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On The Trail
A Greenfield Meadows bear that tore up five plastic-wrapped hay bales a couple of weeks ago in the Greenfield Meadows heads out of Dodge after several cars slowed to watch it and one man even rolled down his window and yelled at him to stop messing with his farmer firend's hay bales.
Submitted photo

On the Trail: Photo finish

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I can’t claim shock because I had an idea a neighbor or random passerby had probably seen that bear my dogs and I recently jumped out of a narrow strip of wetland before it tore up five plastic-covered hay bales nestled along an adjacent tree line above. In fact, I was confident additional information would come my way. Hey, maybe … 0

On the Trail: Summer mode

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It started early last week with a startling sound, an invisible burst of energy, a rumble in the jungle, a rustling, brush- and stick-busting sprint by something near and heavy fleeing up the escarpment from a narrow wetland framing the northwestern perimeter of Sunken Meadow. It was a Tuesday morning and the dogs and I were working our way around a large sumac … 0

On The Trail: Oxbow summit

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It’s a hot, hazy mid-afternoon, storm threatening, me standing atop Mt. Sugarloaf, a Pioneer Valley landmark whose summit view never gets old to an old guy who climbed it often as a kid. Standing beside me on the lower tier of the observation tower is Dr. Marjorie Holland, a scholar passing through old haunts from her current Ole Miss station, where she teaches … 0

On The Trail: Denial games

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I’m not certain whether the short introductory note topping an email sent my way this week was fueled by exuberance, defiance or relief. Then again, does it really matter? Let’s just call enthusiastic cougar-researcher Ray Weber triumphant indeed. … 0

On The Trail: Whispering winds

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sights, sounds and smells: hourly stimuli awaiting a well-placed flick of the forefinger to set the pinwheel into a blurry gyre that can flitter off to enticing places, if you let it. If you don’t dare, well, you … 0

On The Trail: Attic treasure

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Whew! This prehistory stuff is attacking like rogue waves, one after another — wild, powerful and quite exciting. No, I’m not bellyaching. I won’t allow this stubborn winter that’s clinging with a white-knuckled grip to get me down … 0

On The Trail: Whims & whispers

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I should know better than to read Henry Miller. The bad-boy American novelist disrupts a guarded spot in me that likes to be roiled, ignited to a tumultuous boil, furious bubbles bursting through the surface into a belching, … 0

On the Trail: Twists and turns

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It wasn’t the oh-so familiar yet faded scene — a dark, dingy basement classroom in the bowels of UMass’ Bartlett Hall — that left an impression on me. No, no, no! It was the Coppertone man, a long, … 0

On The Trail: Divine intervention, plus

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cabin fever? Nope, not me. It’s true the dead of winter is upon us, the temperatures frigid indeed. Yet for some reason, it doesn’t seem to matter this year, news swarming like black flies, the brittle carcasses piling … 0

On The Trail: Thought splash

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yeah, yeah, I know. We’ve all cleaned up from one storm, with another looming large, so the early-week slate’s been wiped clean, the stage reset, so to speak. Yet still, sometimes a man who does what I do … 0

On The Trail: Oxbow island

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The task now confronting me appears at first glance as a steep hill to climb on many levels. Where to start? That’s my first dilemma, because you must understand we’re dealing with a complex subject in a place familiar to few, except maybe by distant observation out the … 0

On the Trail: Fearmongering

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gripped by the cold, I blinked Wednesday morning. Well, sort of. Nothing serious, mind you. Just that I foolishly decided before testing the elements that I’d feed the dogs, humor them briefly out by the brook, put them in the box stall with fresh water, and forego our … 0

On the Trail: Faraway feedback

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It’s Wednesday morning, sunny and warm. I’m returning from a splendid riverside walk with the dogs when I spot the approach of a young fella I often pass and seldom address, he pushing a covered stroller eastward on … 0

On the Trail: Dire Wolf

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

That cold, sly, crescent sliver of the New Year’s first moon wore the mischievous grin of a city slicker peering down from the deep, twinkling, southern weekend sky. To me, the ominous message was clear: beware the Wolf Moon. Who knew, the wind a howling, that developments were … 0

On The Trail: Debunking myths

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

OK, it’s time to correct the record. Well, let’s just say set it straight as can be expected, because, well, you know, hypotheses can always change. I’m not here to apologize, and have no regrets. No, it’s just that, having read and pondered and listened and spoken to … 0