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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

Tea Guys: Blended brews

Friday, November 14, 2014

During a visit to Piccadilly Circus in London, Tea Guys co-founder Oliver Rich came across an open-air market, where he found vendors busy at work selling fresh lemons, spices and other foods. The crisp aromas swirled in the … 0

Kids & Critters: The brown-headed cowbird

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The day before Thanksgiving, we had a really big snowstorm. I had prepared for this event by going to my local feed store and stocking up on birdseed. I wanted to make sure that all of my neighborhood … 0

Trail Mix: western Massachusetts nature activities

Wednesday, December 3, 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 … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A lark sparrow was found in the Honey Pot section of Hadley. Also seen in the Honey Pot and along Aqua Vita … 0

Between the Rows: Mary Garden

Friday, November 28, 2014

The liturgical season of Advent is a time of waiting for the momentous birth of the Christ Child. During the waiting time of Advent, I cannot help but think about what a confusing time it must have been … 0

Living Dinosaurs?

Friday, November 7, 2014

I s this gawky, Dr. Seuss-like bird — the emu — directly related to Tyrannosaurus rex? Author Elizabeth Thwing of Hawley takes her young readers through the fossil evidence, and it’s just one of a few hundred astonishing … 0

Thanks for all the birds!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I don’t know if this schizophrenic month will provide us with sun or snow, but I hope whichever it is you are able to enjoy it with friends and family. The smell of turkey roasting … 0

Voice of Audubon: western Massachusetts bird sightings

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from Voice of Audubon for Western Massachusetts. A flock of 10 northern shovelers was found at Metacomet Lake in Belchertown. Five canvasbacks and 14 ruddy ducks were on Richmond Pond … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 26, 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

Layer by layer, a historic tavern is being revealed

Friday, October 31, 2014

For Bill Flynt, Historic Deerfield’s lead architectural conservator, exploring one of Old Deerfield’s 18th century buildings is like stepping into a time machine. That’s the experience he aims to give the museum’s visitors, but many of the buildings … 0