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

Look ma, no soil! Gardening with air, water, fish fertilizer

Friday, March 27, 2015

By DEAN FOSDICK Associated Press Who needs soil to sow a sustainable garden? You can cultivate plants in mid-air, float them in mineral-enriched water or add nutrients for an organic harvest by using your own fish for the … 0

Bring your old apple tree back to its glory

Friday, March 27, 2015

By LEE REICH Associated Press A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly reaching out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, are more often than not too small, too high and too … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, March 25, 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

Speaking of Nature: Craving some color

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Anyone who lives in the northern Temperate Zone is familiar with the feeling. Winter is wonderful when it arrives. It is a fantastic change from the chill of late autumn with its gusting, snowless winds. I mean, why … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Many hands ...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I know what it takes to plan big community events. So, I knew it was a tough decision for the Diemand family to CANCEL this year’s Diemand Farm Easter Egg Hunt. While Diemand Farm does not have avian influenza, recent outbreaks in the western and central U.S. mean … 0

Blue Plate Special: Breakfast at Maple House in Rowe

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

By TINKY WEISBLAT Special to The Recorder More than two decades ago, when Rebecca Bradley was living in eastern Massachusetts, she told her husband Michael, “All I want for Christmas is a cross-country ski vacation ... with no … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Juanita Nelson

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

By MARY MCCLINTOCK I’ve been thinking a lot about Juanita Nelson since she died on March 9. I’ve laughed, remembering fun times with Juanita, and cried, realizing I won’t be able to laugh with her again. I know I’m only one of many people here and across the … 0

Snowmobiler’s dream

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Arctic Cat patiently purred as a wide-open, snow-covered Pratt Field in Bernardston stretched out before me. Sitting on the 450-pound snow machine, I pushed my thumb down hard on the throttle and the snowmobile surged forward with … 0

Speaking of Nature: Sheldon the red-tailed hawk

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The pattern became a familiar one in February. Birds would be at the feeders, or on the porch railing, or anywhere else I had spread out some seed. The options were limited due to all of the snow, … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for Western Massachusetts. A pair of redheads was found in an open area of Cheshire Lake. A long-tailed duck was seen for two days on the Connecticut River below the Northend Bridge in Springfield. Five … 0