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On The Trail

On The Trail: Shad, salmon and cougars

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Although a few stragglers may yet appear here and there in different watersheds, it’s July and the 2015 Connecticut River anadromous-fish-migration season is, for all intents and purposes, over as usual. A rule of thumb is that once the river temperature stabilizes around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, American shad stop running and start spawning, Atlantic salmon have found or are zeroing in on streams where they’ll reside till fall spawning, and … 1

On The Trail: Tick talk

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Yes, it came out of the blue a couple of weeks ago by email from someone I did not know. No, her question was not unique. In fact, it seems I am asked the same question on every visit to my longtime vet’s office, and often in the public square: Are you finding a lot of ticks? Now, let me say I can … 0

On The Trail: One of the guys

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A gray, rainy afternoon brought news of the same somber hue to my Recorder desk late Monday afternoon: old friend Walter T. Kostanski Jr., known playfully to me as Honorable Walter T., was dead and gone at 91. I had just put to bed the first draft of a column suggested by a female reader explaining my unscientific take on ticks when Recorder … 0

On the Trail: Hidden wonders

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gray, damp, windy. Storm brewing. Wild-rose buds bursting into fragrant white blossoms emitting that sweet, unmistakable scent that money can’t buy. I look forward to the two weeks it annually lingers, making our daily rambles all the more pleasant. I should have known what was coming next. So … 0

On the Trail: Beaver dynamics

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

If you keep plugging at subjects of personal interest like I do, moving from one source to another — focused always on this place called home, its history, deep and shallow — you’re bound to stumble across something that instantly brings a big blurry picture into bright, stunning … 0

On The Trail: Worthwhile walk

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The tomatoes are in the ground, the rhubarb is tall, ripe and a tad tart, asparagus reaches to the heavens, robin-egg shells are underfoot, the smell of red clover is a sweet reminder of the summer to come, and things are starting to happen in the wild kingdom. … 0

On The Trail: The season of the fish

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fish are on the platter this week. And why not? This is, after all, the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend, thus the week that annually signals the end of MassWildlife’s spring trout-stocking program, which, quite by chance, I innocently happened upon while on my daily routine … 0

On The Trail: Turkeys silent as spring brightens

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Before eight chimes on the Monday-morning tall clock — gray sky, heavy air, cup of coffee in hand and headed for my customary parlor reading station by the window — it walloped me like an open, clammy palm across the puss. Ah yes, that first overpowering fragrance of … 0

On The Trail: Fiddleheads, turkeys and spring mystique

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fiddleheads and turkeys are today’s topics, plus potential peripheral musings that can always develop. It’s that time of year, I guess, when nature’s magic pokes through the forest floor overnight in bright green color, or maybe furtively peeks … 0

On The Trail: Turkey talk and housecleaning

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Full Corn-Planting Moon is building as the landscape greens, turkeys gobble and shotguns roar from distant hills. Yes, it’s spring turkey season, a fine time of year for a man so inclined. And, word out of Montville, … 0

On The Trail: Splashback

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Do rivers speak? Well, if you listen. Cool, sunny Sunday morning, 10-ish, variable wind gusting to stir small, random oak-leave tornados out in the open along the north wood line of a closed, two-acre meadow. A splendid day for a walk with the dogs — nose-dominant beasts that … 0

On The Trail: Springtime buzz

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Illuminated in a high, bright morning sun, it and a refreshing south breeze in my face, there it lay, clear as day: my trodden trail carved into a short March-brown hayfield, the thin, angled depression still easily discernible after a long, cold, snowy winter freeze, no foot-traffic I’m … 0

On The Trail: Lessons learned

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

There’s something about flowing water that I find liberating, metaphorical to human thought and emotion — be it the rattle or roar, foaming riffles descending into roily runs and step pools, the gentle swirl of frothy eddies. All of the above are likely spots for lurking trout when … 0

On The Trail: Hermit tales

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mention in last week’s “Fish tales” column of a haggard roadside hermit familiar to travelers earlier in my lifetime along Route 5 and 10 between Greenfield and South Deerfield drew additional anecdotal information from near and far that’s worth reporting. The feedback started right off last Thursday morning, … 0

On The Trail: Fish tales

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The cardinals have been singing their happy song this week, brightening my outdoor morning chores with the dogs as the snow cover shrinks. Who knows? Perhaps those beautiful red birds, too, can hear the brook gurgling through widening gaps in the thick, punky ice out back, massive, foot-thick … 0