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Life & Times

A maple tree puts on a show of its fall colors in New Salem on South Main Street. In the distance is the Quabbin Reservoir.
Recorder/Paul Franz

Paul Franz, Franklin County's photographer

Friday, July 25, 2014

One recent morning when senior Recorder photographer Paul Franz was driving his daughter to school, he saw a man riding a bicycle in the pouring rain, one hand on the handlebars, the other holding an enormous umbrella the size of a patio umbrella over his head as he pedaled through the deluge. Franz shakes his head. “It seems like I … 0

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 … 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

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

Tail Mix: nature activities in our area

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Northfield Mountain 99 Millers Falls Road (Route 63), Northfield. 413-659-3714 or 800-859-2960. Owned and operated by FirstLight Power Resources. www.firstlightpower.com/ ∎ Moth Night. Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center, Friday, July 11, 8 to 11:30 p.m. Learn about … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Cool meals for hot days

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK On these hot days, I’m eating lots of cool, crunchy vegetables I’ve bought at farmers markets and farm stands. Along with salads, I’ve been munching on sugar snap peas. Cucumbers are my crunchy green vegetable of choice on hot days. I love cucumber sandwiches made … 0