Tiny saw-whet owls are on the move

Tiny saw-whet owls are on the move

By BRETT AMY THELEN Every autumn, when the air tastes of apples and leaves crunch underfoot, my thoughts turn to tiny owls – northern saw-whet owls (Aegolius acadicus), to be exact. Just eight inches in length with a round head and bright yellow eyes, the saw-whet is arguably New England’s most endearing owl. Deer mice,… Read More »

Boxelders’ namesake bugs like to spend winter indoors

Boxelders’ namesake bugs like to spend winter indoors

By JOE RANKIN Comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s shtick was the phrase “I don’t get no respect,” always followed by one of his great self-deprecatory one-liners. If Rodney Dangerfield were a tree, he might be Acer negundo – the Boxelder, which also gets no respect. When Boxelder isn’t being ignored, it’s being disparaged, dismissed, or damned with… Read More »

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 »