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On The Trail

On The Trail: Weirdness

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weird: that’s how I’d characterize what’s been happening in my travels since we last met. Then, at other times, same-old, same-old, nothing at all peculiar. Oh well. That’s life. The weirdness started on my ride home from work through The Meadows before midnight a week ago. In a field where I often see deer, yup, you guessed it, a set of shining eyes I suspected to be those of a … 0

On The Trail: Sweet 16

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I returned from my daily walk with the dogs Tuesday morning, taunting firewood load piled on the lawn in front of the backyard woodshed, and was greeted by a long, narrow, triangular package leaning upright against the iron vice attached to the carriage-shed work bench by the side door. I knew what it was: a one-piece Tico Tool 12- and 16-guage shotgun cleaning … 0

On the Trail: Hunters moon

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The equinox has passed and the Hunter’s Moon is big and bright. The time’s right to write about the new bear-harvest record. But, no, even though I probably should begin with that tidbit, it happened in September and the press release arrived last week at deadline so, in my world, it’s old news by now. It appeared in my inbox late last Wednesday … 0

On the Trail: Cougar leftovers

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The brook’s rattling, snaking its way through dwindling streamside ice shelves, the once-bloated woodshed is emptying, the end in sight, my taxes are e-filed, and, well, I guess life is good, notwithstanding Spring Sports Supplement week, which always unleashes a furious scramble before the first “Play ball!” echoes … 1

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