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Life & Times

Kim Letourneau and her daughter Kaci, 10, of Hatfield speed down the 360 section of the mountain coaster in mid-October. Recorder/Micky Bedell

Coming 'round the mountain: Berkshire East's new coaster is built for fun

Friday, October 17, 2014

I t felt like I was nearly being thrown from my seat, tethered only by my seatbelt as I careened down Mount Institute with no way to steer. When I finally came to a safe stop at the bottom of the hill, I rushed right back to do it all again. Billed as the longest mountain coaster in North America, … 0

Worms, astronauts & moon cows? why not?!

Friday, October 10, 2014

A line of nearly 30 8- and 9-year-olds steps off a yellow school bus and through the rear door of the Amherst Cinema, then files into the front rows of the 180-seat Theater 1. The theater is marked for “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” but these third-graders, visiting today from the Discovery School … 0

Liquid inspiration: Inventing cocktails with Jim Zaccara

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mid-day last Friday, my editor emailed me with a last-minute assignment: “I’m interested in a feature on the art of making a good drink,” he wrote. Could I meet with Jim Zaccara? Zaccara, co-owner of two downtown Greenfield restaurants, Hope & Olive and Magpie Woodfired Pizzeria, creates many interesting new cocktails for the … 0

Voice of Audubon: western Massachusetts bird sightings

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A Connecticut warbler was found in Wendell. A flight of 1,700 broad-winged hawks went over Shatterack Mountain in Russell. Small numbers of most captor species continue to be seen over area hawk … 0

Between the Rows: A windowsill garden

Friday, September 19, 2014

Many of us are very reluctant to put together a flower arrangement. We see photos of complicated bouquets accompanied by complicated descriptions of color and texture and know we could never aspire to making such a thing. In … 0

Between the Rows: spring blooming bulbs

Friday, September 12, 2014

These chilly days and cool nights have got me thinking about spring. Or more specifically, the need to plant spring blooming bulbs this fall. There is something about gardening that makes us gardeners keep one eye a season or two ahead, even as we work with the challenges … 0

Writing a city

Friday, September 5, 2014

Evening light was turning golden as we set out, 16 writers with pens and yellow pamphlets in hand, on a “Flâneur Walk” through Northampton in early July. Led by poet Betsy Wheeler, whose collection of poems, “Loud Dreaming … 0

Speaking of Nature: There’s a new vulture in town

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Back in the fall of 1986, I entered the wildlife biology program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with so much to learn. My head contained a smattering of information about the birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and fish that … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Volunteers needed for Source to Sea Cleanup Volunteers age 7 and older will gather for the 18th annual Source to Sea Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 9 a.m. at the Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, in Turners Falls. Most volunteers collect trash on foot and … 0

Voices of Audubon: western Massachusetts bird sightings

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Western Voice of Audubon. An upland sandpiper, a marsh wren, American pipits, and a Connecticut warbler were in Northampton. Over the last two days, more than 2,500 broad-winged hawks were seen migrating over Blueberry Hill in Granville. Three … 0

Seafood reigns at the Ocean Grill & Steakhouse

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

By TINKY WEISBLAT Special to The Recorder The atmosphere in the Ocean Grill & Steakhouse on Federal Street in Greenfield is one of quiet professionalism. Chef Jim Sands and manager Julia Krochmalny are clearly very good at what … 0

Savoring the Seasons: More tasty festival fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK What do garlic, mushrooms, and pudding have in common? They’re all foods with western Mass festivals devoted to them in coming weeks. New to wild edible mushrooms? The Fungi Fair on Sept. 20 is a great place to learn about these tasty wild edibles. Hooray … 0

‘Flaneur Walk, Northampton”

Friday, September 5, 2014

I will tell you this once, but loudly: There are always secret lovers kissing between Warning signs. Below them the diners clink knives against plates to punctuate their points to which the lovers are not listening. And they do not know that the chef shifts a dish from … 0