The Outside Story Archive

  • Ice Capades thumbnail

    Ice Capades

    by Declan McCabe | January 18th 2019
    Come mid-January, when I’m acclimatized to Vermont’s winter, I enjoy an occasional stroll on the icy surface of Lake Champlain. I favor bays sheltered from…

  • Remembering the Eastern Elk thumbnail

    Remembering the Eastern Elk

    by Susan Shea | January 14th 2019
    Hundreds of years ago, haunting bugle-like calls echoed through these hills and valleys. The sounds were made by bull elk to attract mates and fend…

  • Sparkle Snow thumbnail

    Sparkle Snow

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | January 7th 2019
    The other day I was driving through New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch, where my eyes are usually drawn to the tall mountains and long, cascading waterfalls…

  • Close Proximity Doesn’t Always Generate Heat thumbnail

    Close Proximity Doesn’t Always Generate Heat

    by Carolyn LoriƩ | December 31st 2018
    Few things seem as remote as the January sun in northern New England. We see the light, but we feel almost no heat. In this…

  • The Disappearing, Reappearing, American Marten thumbnail

    The Disappearing, Reappearing, American Marten

    by Susie Spikol | December 24th 2018
    Some people keep lifelong birding lists. I’ve tried, but birds and I have never really hit it off. Too many colors, too many species, and…

  • American Mountain Ash: a Rosaceae by Any Other Name thumbnail

    American Mountain Ash: a Rosaceae by Any Other Name

    by Laurie D. Morrissey | December 17th 2018
    There’s a giant living in northern Coös County, New Hampshire. It’s a 61-foot tall tree, the country’s largest known American mountain ash. At last measurement,…

  • The Porcupine thumbnail

    The Porcupine

    by Carolyn LoriƩ | December 10th 2018
    I once lived in a cottage perched atop a sloping field in Western Massachusetts. It was the lone structure at the edge of undeveloped forest…

  • Animals and Alcohol thumbnail

    Animals and Alcohol

    by Brett Amy Thelen | December 3rd 2018
    It’s the time of year when the landscape is laid bare, the ground is impenetrable with frost, and flying insects have faded into memory. As…

  • The Soul of a Dead Woodsman thumbnail

    The Soul of a Dead Woodsman

    by Ross Caron | November 26th 2018
    The sound of the gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis) evokes an image of the North Woods: dark green spruce trees, spire-like balsam fir, and bare-branched tamaracks…

  • Flight of the Flunker Moth thumbnail

    Flight of the Flunker Moth

    by Declan McCabe | November 19th 2018
    In early November, I flicked on the porch light and took out the trash. In the brief time it took, a couple of late-season moths…

  • 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 /…