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Life & Times

MATT BURKHARTT
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

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

Speaking of Nature: the sora

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The green months of summer are joyous times for birders. These are the months of plenty; the months when the cornucopia of avian life runneth over. Birds of every description can be found almost everywhere you look and … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in Western Massachusetts

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A black-headed gull was found Sunday in Hadley. A Barrow’s goldeneye, three canvasbacks and a red-necked grebe were seen at Turners Falls. Another red-necked grebe was found at the southern end of … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Editor’s Note: Listings in Trail Mix are free. Email outdoor@recorder.com. 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 limited. Please contact organizers to ensure you can attend. This … 0

Blue Plate Special: A new take on beef bourguignon? The Gypsy Apple Bistro’s got it covered

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

By TINKY WEISBLAT Special to The Recorder One of our area’s smallest restaurants is also one of its best. The Gypsy Apple Bistro in Shelburne Falls has room for only 20 diners, plus 12 on its diminutive patio … 0

Savoring the Seasons: After all, everyone eats ...!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK When I worked at World Eye Bookshop years ago, the last week before Christmas was when people wandered in searching for gifts for the hard-to-get-gifts-for people on their holiday shopping lists. We loved the fun challenge of helping them figure out something they would enjoy … 0

Between the Rows: Gifts for the gardener

Friday, December 12, 2014

I have never thought it very hard to find gifts for the gardener. After all, what does a gift say? I love you? I understand you? I want you to enjoy your days? I want your dreams to … 0

Thanksgiving, the ulitimate potluck

Friday, November 21, 2014

By JEANMARIE BROWNSON Chicago Tribune Long gone are the days of one person cooking the whole Thanksgiving dinner. These days, many guests volunteer to bring a part of the meal, for a bunch of reasons — special diets … 0

Speaking of Nature: Screech owl

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It was early in the morning. Actually it was too early in the morning. I had been sound asleep, dreaming of nothing that I can remember at the moment, but something was reaching down into that comfortable place … 0