The Outside Story

The Color of Cranberries
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December 1, 2016

The Color of Cranberries

By Tim Traver

As a kid fidgeting at my grandmother’s Thanksgiving table, I often wondered, what’s the point of cranberries? She had a live-in Irish cook who insisted on serving whole cranberries suspended in a kind of gelatinous, inverted bog. If I ventured to eat…

Water Scorpions: underwater assassins
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November 22, 2016

Water Scorpions: underwater assassins

By Declan McCabe Recently, my daughter participated in Odyssey of the Mind, a creative problem-solving competition devoted to ingenuity and team work. As an entomologist, I was thrilled to learn that the program calls its highest award the “Ranatra fusca.” Not only was the award…

How do birds know when to migrate?
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October 12, 2016

How do birds know when to migrate?

By Carolyn Lorié On the north end of my home is a nest site favored by eastern phoebes. Every year a pair shows up, sets up house, and raises a family. They arrive early in the spring, and I spend the long days of spring and…

Vermont: running dry?
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October 5, 2016

Vermont: running dry?

By Madeline Bodin Scenes from the West’s five-year drought are striking – the cracked mud at the bottom of a dry reservoir, forests in flames. Wonder what a drought would look like in Vermont and New Hampshire? Look out the window. This is the first…

Fall Peepers
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September 28, 2016

Fall Peepers

By Michael J. Caduto We like to think that everything in nature has its own particular time and place. But nature is fond of throwing us curves. As a naturalist, a common question I’m asked during foliage season is, “Why are spring peepers calling in…

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September 21, 2016

An abundance of caution: wild food and risk

By Benjamin Lord “I’ve got a botanical question for you,” my friend said as he came into my classroom the other day. “Is black nightshade edible?” He’d found some growing near his chicken coop. “I took the tiniest bite,” he said. “I’m not sure if…

Tobacco Hornworms: big, green, and in the garden
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September 14, 2016

Tobacco Hornworms: big, green, and in the garden

By Todd McLeish The big, meaty green caterpillars that many of us have been fighting to eradicate from our gardens this summer make plenty of people squirm. In part it’s because they are among the largest caterpillars in the region, sometimes reaching close to three…

Cloudy with a chance of flies: non-biting midges
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September 7, 2016

Cloudy with a chance of flies: non-biting midges

By Declan McCabe Clouds of tiny insects, rising and falling hypnotically along lake shores, contribute to the ambiance of warm summer evenings. My recent bike ride was interrupted by a lungful of this ambiance. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, you might wonder…

Column
August 31, 2016

The dirt on roots

By Joe Rankin You can pretty much count on a tree to stay in one place, at least in the real world. Not so in fiction. Remember the walking, talking Ents in the Lord of the Rings movies? Or Groot, the tree-like alien in the…