Outside Story

The Outside Story is a series of weekly ecology articles that has been appearing in newspapers across New Hampshire and Vermont since 2002. The series is underwritten by the Wellborn Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation - Upper Valley Region and edited by Elise Tillinghast at Northern Woodlands. To suggest a topic for a future article, inquire about writing for the series, or learn how to bring the series to your local paper, contact Elise.

Some of our favorite articles from the series have been collected in The Outside Story - local writers explore the nature of New Hampshire and Vermont and The Outside Story Vol.2, available in the Northern Woodlands online shop and at bookstores across the region.

“This is the finest, and most timeless, almanac I’ve ever seen. For those of us who cohabit northern New England with the bear and the grosbeak and the trillium, it is the single easiest (and most charming) introduction to our neighbors, to our place, and to the passage of time that’s yet been written.” - Bill McKibben


Latest Outside Story Post

Snakes on a Beach

The northern watersnake, Nerodia sipedon, has a lot going against it in the eyes of most people. I’ve watched this medium- to large-sized snake clear a crowded lakeside beach in a matter of moments. As the local naturalist in my small town, I’ve become this snake’s self-appointed public defender. I’ve stopped children chasing it with large sticks, parents with rocks ready to throw, and once, a policeman who came ready to shoot. “But it is poisonous, right?” he supposed. No, the northern watersnake is not poisonous. It does resemble a poisonous snake: the cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus, also known as the… Read More »


Visit the Outside Story Archive…