The Outside Story

The Outside Story
February 28, 2019

Just a random rock

By Dave Mance III

Act One opens in a forest on the western slopes of the Taconic Mountains in southwestern Vermont. A man in his 40’s is walking with his former high-school geology teacher – a man now in his 70’s. Amid the towering trees,…

Feeding deer does much harm, little good
The Outside Story
February 20, 2019

Feeding deer does much harm, little good

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

A few winters back, a doe  frequented our compost heap. The garden fence around it proved an inadequate barrier, as she simply hopped over it to nosh on the rotting shards of jack-o-lanterns and the latest veggie scraps tossed atop the…

The sociable gray squirrel
The Outside Story
February 14, 2019

The sociable gray squirrel

By Susan Shea

On winter mornings when I look out my window, I often see a gray squirrel clinging upside down to the post supporting my bird feeder, with his front paws in the tray, munching sunflower seeds. Sometimes, a much smaller red squirrel is…

The Outside Story
February 6, 2019

Sundogs, halos and glitter, Oh, my!

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

Had a unicorn pranced across the trail in front of me, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

It was one of those sparkly winter days, when snow drapes fir trees and glints across the landscape. I was at the top of Cannon…

Ice capades
The Outside Story
January 23, 2019

Ice capades

By Declan McCabe

Come mid-January, when I’m acclimatized to Vermont’s winter, I enjoy an occasional stroll on the icy surface of Lake Champlain. I favor bays sheltered from the brunt of winter winds where the ice has had ample time to thicken. I pull microspikes…

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…