Tag Archives: susan shea

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…

A plague of ticks: scientists search for solutions
The Outside Story
September 20, 2017

A plague of ticks: scientists search for solutions

By Susan Shea

On a hike this spring, we walked through a clear-cut area with tall grass and brambles. Afterwards, our pant legs were crawling with black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), also known as deer ticks, the kind that carry Lyme disease. Scientists with the Vermont…

Twilight singer: The Hermit Thrush
Column
May 31, 2017

Twilight singer: The Hermit Thrush

By Susan Shea

If you take a walk in the woods on a summer evening, you may be treated to the ethereal, flute-like song of the hermit thrush, often the only bird still singing at dusk (and the first bird to sing in the morning)….

Return of the missing lynx
Column
April 12, 2017

Return of the missing lynx

By Susan Shea

In the northern forest of New England, a big gray cat crouches silently in a dense thicket of fir along a snowshoe hare run. Its pointed ears, topped with long tufts of black hair, twitch as it listens intently. The cat’s face…

The Outside Story: Lady’s-slipper season
The Outside Story
June 9, 2016

The Outside Story: Lady’s-slipper season

By Susan Shea

I’ll never forget my first encounter with lady’s-slippers. While hiking the Long Trail in southern Vermont one June, we camped near a remote pond. Our tent site beneath an evergreen canopy was surrounded by the flowers. Each hung from a stalk that…

The Outside Story: How are caves created?
The Outside Story
March 23, 2016

The Outside Story: How are caves created?

By Susan Shea

To enter the cave, we donned hard hats and descended a vertical drop with the aid of a rope. We crawled on our knees and bellies through a wet, narrow passageway, emerging into a large underground chamber that contained a small lake….

The Outside Story: Fawns hide in plain sight
The Outside Story
June 4, 2015

The Outside Story: Fawns hide in plain sight

By Susan Shea

Last May, while out hiking, I came across a young fawn curled up in the ferns only three feet from the Appalachian Trail. My husband and our dog had already walked right by without noticing it. I quickly snapped a few photos…

The Outside Story: Ever smell an otter?
Column
October 1, 2014

The Outside Story: Ever smell an otter?

By Susan Shea

We slid our canoe over the beaver dam and paddled into the upper, smaller pond. A breeze rippled the water and rustled the reeds lining the shore. Suddenly I spied four long, sleek brown figures cavorting in the water—otters! They submerged quickly…