The Outside Story Archive

  • The Afterlife of Logs thumbnail

    The Afterlife of Logs

    by Declan McCabe | December 11th 2017
    My three children have participated in a Four Winds Nature Institute program that recruits adult family members to lead grade-school nature learning. I have worked… Read More »

  • Liverworts thumbnail

    Liverworts

    by Susan Shea | December 4th 2017
    I followed a stream downhill through the woods as it coursed through a small ravine. At the base of the hill, just before the brook… Read More »

  • Nuthatches: The Upside Down Birds thumbnail

    Nuthatches: The Upside Down Birds

    by Joe Rankin | November 27th 2017
    Like many people who watch birds, I have my favorites. The nuthatches, for instance. Quirky little birds. Shaped like stubby cigars, with their short tails… Read More »

  • Coyotes Prepare for Winter thumbnail

    Coyotes Prepare for Winter

    by Susie Spikol Faber | November 20th 2017
    Eight years ago, my husband and I planted 128 fruit trees on a hillside, mostly apples, but the back few rows included stone fruits. Our… Read More »

  • Succession: How a Forest Creates and Re-creates Itself thumbnail

    Succession: How a Forest Creates and Re-creates Itself

    by Joe Rankin | November 13th 2017
    A few years ago, I started an observational experiment in forest succession on a couple of acres where we once pastured sheep and goats. Rocky… Read More »

  • Goldenrod Golf Balls thumbnail

    Goldenrod Golf Balls

    by Declan McCabe | November 6th 2017
    A few Thanksgivings ago, my then-ten-year-old daughter and I went for an afternoon stroll.  Unseasonably warm weather made for a longer than planned walk through… Read More »

  • Reflections on Roadkill thumbnail

    Reflections on Roadkill

    by Brett Amy Thelen | November 2nd 2017
    Every so often, my friend David texts me a picture of roadkill. A fisher trailing a single strand of blood-red sinew. A wind-roused pile of… Read More »

  • Bears Make Their Beds, and Soon They’ll Lie in Them thumbnail

    Bears Make Their Beds, and Soon They’ll Lie in Them

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | October 24th 2017
    The fields around our home are something of a bear buffet from mid-summer through fall: wild blueberries in July followed by blackberries, then apples come… Read More »

  • Hearts and Minds thumbnail

    Hearts and Minds

    by Dave Mance III | October 16th 2017
    Writers love conflict, and so we often put religion and science in a small pen and make them fight, our readers standing around with fistfuls… Read More »

  • Chirp, Click, Buzz – Last Call for the Insect Orchestra thumbnail

    Chirp, Click, Buzz – Last Call for the Insect Orchestra

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | October 6th 2017
    This time of year, I keep the windows cracked open on even marginally warm nights, savoring the sweet air that sifts through the screens. On… Read More »

  • Amanita Aura thumbnail

    Amanita Aura

    by Dave Mance III | October 2nd 2017
    One of our big collective cultural fears about nature involves poisonous plants. Our mothers implored us to NEVER put anything from the woods in our… Read More »

  • Fog Descending On Swamp Maples thumbnail

    Fog Descending On Swamp Maples

    by Dan Lambert | September 25th 2017
    In New England, the edge of autumn feels like no other time of year. The cool nights and warm afternoons call mid-May to mind, but… Read More »

  • A Plague of Ticks: Scientists Search for Solutions thumbnail

    A Plague of Ticks: Scientists Search for Solutions

    by Susan Shea | September 18th 2017
    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… Read More »

  • Summer’s Last Exhale thumbnail

    Summer’s Last Exhale

    by Brett Amy Thelen | September 11th 2017
    The first time I saw nighthawks migrating through downtown Keene, I acted like a complete lunatic. Dozens of the slender birds were gliding down Main… Read More »

  • Salamander Party Tricks thumbnail

    Salamander Party Tricks

    by Brett Amy Thelen | September 4th 2017
    I once heard of a biologist with a clever party trick: regardless of where or when a given party was taking place, he claimed that… Read More »

  • Deerflies thumbnail

    Deerflies

    by Declan McCabe | August 28th 2017
    My students and I were conducting research in the Winooski River floodplain at Saint Michael's College last week when the buzzing became particularly intense. A… Read More »

  • A Monarch Among Us thumbnail

    A Monarch Among Us

    by Elise Tillinghast | August 18th 2017
    Earlier this summer, my daughter persuaded me to bring home a monarch egg. I had misgivings. This wasn’t my first butterfly rodeo, and previous experience… Read More »

  • A Dragon Devours the Sun thumbnail

    A Dragon Devours the Sun

    by Michael J. Caduto | August 14th 2017
    More than 3,000 years ago, the Chinese believed that a dragon ate the sun during a solar eclipse, so they gathered outdoors to drive away… Read More »

  • Caddisflies: Submerged Silk Spinners thumbnail

    Caddisflies: Submerged Silk Spinners

    by Declan McCabe | August 7th 2017
    A small boy asked “what’s your favorite insect?” I answered without hesitation: caddisflies.  Not the short-lived adults, which while charming in their own hairy moth-like… Read More »

  • Forest Tent Caterpillars: Rain on a Sunny Day? thumbnail

    Forest Tent Caterpillars: Rain on a Sunny Day?

    by Lisa Niccolai | July 31st 2017
    Walk through a hardwood forest this month and it may seem more like October than July. Trees that normally provide cool shade have bare crowns… Read More »