The Outside Story

The Outside Story
January 9, 2019

Sparkly snow

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

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 snow…

Column
January 1, 2019

Close proximity doesn’t always generate heat

By Carolyn Lorié

Few things seem as remote as the January sun in northern New England. We see the light, but we feel almost no heat. In this way, winter can feel like a kind of exile – there’s a sense that the…

The Outside Story
December 26, 2018

The disappearing, reappearing, American marten

By Susie Spikol

Some people keep lifelong birding lists. I’ve tried, but birds and I have never really hit it off. Too many colors, too many species, and I’m tone deaf, so birding by ear is completely beyond me. I do keep a lifelong weasel…

Column
December 18, 2018

American Mountain Ash: A rosaceae by any other name..

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By Laurie D. Morrissey

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…

The Outside Story
November 9, 2018

Southern pine beetles march north

By Joe Rankin

As if the emerald ash borer’s incursion into northern New England wasn’t enough, now there’s another potentially devastating forest pest marching this way: the southern pine beetle.

Dendroctonus frontalis – the first name means “tree murderer,” we should note – is only…

Rosy maple moth: contender for the cutest moth award
The Outside Story
August 30, 2018

Rosy maple moth: contender for the cutest moth award

By Barbara Mackay

The church service was about to begin when some breathless kids pulled me out of my seat to “come see this awesome, pretty, pink-and-yellow, fuzzy baby moth!” on the Sunday school door. It was a rosy maple moth, Dryocampa rubicunda, notable for…

The Outside Story
July 5, 2018

Web decorations

By Rachel Marie Sargent

When I was little and tagging along when my dad tended his vegetables, I would sometimes find large black and yellow garden spiders. They were beautiful, and I noticed they had a curious trait: they often added a bright…

The Outside Story
May 3, 2018

Mute swans, beautiful but harmful

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

The big white birds paddling gracefully across a Massachusetts pond last November surprised me. I’d grown up in the town I was visiting and had never seen swans there, although my friend assured me they were resident birds. The only mute…

April showers
The Outside Story
April 18, 2018

April showers

By Carolyn Lorié

In the pre-dawn hours of April 22, the Lyrid meteor shower will peak. About 15 to 20 meteors will be visible each hour, which really is not very many. By comparison, the Perseid meteor shower in August averages about 60 to 70…

The Outside Story
April 12, 2018

Porcupine salt cravings

By Susan Shea

When I was growing up, my family rented a vacation home on a mountain in southern Vermont. One night we were awakened by our dogs barking. Soon we heard a persistent gnawing on the outside of the house. My dad went to…