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Life & Times

GREENFIELD - November 8, 2014. Contra dancing (Sometimes described as New England folk dance) at the Guiding Star Grange #1 Photo by Beth Reynolds

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 felt I was in the middle of a new-age Jane Austen novel and about to be swept into a formal dance. Then, … 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 or food preferences, but mostly, for the pleasure of cooking. They practically beg to bring … 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 air, coalescing beneath the tea lover’s nose. That’s when inspiration struck. The experience gave him … 0

Between the Rows: These berries are for the birds

Friday, October 3, 2014

Feeding the birds is a enjoyable activity, but because I have always had cats, I have planted highbush cranberries, holly and cotoneaster instead of putting up bird feeders. However, my first reason for planting these shrubs that produce … 0

Put your pudding where your mouth is

Friday, September 19, 2014

“When all the men returned home victorious (from the Revolutionary War) and without serious injury in 1777, what a celebration there must have been! Could this have been the reason for the ‘pudding contest?’” — From “Hawley, Massachusetts: … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Doing our part

Friday, October 3, 2014

By MARY MCCLINTOCK I love a good work party, the satisfaction of seeing a huge heap of firewood transformed into covered, safe-from-the-snow stacks or bushels of apples turned into jars of sauce. While some people think “many hands make light work” is a cliché, I bet they don’t … 0

Said & Done: Some hunting dogs get lost, others just take off

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Halfway between Brattleboro and Bennington, somewhat north of the Molly Stark Trail, there stands a dead pine tree. It is not alone. It is distinguished, however, by a weathered board bearing this notice: “Lost — beagle hunting dog.” A telephone number (Worcester) tells where to be in touch … 0

Kids and Critters: mushrooms

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The beginning of autumn marks that time of year when the green leaves of summer finally “fall” off the trees. This a particularly beautiful time of year here in New England, but what you might not know is … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, October 1, 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

Between the Rows: Flowers of autumn

Friday, September 26, 2014

Iyou are planning a flower garden, it’s a good idea to consider what kinds of flowers bloom well into the fall. Chrysanthemums immediately come to mind, if only because in September every supermarket dresses itself with ranks of … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Forester to lead walk through Wendell Town Forest Oct. 4 WENDELL — Forester Mike Mauri will lead a walk through the Wendell Town Forest off Montague Road on Saturday, Oct. 4. Mauri will discuss timber management strategies designed to enhance both the productivity of a section of the … 0

Speaking of Nature: Pied-billed grebes do exits!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

One of the great joys of my life has been the ever-growing relationship that I have with the birds of the world. As time passes, I find that I learn more and more about our avian neighbors and … 0

Voice of Audubon: western Massachusetts bird sightings

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A Connecticut warbler was found in Wendell. A flight of 1,700 broad-winged hawks went over Shatterack Mountain in Russell. Small numbers of most captor species continue to be seen over area hawk … 0