The Outside Story Archive

  • Moon Phase and the Rut (Or: Something to Argue About at Deer Camp) thumbnail

    Moon Phase and the Rut (Or: Something to Argue About at Deer Camp)

    by Dave Mance III | November 12th 2018
    Deer hunters, like professional athletes, are always looking for an edge – it’s the nature of the pursuit. And so we’re susceptible to superstition, alluring…

  • Southern Pine Beetles March North thumbnail

    Southern Pine Beetles March North

    by Joe Rankin | November 5th 2018
    As if the emerald ash borer’s incursion into northern New England wasn’t enough, now there’s another potentially devastating forest pest marching this way: the southern…

  • Tiny Owls Are On The Move thumbnail

    Tiny Owls Are On The Move

    by Brett Amy Thelen | October 29th 2018
    Every autumn, when the air tastes of apples and leaves crunch underfoot, my thoughts turn to tiny owls – northern saw-whet owls (Aegolius acadicus) to…

  • Boxelder and its Namesake Bugs thumbnail

    Boxelder and its Namesake Bugs

    by Joe Rankin | October 22nd 2018
    Comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s shtick was the phrase, “I don't get no respect,” always followed by one of his great self-deprecatory one-liners. If Rodney Dangerfield were…

  • Don’t Mess with Anaxyrus thumbnail

    Don’t Mess with Anaxyrus

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | October 15th 2018
    When my kids were toddlers, they discovered, quite happily, a toad in a damp corner of their sandbox, tucked into the shade beneath the small,…

  • Ghost Flowers thumbnail

    Ghost Flowers

    by Susan Shea | October 8th 2018
    Where the long, slant rays are beaming, Where the shadows cool lie dreaming Pale the Indian pipes are gleaming —   Sarah Foster Davis, Summer Song…

  • Stings and Stingers thumbnail

    Stings and Stingers

    by Joe Rankin | October 1st 2018
    As a boy, I was exploring the loft of my grandmother’s barn when I disturbed a bumblebee nest among the moldering hay bales. In my…

  • Four Eyes on You thumbnail

    Four Eyes on You

    by Declan McCabe | September 24th 2018
    “What’s this shiny black beetle with four eyes?” asked Erin Hayes-Pontius, a visiting UVM student, from her microscope. Without glancing up from my own scope…

  • Snakes on a Beach thumbnail

    Snakes on a Beach

    by Susie Spikol | September 17th 2018
    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…

  • Thank a Thistle thumbnail

    Thank a Thistle

    by Laurie D. Morrissey | September 10th 2018
    There will always be thistle, said the late US Poet Laureate Maxine Kumin in one of her poems, because “Sheep will not eat it /…

  • Leeches: They Don’t All Suck Blood thumbnail

    Leeches: They Don’t All Suck Blood

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | September 3rd 2018
    Most folks who’ve enjoyed a dip in the local swimming hole – whether at a pond, lake, or river – have probably found, on occasion,…

  • Rosy Maple Moth: Contender for the Cutest Moth Award thumbnail

    Rosy Maple Moth: Contender for the Cutest Moth Award

    by Barbara Mackay | August 27th 2018
    The church service was about to begin when some breathless kids pulled me out of my seat to “come see this awesome, pretty, pink-and-yellow, fuzzy…

  • The Birds of Middle Earth thumbnail

    The Birds of Middle Earth

    by Laurie D. Morrissey | August 20th 2018
    I usually hear the kingfisher before I see it. If I’m reading by the lake, its harsh, rattling call gets my attention. I look up…

  • “Jug-o-Rum!” thumbnail


    by Susan Shea | August 13th 2018
    If you walk by a pond on a summer evening, you may hear the deep “jug-o-rum” of a bullfrog or the “tung” of a green…

  • The Northeast’s Most Alarming Insect thumbnail

    The Northeast’s Most Alarming Insect

    by Declan McCabe | August 6th 2018
    If freshwater insects did senior superlatives before graduating from aquatic life, what would yearbook entries say about dobsonflies? Largest? Most ferocious? Most likely to change…

  • House Wren Eviction thumbnail

    House Wren Eviction

    by Carolyn LoriƩ | July 30th 2018
    One afternoon in early June, a small brown bird swooped down in front of our kitchen window. I wondered where it had swooped from when,…

  • Dry Weather May Mean Less Lyme Disease thumbnail

    Dry Weather May Mean Less Lyme Disease

    by Dave Mance III | July 23rd 2018
    Over the past few decades, black-legged tick populations have grown relentlessly throughout much of southern Vermont and New Hampshire, and farther north in the Connecticut…

  • Stinkin’ Jim thumbnail

    Stinkin’ Jim

    by Susie Spikol | July 13th 2018
    I have always admired turtles and their armored ways; how they bask in the sun and retreat when the world is too much. Last summer,…

  • Dissolute Dabblers thumbnail

    Dissolute Dabblers

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | July 9th 2018
    Robert McCloskey’s Make way for Ducklings is one of my favorite childhood books. I loved the way Mr. and Mrs. Mallard interacted, their seemingly endless…

  • Web Decorations thumbnail

    Web Decorations

    by Rachel Marie Sargent | July 2nd 2018
    When I was little and tagging along when my dad tended his vegetables, I would sometimes find large black and yellow garden spiders. They were…