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Outdoors

Speaking of Nature: Bill’s vacation nemesis

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back in January, when my beautiful wife Susan approached me about planning our summer vacation, I listened intently as she explained her reasoning about attempting our longest vacation to date. Instead of just one week, she wanted to try for two and, in her mind, the only feasible destination was Martha’s Vineyard. No phones, no electronics, no communication with the … 0

Trail Mix: Outdoor activities in our area

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Northfield hike Sunday The Third Sunday Northfield Hike is scheduled for this weekend. As as usual, people will meet in the parking area behind Town … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in our area

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. Great egrets were reported in Longmeadow, Hadley, New Salem … 0

Speaking of Nature: the snapping turtle

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May is a time of new life. Flowering plants begin to seek help from the insects, offering nectar in the hope that the insects will accidentally assist in cross-pollination. Birds, many of whom have just finished migrating great … 0

Voice of Audubon: local bird sightings

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Western Voice of Audubon. The fallout of migrants due to cool and wet weather continued this week with more reports of uncommon species such as great egret, Virginia rail, lesser yellowlegs, least sandpiper and black-billed cuckoo. Also seen … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in our area

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Northfield Mountain 99 Millers Falls Road (Route 63), Northfield. 413-659-3714 or 800-859-2960. Owned and operated by FirstLight Power Resources. www.firstlightpower.com/ ∎ Join Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center staff naturalist Kim Noyes on Sunday, June 1, from 10 … 0

Speaking of Nature: Follow your nose to the black cherry tree

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Taking a walk in the woods is a particular pleasure in the spring. After being cooped up inside all winter, it can be delightful to immerse one’s self under a verdant canopy of life. The smell of the … 0

Trail Mix: May 15 to 21

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Northfield Hike in Satan’s Kingdom May 18 The third-Sunday-of-the-month hike in Northfield will be in Satan’s Kingdom in West Northfield on Sunday, May 18. The trail, an old logging road and easy to walk, rises about 250 feet in about a mile-and-a-half, to a partial view of the … 0

Voices of Audubon, May 15

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Western Voice of Audubon. Showers and southerly winds have brought a wide variety of migrant and resident species to the region, including greater yellowlegs, lesser yellowlegs, least sandpiper, sora and Virginia rail. Also arriving were black-billed cuckoo, willow flycatcher, Swainson’s … 0

Speaking of Nature: Dive into vernal pools

Thursday, May 8, 2014

We are generally aware of the locations of the permanent ponds in our neighborhoods, but in springtime there are also temporary pools that will appear in the woods. These pools, called vernal pools because of their association with … 0

Trail Mix: May 8 to 14

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mass Audubon’s annual Bird-a-thon May 16-17 Mass Audubon’s annual Bird-a-thon, a friendly fundraising competition to support conservation throughout the state, is again expected to inspire hundreds of dedicated enthusiasts in a 24-hour bird identification contest, May 16-17. The statewide contest challenges teams of birders to identify the most … 0

Voices of Audubon

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Western Voice of Audubon. Southerly winds and sunny days brought an arrival of resident songbirds from the south. The most notable were ruby-throated hummingbird, great crested flycatcher, least flycatcher, blue-winged warbler, American redstart, northern waterthrush, indigo bunting and orchard oriole. … 0

Kids & Critters: The wood frog

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I went for a walk with my wife this past weekend and while we were walking along a section of roadway that ran through a forested area, we heard a curious sound. It wasn’t a crow, but it … 0