2015

By TINKY WEISBLAT Special to The Recorder “The Nightingale Bones” by Ariel Swan (Bell Bridge Books, 256 pages, $14.95) In “The Nightingale Bones” Ariel Swan of Greenfield has woven a supernatural tale that will keep readers riveted. The … 0

Patrick Donnelly appointed seventh poet laureate in Northampton

Thursday, March 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Patrick Donnelly once studied classical singing and acting, with an eye to becoming an opera singer. Although those plans did not work out, he also had a deep interest in writing that he subsequently developed — … 0

Between the Rows: Water in the garden

Friday, March 27, 2015

Beverley Nichols was one of my favorite authors when I was younger and spent a lot of time reading English garden books. He is wonderfully witty (the British are never merely funny) and I can certainly identify with … 0