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Life & Times

Mary Jo Maffei of Shutesbury stops to take a drink of water while snowshoeing with her dog Walter in the woods behind her home Friday January 9.

‘There is a sacred quality to it’

Friday, January 23, 2015

Several times a week during the winter months, Mary Jo Maffei steps into her snowshoes and heads out the back door of her Shutesbury home and off along a trail that was cut by her son. The red-blazed trail, which the family calls the Quackenbush Connector, leads uphill into a forest of hemlock, maple and birch. She hikes quickly, usually … 0

Strap on & Go!

Friday, January 23, 2015

“Put a pair of snowshoes on,” says Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center manager William Gabriel, “and you can go just about anywhere.” For those looking for more specific locations, however, here are a few: DAR State Forest, 78 Cape St., Route 112, Goshen, 268-7098, http://tinyurl.com/qy99cuj Skinner State Park, 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, 586-0350, http://tinyurl.com/mfoknft Mount Holyoke Range State Park, The … 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 green to blue-green to gold. Evergreens like pines, firs and spruces have needles, while junipers, … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from Voice of Audubon for Western Massachusetts. A Ross’s goose reported a few weeks ago has been seen briefly in flight at Turners Falls. Barrow’s goldeneyes continue to be reported at Turners Falls, Northfield and Agawam. Thirteen northern saw-whet owls … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Learning about carrots and chutney

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I love raw carrots and carrot salads, but generally don’t enjoy cooked carrots. So, on Christmas, I was a bit surprised to find myself asking for seconds (and was it thirds?) of my friend Yvonne’s carrot dish. It turns out Yvonne doesn’t normally like cooked carrots either, but … 0

Between the Rows: What’s new for 2015?

Friday, December 26, 2014

In just five days we’ll have entered a new year where unimagined things may happen. How much of 2014 did you foresee on Jan. 1, 2014? I’ll bet lots of the unimagined entered your life and I hope … 0

Speaking of Nature: 2014 — a review

Friday, December 26, 2014

Editor’s note: Bill Danileson’s Speaking of Nature column typically appears in Thursday’s newspaper. It appears here this week because The Recorder does not publish on Christmas Day. As is customary at this point of year, it is time … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Friday, December 26, 2014

Here are this some of this week’s bird sightings from Voice of Audubon for Western Massachusetts. A ROSS’S goose was found Saturday at Turners Falls, but left the area on the following morning. A Barrow’s goldeneye continues at … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Savor this season’s delights!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK Solstice has passed and here in the northern hemisphere, we’re beyond the longest night of the year. While days will slowly get longer, there are still months of winter ahead. I’m writing this column on Sunday when a bit of snow makes it looks like … 0

Holiday services: everyone is welcome

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Editor’s note: Thank you to the houses of worship that provided us with this information. If you do not see your church or temple listed here, please contact it to make sure you know what is planned. Ashfield … 0

Felted friends

Friday, December 12, 2014

Captain Jack came into Lilin Tseng’s life at just the right time. The Heath doll maker, painter and sculptor, who loves animals, was searching for a hypo allergenic dog after learning she was allergic to most breeds. First, … 0

Dave Barry’s Gift Guide

Friday, December 5, 2014

The holidays are a super-busy time of year, and it’s too easy, with all the hustle and bustle, to forget about what this season is really all about. So we will remind you: It’s about purchasing high-tech consumer … 0

Up and down the contra line

Friday, November 28, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is part of series of occasional features in which staff reporter Kathleen McKiernan writes about her experiences learning new skills; hence its name: “The Newbie.” As I faced the line of dozens of dancers, I … 1