On The Trail

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, when waiting for me on my first email adventure was a comment from an angler who, like me, fished a section of … 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 ice chunks still strewn high along both banks, tangled among upslope trees but finally shrinking … 0

On the Trail: Scabby mess

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Whether it was winter’s final roar or a soothing song of coming spring depends upon your perspective, I guess. But to my gray tiger cat sleeping peacefully across my lap on a bright, spring-like Monday afternoon, it was threatening indeed. Visibly alarmed, she rose to her feet, jumped down, scooted off in the opposite direction and vanished for more than an hour. It … 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

On The Trail: Lucifer’s loop

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I’m coming down the homestretch toward my annual December vacation, scurrying to tie up loose ends and button down fall chores on the home front before Thanksgiving while joyously following the dogs daily through alders, cattails and thorny clumps that’ll put a careless man flat on his face … 0

On the Trail: Adjustments

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The grandsons were in town over the weekend and they brought with them a nasty, highly contagious, Vermont elementary school virus my immune system couldn’t fight off. Thus I’m a little under the weather yet maintaining my regular routine, sort of, with the help of Alka-Seltzer Plus cocktails … 0

On The Trail: Deer friend

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Old friend Tom White of Northfield says the time is now for deer hunters to get in the woods, and the man has meat in the freezer to prove it. He took care of the familiar butchering chores Tuesday, intending when I spoke to him on the phone … 0

Time for change

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Two songs: one upbeat, joyous, the fiddle and mandolin giggling; the other foreboding, threatening, the tall stand-up base groaning in distress. I have hesitated for some time to jump into the gun-control fray, but will go there today; for what, I do not know. What do I have … 0

Cougar classrooms

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hmmmm? Isn’t it interesting, maybe even humorous how topics with furry legs and big teeth linger? Yes, here I sit — still studying ritualistic landscapes and sacred burial grounds of our ancient indigenous tribes, with a current focus on sites called Wissatinnewag and Peskeomskut, where Northeastern tribes congregated … 0

Under the lens

Thursday, March 28, 2013

You built your tower strong and tall, can’t you see it’s got to fall someday? Townes Van Zandt Tower Song Spring is the time of sprouts and seedlings, buds and leaves, floods and flowers, a season of growth and nest-building, the soggy, saturated season that stirs thought that … 0