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Life & Times

"Hummingbirds" teacher Cailey Bloomgarden-Bredin shows Elizabeth Hoffman, 5, a water creature found in Fire Pond during a summer camp session for 5-year-olds at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton. 
Kevin Gutting photo/Adam Orth illustration

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. Some dropped to their knees as they examined a huge brown mushroom protruding from the pine needles on the forest floor. Moments later, Frank Grindrod of Conway knelt in the middle of the group and began to inspect the fungal wonder. “See how it’s all shaggy on top and on the stipe? This is called ‘The Old Man of the Woods.’” he said. “Oh, and look at … 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 on the day and the number of cars already in line when the lock comes … 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 weekday, it’s not unusual to see cars lining up before 5:30 a.m., since boats are … 0

Between the Rows: Mary Lyon Church Garden Tour

Friday, July 11, 2014

Garden tour season continues! The Mary Lyon Church garden tour is scheduled for Saturday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes seven gardens in Buckland and two gardens in West Hawley. I had the good fortune to visit Shirley Scott and Joe Giard’s garden ahead … 0

‘Thunder on the Mountain’: Monadnock Speedway is like Daytona, but smaller

Friday, July 11, 2014

Moonshiners hauling whiskey during the Roaring Twenties laid claim to beginning the age of motor racing. “They put more time, energy, thought and love into their cars than any racer ever will,” said Junior Johnson, a legendary stock … 0

Speaking of Nature: Green Herons

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The phone call came on the afternoon of July 3. It was not at all unusual for the phone to ring because of the long list of telemarketers that somehow seem to get my number. No, what made … 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