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

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

Choosing to live -- 1 in 8: The Torso Project

Friday, March 14, 2014

One plaster torso is covered with a mosaic. Another wears a tutu. One is painted gold. One represents “a garden, where life springs eternal.” The photos accompanying the pictures of the torsos all depict women, mostly in their … 0

Between the Rows: Some plants play nice, some don't

Friday, March 21, 2014

When I first learned about companion planting, I thought it was a bit of simple folk wisdom. Plant your peas and carrots together, but keep them away from dill. Plant marigolds near the tomatoes and soybeans with anything. … 0

Smoothing the way

Friday, March 7, 2014

On Shelburne Falls Road in Conway, Paul Sokoloski drove his green GMC truck gently across the snow-covered farmland. Its large, turning tractor treads — mounted where its tires used to be — squashed the white snow and tossed … 0

Between the Rows: ‘Five Plant Gardens’

Friday, March 14, 2014

Nancy Ondra has been gardening for over 20 years and she has 10 books to show for it. Her latest is “Five Plant Gardens: 52 ways to Grow a Perennial Garden with Just Five Plants” (Storey Publishing $18.95). … 0

Speaking of Nature: Elusive & unforgettable

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I purchased my first camera in January of 1998. I knew nothing about photography. More importantly, I knew nothing about nature photography. I didn’t understand the exasperating situations I would find myself in, the long periods of waiting, … 0

Voice of Audubon

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. The number of regular migrant water birds found on the Connecticut River continues to increase, with the most notable species being northern pintail, American wigeon, green-winged teal, ring-necked duck, bufflehead and pied-billed … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Simple shiitakes

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK I love mushrooms, but I don’t have a lot of experience with shiitakes. I’ve always enjoyed eating shiitakes when I was served them, but somehow felt a bit intimidated about buying them or growing them. … 0

Blue Plate Special: Johnson's Farm in Orange: 'Here for the long run'

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Family is paramount at Johnson’s Farm Restaurant, Sugarhouse, and Gift Shop. Steve Johnson and his wife Diane are the fourth generation to run the farm on Wheeler Avenue in Orange, which the family acquired in 1900. Their children … 0