Life & Times

BIll Danielson photo
Seen head on, the faint scalloping on the breast feathers are another hint that this is not a mockingbird.  This adult bird is gray and white without any of the coffee-colored staining of an immature bird.

Speaking of Nature: The thrill of the hunt

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Last week, I introduced you to a gray catbird that has adopted my yard as its home base for the winter. Prior to that, I told the story of a swamp sparrow that had also turned up at my feeders at roughly the same time. Well, I am happy to let you know that both birds are still coming to … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Thursday, February 26, 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 is particularly important if registration is required. Women in Nature: Animal Tracking and Sign March … 0

Voice of Audubon

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A northern shrike continues to be seen in Windsor, and a Bohemian waxwing was also found. A rough-legged hawk continues in Lee, and five black vultures were seen in Sheffield. A clay-colored sparrow continues to come to a feeder in Belchertown. An Iceland gull was seen in Chicopee, and … 0

Between the Rows: White flowers bring cool serenity

Friday, January 30, 2015

As I look out at the newly white fields, I cannot help but think about the white flowers that bloom in the spring. There are so many, from shrubs to tall perennials and low-blooming groundcovers. White flowers bring … 0

Book review: “Bitter Crossing” by D.A. Keeley

Friday, January 30, 2015

By TINKY WEISBLAT Special to The Recorder “Bitter Crossing” by D.A. Keeley (Midnight Ink, 408 pages, $14.95) We are in the ideal time of year to curl up by the fire with a good mystery novel and in … 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 … 0

Book review: ‘Mending Horses’ by M. P. Baker

Friday, January 23, 2015

By TINKY WEISBLAT Special to The Recorder “Mending Horses” by M. P. Barker (Holiday House, 320 pages, $17.95) “Mending Horses” may be the best book I have reviewed in the past year. M. P. Barker’s young-adult novel is … 0

Speaking of Nature: Tufted titmouse tilts total

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Back on Jan. 8, I confessed that I am a compulsive list-keeper when it comes to birds. I keep daily lists in my red field journal and next to that I keep a single sheet of paper that … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A golden eagle and two Bohemian waxwings were found in Williamstown. A Barrow’s goldeneye, lesser black-backed gull, Iceland gull and glaucous gull were seen at Turners Falls. An Iceland gull was reported in … 0

Dave Barry's Year in Review

Friday, January 2, 2015

It was a year of mysteries. To list some of the more baffling ones: ∎ A huge airliner simply vanished, and to this day nobody has any idea what happened to it, despite literally thousands of hours of … 0

Pursing grace on the ice at Collins/Moylan Arena

Friday, January 16, 2015

As I laced up my skates and took to the ice, I felt both trepidation and unnaturally stiff. I peered down at my feet. My ankles were leaning in toward each other, my feet riding the edges of … 0

Far Cry: Anika Balaconis’ sci-fi zine offers a home planet for the thoughtful, the weired

Friday, January 9, 2015

“The advisor approached Gene slowly, its antennae and mouth pincers working, its body seemed hesitant, as a dog sniffing a new person. Slowly, again, Gene sprayed “report” and then, on a hunch, sprayed “carry away.” The advisor stroked … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, January 21, 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 … 0