Knots and Bolts Archive

  • The Fen thumbnail

    The Fen

    by Bet Zimmerman Smith | Winter 2018
    The Fen is a private wildlife reserve in northeastern Connecticut. The 30-acre parcel was purchased in the spring of 2016 by Bet and Patrick Smith;…

  • Rubies and Pearls: Fruits of the Forest Floor thumbnail

    Rubies and Pearls: Fruits of the Forest Floor

    by Benjamin Lord | Winter 2018
    Foragers gravitate toward the margins – hedgerows, roadsides, the shallow waters at the edge of a pond or lake, and the unkempt boundaries between woods…

  • Backswimmers thumbnail


    by Mary Holland | Winter 2018
    While most insects in the Hemiptera order are land-dwelling (including stink bugs and assassin bugs), a few, such as these backswimmers, are aquatic. In the…

  • The Reindeer People thumbnail

    The Reindeer People

    by Kang-Chun Cheng | Winter 2018
    In January, I found myself preparing for a reindeer round-up with a Finnish family in Jääskö, one of the 54 herding districts in Lapland, Finland.…

  • World Without Whitetails thumbnail

    World Without Whitetails

    by Dave Mance III | Autumn 2018
    Editor’s Note: What follows is the first in a series of pieces that imagines what the Northern Forest would be like if history had unfolded…

  • Uncommon Trees and Shrubs thumbnail

    Uncommon Trees and Shrubs

    by Jerry Jenkins | Autumn 2018
    The Northern Forest Region contains about 265 species of woody plants. About a third, the generalists, are common in much or all of the region.…

  • Robotics Expert’s Secret Passion: Conservation thumbnail

    Robotics Expert’s Secret Passion: Conservation

    by Glenn Rosenholm | Autumn 2018
    Jim Bonesteel of Averill Park, New York, has been writing software that’s used to run robots all over the world for more than 30 years.…

  • A Look a Swiss Forests thumbnail

    A Look a Swiss Forests

    by Dr. Patrick Hiesl | Autumn 2018
    We were surrounded by mountains, some as high as 14,000 feet. It was May and snow was still to be seen on the summits. As…

  • Galinsoga: Secret Ingredient thumbnail

    Galinsoga: Secret Ingredient

    by Benjamin Lord | Autumn 2018
    There is nothing showy about Galinsoga (Galinsoga parviflora). An annual garden weed with unobtrusive flowers, Galinsoga seldom grows taller than 18 inches. Its rays are…

  • Yellow Jackets on a Bender thumbnail

    Yellow Jackets on a Bender

    by Mary Holland | Autumn 2018
    At this time of year, yellow jackets take advantage of the plethora of fermented fruit that lies underneath fruit trees. Because the queen stops producing…

  • Six Months of Flowers thumbnail

    Six Months of Flowers

    by Jerry Jenkins | Summer 2018
    Eighteen wildflowers from forests, fields, and wetlands, arranged by when they first bloom. Wildflower season in the northern forest begins in April and continues until…

  • Documenting the Apocalypse thumbnail

    Documenting the Apocalypse

    by Northern Woodlands | Summer 2018
    “In the next years, all of the ash trees in the Hubbard Brook Forest will be deleted,” said Matt Ayres. “We’re in a position to…

  • Emerald Ash Borer in Michigan thumbnail

    Emerald Ash Borer in Michigan

    by Nicholas Sanchez | Summer 2018
    Editor’s Note: On news of the emerald ash borer’s advancement in the Northeast, we reached out to forester Nicholas Sanchez in Michigan for a glimpse…

  • Universal Lessons in Israel’s Forests thumbnail

    Universal Lessons in Israel’s Forests

    by Martha Leb Molnar | Summer 2018
    I’ve traveled to Israel many times, but on my most recent trip, I found the forested hills between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem more awe-inspiring than…

  • Late Summer Corts thumbnail

    Late Summer Corts

    by Mary Holland | Summer 2018
    This slimy, purple mushroom belongs to the genus Cortinarius. With about 2,000 species, it’s the largest genus of mushrooms in the world. Mushrooms in this…

  • Milkweed: Local’s Choice thumbnail

    Milkweed: Local’s Choice

    by Benjamin Lord | Summer 2018
    All foraging is local. Wild food guides are written for audiences that may stretch across a continent, but the edibility and flavor of plants vary…

  • Written in Stone thumbnail

    Written in Stone

    by Joe Rankin | Summer 2018
    Stone walls are a defining feature of the northeastern landscape, snaking through the woods and fields, across ridges and valleys. They are monuments to life…

  • The Romanian Carpathians thumbnail

    The Romanian Carpathians

    by Yurij Bihun | Spring 2018
    The Carpathians are often referred to as “the Green Heart of Europe.” It’s a big heart: the 1,800-kilometer Carpathian arc is Europe’s largest mountain range…

  • The Economics of Managing a Small Woodlot thumbnail

    The Economics of Managing a Small Woodlot

    by Jerry Michael | Spring 2018
    Michael Tree Farm is in the Town of Triangle, in Broome County, New York. When my parents purchased a 40-acre parcel there in 1955, it…

  • Life of a Leech thumbnail

    Life of a Leech

    by Mary Holland | Spring 2018
    Of the 650 species of leeches that exist in North America, some 500 inhabit fresh water. Most are predacious, feeding on worms, snails, fish eggs,…