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Life & Times

Art Schwenger reads an 1882 letter from W.L. Sumner to cousins Edmund and Lucinda Gleason. Doug Mason photo

Dining with History: Always up for a good potluck, Heath residents also serve up tasty stories

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Heath Historical Society has been going strong since 1900. It owns and maintains four historical sites in town. Its membership roll numbers more than 200. Its all-volunteer staff maintains three buildings with archives that include letters, diaries and numerous artifacts. Early in 2013, board members of the society came up with a novel way to highlight Heath’s past and make it more relevant to Heathans in the present. “We were at a historical society meeting and we sort of lamented the fact that we have open houses on occasion and not very many people attend them,” recalled board member Nancy Thane. “Kara (Leistyna) and … 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 oranges 2 green tea bags 1 cup brandy 1/4 cup dark rum 2 bottles Brut … 0

Between the Rows: You'll find this berry interesting

Friday, July 18, 2014

Elderberries and chokeberries are not as beautiful or familiar as spring’s strawberry, but these small, dark berries that ripen in late summer pack a nutritional wallop. I’ve known the elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) since childhood, but the chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is fairly new to me. Whether you call the elderberry a tree or a … 0

‘Thunder on the Mountain’: Monadnock Speedway is like Daytona, but smaller

Friday, July 11, 2014

Moonshiners hauling whiskey during the Roaring Twenties laid claim to beginning the age of motor racing. “They put more time, energy, thought and love into their cars than any racer ever will,” said Junior Johnson, a legendary stock … 0

Speaking of Nature: Green Herons

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The phone call came on the afternoon of July 3. It was not at all unusual for the phone to ring because of the long list of telemarketers that somehow seem to get my number. No, what made … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in our area

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Western Voice of Audubon. A red crossbill was heard calling as it flew over the southern end of the Quabbin Reservoir. A black vulture was seen in Belchertown. Black-billed cuckoos were heard calling in Pittsfield and Southwick Two soras and … 0

Between the Rows: Dioecious plants

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Editor’s note: Pat Leuchtman also writes online. You can find her at www.commonweeder.com. The Annual Rose Viewing was a success, but it was the hardy kiwi vine on our shed that also got a lot of attention. Of … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Cherries and chatting

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK It’s the time of year when I get treats at the Greenfield Farmers Market to share with friends at the weekly peace vigil on the Common next to the market. With snap peas, strawberries, or cherry tomatoes, we stand on the Common and munch. Last … 0

Marc DesRosiers of Conway is driven to keep clocks ticking

Friday, June 27, 2014

The soporific metronome tick-tock of an old clock in a quiet room is multiplied 20 times over in Marc DesRosiers’ Conway workshop, filling the small space with a sound like rain on a wooden roof. Every hour on … 0

Between the Rows: Book reviews

Friday, June 27, 2014

The book “Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside (Knopf 26.95)” tells the story of Andrea di Robilant’s quest for the name of a rose that grew on his family’s former estate near Venice. His journey took him from the wild overgrown park on the estate … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Preparing to preserve

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK Farm stands and farmers markets are full of early fruit and vegetables, I’ve planted my annual “pesto crop” of basil and parsley, and I’m making summer preserving plans, freezing asparagus for future soups and strawberries for future crisps, ordering blueberries to freeze, and learning how … 0

God’s eye is on the sparrow

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

“Why do I feel discontented? Why must the shadows fall? God’s eye is on the Sparrow! And I know He thinks of me.” — Old revivalist hymn A year or so ago, Florence Haskell died. She was 90, … 0

Kids and Critters: Does this flower know if you like butter?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July is finally here and for many of us that means the longest days of the year can be spent outside. I remember spending hours on end running and playing in the woods and fields around my home … 0