Wood-burning is a northern way of life

Wood-burning is a northern way of life

By Laurie D. Morrissey At about 9 a.m. on an overcast November Saturday, a group gathered at the edge of the Hopkinton-Webster Transfer Station (hereafter referred to as the dump, since that’s its real name and will never change). They sipped coffee, pulled on gloves, and adjusted ear protectors. Then they started to work. There… Read More »

Coyotes prepare for winter

Coyotes prepare for winter

Eight years ago, my husband and I planted 128 fruit trees on a hillside, mostly apples, but the back few rows included stone fruits. Our apples began producing with gusto after only a few years. We made gallons of cider and sold bushels of heirloom apples. But the plums have required patience. Their blossoms are… Read More »

Hunting hearts and minds

Writers love conflict, and so we often put religion and science in a small pen and make them fight, our readers standing around with fistfuls of dollars cheering one or the other on. Retrying the Scopes Monkey Trial over and over again gets boring, though. Especially when there are so many more interesting faith vs.… Read More »

The Outside Story

The Outside Story

By Brett Amy Thelan I once heard of a biologist with a clever party trick: regardless of where or when a given party was taking place, he claimed that he could produce a wild salamander in 15 minutes or less, and more often than not, he delivered. I suspect he never tried this at any… Read More »

American Goldfinch: Common bird with uncommon habits

American Goldfinch: Common bird with uncommon habits

  By Barbara Mackay I love the fact that there is always something new to observe in nature. Take goldfinches, for example. I have often watched them devour milkweed seeds from an acrobatic, upside-down position. Recently, I spotted several bright yellow males perched atop dandelion stems, plucking the seedheads at a frenzied pace. Previously, I… Read More »

Hatching a Monarch among us

Hatching a Monarch among us

By Elise Tillinghast Earlier this summer, my daughter persuaded me to bring home a monarch egg. I had misgivings. This wasn’t my first butterfly rodeo, and previous experience was discouraging. Two summers past, a friend gave us several black swallowtail caterpillars. One lived to adulthood, but all the siblings wasted away, taking on the form… Read More »