MSAC Writers Corner: A Household Chore

by Ruth Mary Youngblood I am putting away our clean laundry in our oversized, walk-in closet, which we call the Trophy Room, but that is another story. Putting away clean clothes is about the only domestic chore I do anymore. It is not a result of my efforts that the clothes are ready for the drawers […]

NATURE WATCH: Ready for Spring

by Nona Estrin The thermostat has finally been turned up! Today was a classic winter day — 20s and silky new snow. Over this next month, the fate of so many creatures is in nature’s hands. We’re hearing about owls in trouble, sitting dazed all day in the open, and I know homeowners here and […]



by Miriam Hansen I confess. I ordered lisianthus seed — the flowering biennial that takes five to six months from germination to flower, requires temperatures of  70 to 75 degrees day and night and 16 hours half an inch from a bank of grow lights to germinate. Why? Because that’s what gardeners do. We love a […]

NATURE WATCH: Springtime Approaches: Time to Pair Up and Bond

by Nona Estrin   Our first sign of spring, right on schedule in spite of the cold! We look out the window on Groundhog Day to see two crows, removed from the flock, sitting quietly, side by side, on a branch arching over the yard. Both winter and their flocks are beginning to break up, […]

NATURE WATCH: Here Comes the Sun

by Nona Estrin Now comes the time of the year I most love in Vermont. Since Dec. 21 the sun, from our house, has lingered at least 25 compass degrees south of Spruce Mountain. In the next weeks the earth starts it’s tilt “south” in earnest, and within a month will be at the flanks […]

NATURE WATCH: Frigid Air Outside, Cozy Inside

by Nona Estrin   A great mass of frigid air settles over us. Even small tasks outdoors become more challenging. Being inside takes on new meaning. It’s nothing short of miraculous that we can be inside, warm, and buffered against such terrible cold. But it’s more than simply warmth. In Denmark and other northern countries there […]



by Miriam Hansen Well we’ve rung in the New Year and I couldn’t resist running a photo of the beautiful lettuce, spinach and cruciferous greens growing in January in our single-ply greenhouse with a door that doesn’t fully shut. We transplanted those greens into the greenhouse at the end of October. I’ve never started them […]

Nature Watch 12.18.14

by Nona Estrin   The sun has slowed its journey toward the south, about to pause and return. Skiing has been silky, but something is missing. I miss the golden-crowned kinglets.  When snow locks up the land, and hunters pack up for home, the woods always seemed to belong to these tiny birds. I looked […]

Eye on Montpelier 12.18.14

by Ashley Witzenberger, executive director at Montpelier Alive   You Are Invited to Downtown Montpelier to Celebrate New Year’s Eve! Here are just a few of the fun things to do on Dec. 31: 2 p.m. Central Vermont Runner’s Club’s Annual New Year’s Eve Road Race: A 5-Kilometer road running race starting at the Pavilion; […]

BARRE BEAT: Main Street Program Names New Executive Director

by Emily Kaminsky This week marks a transition in the world of downtown Barre businesses. The Barre Partnership, a Main Street program committed to creating a vibrant downtown Barre, named Josh Jerome as its new executive director. His first day on the job was Dec. 15. I caught up with him the morning of his […]