I fall in love easy. I’ve been mad about river otters and star-nosed moles and, of course, the venomous short-tailed shrew. But my first love was a creature that is almost mythical, a shadow lingering on the edges of time. There wasn’t much of it, merely bones, teeth, scraps of hair and an o…

Even for a Monday morning, this week’s is unusually somber. It’s Veterans Day. Just 101 years ago today, delegations representing the Allies and Germany, convening in the parked railway car of Marshal Foch of France, signed the armistice that ended the four years of muddy, bloody, trench war…

Woolly bear caterpillars seem to be everywhere these days — creeping across the lawn, along the road when I’m walking the dog, hidden in the wilted cut-back of the perennial garden. Last week, I found a woolly bear curled up in a shoe I’d left on the front porch. These fuzzy, black-and-brown…

We walk together in the park almost every day, she and I. More accurately, I shuffle, shamble and stumble; she zooms, leaps and bounds. There’s probably no way to describe the pure joy of watching her scour the woods for the prey that (thankfully) always eludes her by scampering up a tree or…

Last year, I showed up to work on Oct. 31 in one of my old park ranger’s uniforms, torn to fake-bloody shreds in an imaginary bear attack. One year earlier, I drank smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner because, ironically, my prosthetic vampire fangs were too fragile to sink into solid …

Finally, the tamaracks in the lower yard have turned yellow. I unconsciously scan their branches for the dark blob of a spruce grouse and then remember there aren’t any around here. In a week, those coppery needles will be all gone and the trees, clearly conifers, will look dead. They’ll be …

Let amaryllis fill your home with flowers for the holidays and keep the blossoms coming all winter long. When you plant several different types of amaryllis bulbs from both the southern and northern hemisphere, you can be sure to get a long-lasting, colorful show that will brighten your mood…

GUN BARREL CITY, Texas — Did you know that my oldest brother was a cowboy? Not the phony, Dallas-bound, $300 cowboy boots kind, or a ya’ll machine who likes to call himself a cowboy. No, Gary is a true cowboy, having bred and raised paint horses for years and now, at the age of 77, still rid…

If anyone were to ask — and some people have asked — what I like best about my job as the genial, geriatric host of “Windows to the Wild,” I’d be hard-pressed to pick out the one most enjoyable thing. One big plus is, I get to see places I’ve never seen before, and never would have otherwise…

On spring evenings, just before dark, I used to hear a faint drumroll coming from somewhere off in the wooded hills. It sounded to me like an old tractor starting up, although it seemed like an odd time for a farmer to start work. I later learned it was the drumming of a ruffed grouse. Not a…

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The easiest crop I grow every year is garlic. I plant it in October, mulch it well, and harvest it in early August. That’s it. If it’s well-mulched, I don’t even have to weed the bed more than once or twice. Not only that, I use this year’s harvest to plant next year’s crop, so it’s free. Ea…

Vermont was the crumple zone in the collision between the Adirondacks to the west and the long-since-retreated continent of Proto-Eurasia to the east. Its bedrock was once the continental shelf under the ancient ocean geologists have named Iapetus. As my friend Put and I headed west from Mon…

Bill Walsh lives in East Barre. When we had lunch at a downtown restaurant a few weeks ago, he handed me a picture of a fisher-cat that he had photographed through his living room window. The black, furry creature, walking through Bill’s backyard, seemed indifferent to the civilization in hi…

A breast cancer diagnosis at age 41 in 2018 tore my life apart and then put it back together again. Cancer presents serious physical, mental, emotional and financial burdens which are difficult to understand unless you have experienced it personally. Living in rural Vermont with family and f…

Oct. 13-19 is National Case Management Week. Case managers play an integral role in our health-care delivery system. They act as advocates, educators, navigators and resource managers, helping patients understand and manage their condition, find and gain access to services, and obtain high-q…

After an up-and-down push through very hilly country in western Rutland County, I found the terrain had changed into some flat, wide open, hard woods. Before venturing ahead, I slipped a diaphragm call into my mouth and cut loose with a series of yelps. This was on a clear, cold morning, lat…

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It’s happened again. Leaves are getting crispy, flowers are going to seed and the air is beginning to cool. As hard frosts become a reality, it is almost time to start thinking about cutting back our perennials and putting our gardens to bed.

Allegedly, there’s an item in the military code of conduct suggesting no one under orders is obliged to obey any that are illegal or immoral. Clearly, if history is an accurate guide, there’s nothing in there about stupid orders. Thus, if I’d been a trooper under Lt. Col. George Custer’s Sev…