Nature Watch: Creatures Come Out For a Breath of Spring Air?

by Nona Estrin   Today the snow finally collapsed sufficiently to hold a skier and out I went, visiting places I haven’t been able to get to all winter. Tracks on a big field led me to a freshly dug-out skunk den, the dirt and snow plug lying next to it. Further on, in a […]

Downtown Barre Heating Up with Business and Cultural Activity

by Joshua Jerome BARRE — The sap is running, the birds are out, vitamin D levels are increasing and with every passing day the melting snow reveals our four-legged friends’ travel patterns throughout this past winter.  Spring is right around the corner and downtown Barre is starting to heat up already. The newly opened Positive […]

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 […]