Said and Done

Said & Done: Our New Hampshire hostel

Sunday, January 31, 2016

On April Fool’s Day in 1942 New Hampshire went to bed under a blanket of snow three feet deep. The next day spring reasserted itself. Residents who had taken to the outdoors for last-chance winter play lost pounds in perspiration under a revitalized sun. Within 48 hours the snow was gone. Robins were abroad playing king of the hill. In New England this kind of meteorological tomfoolery never comes as … 0

Said & Done: Birding on Bald Mountain and beyond

Sunday, January 3, 2016

When old Lawrence Gale owned a working farm on Bald Mountain Road in Bernardston, you could get up mornings to hear bobwhites whistling to each other in the weeds. Interstate 91 had not come at that time to cut up the valley and annihilate the ground cover that hid these birds from interested … 0

Said & Done: Paul's 'troika' Thanksgiving

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Nobody in these parts has ever seen a “troika.” New Englanders with memories can conjure up pictures of horse teams of two: Harry and Tom in harness hauling a wagon or a sled. Even today, in these rural parts we occasionally see teams in action along our country roads. But a troika, three horses abreast, is a Russian thing, never seen in our … 0

Go where the wild geese go

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The best part of a trip to Boston is the drive back to Greenfield. Not that Boston lacks charm and attraction. It’s a fine place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Boston, or any other of our supersize cities, if … 0

A story of death, a story of life

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We pulled the car window down to witness an animal confrontation as funny as it was desperate. Two crows were doing their best to beat a squirrel out of an ear of corn. The squirrel was not to be intimidated. It had salvaged the corn from beneath snow … 0

Beware birdwatching with the experts ... it can be embarrassing

Monday, November 12, 2012

Three pileated woodpeckers flew in a column tracing capital in their undulating flight. One pileated woodpecker at a time is a fair rarity, three is a bonus. That sighting was made several years ago in the course of a hike in Vermont. it was in the fall when … 0

Santa Claus, fire & an ancient tree

Thursday, December 6, 2012

W e got home from church on Christmas Day to find Santa Claus standing on our chimney. From the top of our hill, half a mile away, before we plunged into the valley, we could see him clearly. It was only a glimpse, but enough to persuade us … 0

Voice of Audubon

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mary Curley had the form and grace of a scrub woman. Her family was what old American gentry used to call “lace-curtain Irish.” Mary Curley rose above impoverished beginnings. She put herself through two years of required “normal school” to earn a teaching certificate, eventually finding a position … 0

Said & Done

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The only thing worse than getting egg on your face is having to eat crow at the same time. Max Zeller once saved us from that embarrassment. You probably did not know Max Zeller. He’s no longer in the land of the living. His kindness years ago is … 0

He lived & died alone, by choice

Thursday, August 1, 2013

When the men in town buried him, they put his meerschaum in the casket with him. Some time in the first quarter of the last century, he came to that small rural town and built a three-room cabin. We saw it before it burned down. It was neat … 0

My name is down for all today’s events

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Editor’s note: An incomplete version of this column ran last month. Here is the complete column. “Full Program”  Great Britain, Punch, 1946 My name is down for all today’s events, the hurdles and the sprints. I’ll not stick at the hundred meters flat, the half-mile dash; I’ll take … 0

To hell in a handbasket? ... why not?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The character who coined the expression “going to hell in a hand-basket” probably thought of himself as a clever fellow, a linguistic tap-dancer. All we can say is that if hell was his preoccupation, we hope his basket was a single seater. Let’s face it. Given a choice … 0