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

Learning naturally: Nature programs take the classroom outside

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

As he crested a densely wooded, moss-covered hill in the middle of Conway’s pine forest, Edwin Anderson, 13, of Greenfield yelled, “Wow, come and look at this!” At his call, a half-dozen other kids scrambled up the hill. … 0

Between the Rows: Pickling pondered

Friday, September 5, 2014

Harvest season is upon us. This is the reward of summer-long labors. I’ve been talking to neighbors who are canning dilly beans and corn, making peach jam and drying herbs. One neighbor is seeing what she can rescue … 0

FAQ: canning

Friday, September 5, 2014

By ANDREA WEIGL MCT Sugar and safety: Those are the two big concerns of home cooks when it comes to canning. When people even think about making their own jams or pickles, they experience what I call “recipe … 0

Hooked: Reporter David Rainville reels in a good time on the Quabbin Reservoir

Friday, August 22, 2014

The first rule of fishing in a rented boat on the Quabbin Reservoir is simple: get there early. Gate 31 off Route 122 in New Salem opens at 6 a.m. and that could already be too late depending … 0

What you need to know if you want to go fishing on the Quabbin Reservoir

Friday, August 22, 2014

NEW SALEM — If you want to rent a boat at the Quabbin Reservoir and spend the day on the water, you’ll need two things: cash and an alarm clock. Rentals start at 6 a.m. and it’s best to show up before the gate opens. Even on a … 0

Said & Done: A Monhegan Island exploration

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Said & Done this week is written on the occasion of the writer’s 92nd birthday. A year ago, sister Caroline and best friend Poesy Barlow treated me to a saltwater trip from Bar Harbor to Monhegan Island off … 0

Kids & Critters: Ambush bugs

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Now that school is in back in session, we can all start our new classes and meet our new teachers. I always enjoyed learning new things in English, math and history, but when I was a boy, I … 0

Voice of Audubon: Bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Western Voice of Audubon. Eight common mergansers, six blue-winged teal, a sanderling, a pectoral sandpiper, a yellow-billed cuckoo and an olive-sided flycatcher were seen in Longmeadow. Two great egrets, a golden plover, two semipalmated plovers, two lesser yellowlegs and a … 0

Trail Mix: Nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hike Chesterfield Gorge Pioneer Valley Institute president Richard Little will lead a four-hour hike through the Chesterfield Gorge on Saturday, Sept. 13, starting at 10 a.m. The hike is free for current PVI members and $5 (checks only please) for the general public. It will concentrate on the … 0

Between the Rows: master gardeners

Friday, August 29, 2014

Over 200 master gardeners are volunteering their knowledge and energy up and down the Pioneer Valley. You might have called upon them to test your soil at local farmers markets, or found them answering questions at the Big … 0