It’s lunchtime on a regular Tuesday at Vermont Bicycle Shop on Main Street in Barre, and owner Darren Ohl is tending to two fat bikers. It’s not a comment on the body size of either of the riders. Rather, their winter mountain bikes are equipped with 5-inch-wide wheels, about twice the thick…

Hundreds of years ago, haunting bugle-like calls echoed through these hills and valleys. The sounds were made by bull elk to attract mates and fend off rivals. Elk in the Northeast? Yes, elk were once the most widely distributed of North American hoofed mammals. Millions roamed over much of …

I love hot and spicy peppers. As a young man, I lived in West Africa for nearly 10 years, first as a traveler, then as a Peace Corps volunteer and Peace Corps country director. I lived in Cameroon and Mali, where hot peppers were an integral part of the diet. If peppers are hot enough, they …

We’re finally getting some winter. It may be nothing like what my friend Larry up in Kugluktuk gets — he had -40º Celsius the other day, and if you know your tables, that’s the same as -40º Fahrenheit — and it may be nothing like what we old-timers remember 60 years ago, but it’ll do. The sn…

Ever see an old chair that seems different — the parts are a little more curved, the stretchers between the legs have more shape and the seat seems a little low? The informal slat-back chairs made in Canada and what would become the United States in the 17th and early 18th centuries are ofte…

The other day I was driving through New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch, where my eyes are usually drawn to the tall mountains and long, cascading waterfalls on either side of the road. But on this day my gaze shifted toward the snowbanks lining the narrow highway. The sun was shining and the lan…

Claire Robinson-White didn’t set out to be an ultra-runner and snowshoe racer, but once she discovered these sports, she was hooked. A resident of Richmond for 17 years after moving from England, she first found herself in a surgeon’s office four years ago treating a complication with her brain.

It is very difficult to identify early blown glassware from the 18th century because talented modern glass blowers can make good copies in the earlier styles and colors. Today, chemical analysis of the glass, along with other modern methods, can identify the source of the sand (silica) used …

In 2009, the Affordable Care Act set a new rule requiring hospitals to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment at least every three years in order to find out what the community sees as important to their health. Rutland Regional Medical Center has been conducting these assessments (call…

Short days and cold temps don’t lend easily to keeping families entertained, especially outdoors. Downhill skiing, sledding at the local hill, and ice skating at rinks or outdoor ponds are all great options that almost go without saying. In addition to those classic winter pastimes, here are…

Visiting a garden in winter allows me to see the bones of a garden, the internal structure which supports and enhances the flowers and leaves of the other three seasons. I like to go slowly through a winter garden to allow the spirit and essence of the garden to sink in. I recently visited t…

On any given morning, thousands of Vermonters emerge from their bedrooms and head to the kitchen for a warm cup of coffee or some breakfast. But imagine if, instead of the easy and safe journey into your kitchen, you first had to dart across a busy two-lane highway before you could find some…

My irreplaceable late wife used to get nervous when in a weekly column I announced our imminent departure for more than a day or two. She didn’t want folks to know we weren’t going to be here, with the house unguarded. Thus, I restrained myself from the habit of spilling those beans until ju…

Happy New Year! Is your 2019 resolution to stop using cigarettes, cigars, chew, electronic cigarettes or the JUUL? If so, congratulations, this is a great first step towards a healthier you. Here are some tips and information to help you achieve your goal of a healthier lifestyle.

Winter can be a real pain. It’s cold and you’re not all that eager to get outside. But there is an opportunity out there, if you have the right clothing, the right gear and the right frame of mind.

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We may remember 2018 as the year when technology’s dystopian potential became clear, from Facebook’s role enabling the harvesting of our personal data for election interference to a seemingly unending series of revelations about the dark side of Silicon Valley’s connect-everything ethos.

Winter came earlier than usual to northern New England this year — we had a white Thanksgiving — and shows no signs at the moment of going anywhere till maybe April. Most of us accept this with a certain Yankee philosophical calm — what’s the rush, when the next thing coming is mud season? —…

There’s a giant living in northern Coös County, New Hampshire. It’s a 61-foot-tall tree, the country’s largest known American mountain ash. At last measurement, it stood at a height of 61 feet and had a circumference of 70 inches. That’s outstanding for a tree that’s described by most source…

Sometimes people may develop problems with their eyelids and wonder what to do about the condition. These conditions may include lumps and bumps, drooping, or malpositions such as eyelids turning in or out, or lashes growing into the eyes and irritating them. Some conditions may be benign an…

For many of us, the coming days are a great time of faith, gratitude and celebration. Some of us, I suspect, miss the true meaning of Christmas because we get wrapped up in the giving and getting of presents. How can we not? We are constantly bombarded in the media about Black Friday, can’t-…

Over much of the world this year, desperate people have decided that their living conditions — poverty, hunger, violence, corruption — are insupportable, that almost anyplace else has got to be better than where they are, and have begun migrating toward what they hope will be better lives. T…

I once lived in a cottage perched atop a sloping field in Western Massachusetts. It was the lone structure at the edge of undeveloped forest and sat far from the road. The cottage had a large front deck with an expansive view, and a smaller one in back that faced the forest. It was under the…