The Outside Story Archive

  • 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…

  • Gregarious Great Blue Herons thumbnail

    Gregarious Great Blue Herons

    by Susan Shea | June 25th 2018
    Years ago, friends and I spotted a group of huge nests high in the trees along the edge of a large pond: a great blue…

  • A Volcano in New Hampshire? thumbnail

    A Volcano in New Hampshire?

    by Rachel Marie Sargent | June 18th 2018
    North of Concord and south of the White Mountains is an estate romantically named Castle in the Clouds. Reclining on the patio there on a…

  • A Slow Start for Snapping Turtles thumbnail

    A Slow Start for Snapping Turtles

    by Brett Amy Thelen | June 11th 2018
    One moonless May evening, my husband and I walked down to our local pond, flashlights in hand, to look for toads. We were delighted to…

  • Turkey Vultures thumbnail

    Turkey Vultures

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | June 4th 2018
    “Mom, there’s a really big crow in the compost,” my son said one day early this spring, followed closely by, “Wait. What is that bird?…

  • Appreciating Woodchucks thumbnail

    Appreciating Woodchucks

    by Susan Shea | May 25th 2018
    One summer we had an ongoing battle with a woodchuck. Unbeknownst to us, it had dug a burrow in an ideal location — in the…

  • Mountain Laurel thumbnail

    Mountain Laurel

    by Laurie D. Morrissey | May 21st 2018
    If you were fortunate enough to grow up with freedom to roam outdoors, there are likely certain places that stick with you. For me, one…

  • Emerald Ash Borers thumbnail

    Emerald Ash Borers

    by Declan McCabe | May 15th 2018
    Jim Fuller, a former park ranger at Vermont’s Grand Isle State Park, described this interaction with a tourist from New Jersey, when he confiscated their…

  • A Web of Mystery thumbnail

    A Web of Mystery

    by Madeline Bodin | May 8th 2018
    Janet Hayward Burnham, of Bethel,  Vermont, was driving to the bank one day when she saw a tree on the side of the road that…

  • Mute Swans thumbnail

    Mute Swans

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | April 27th 2018
    The big white birds paddling gracefully across a Massachusetts pond last November surprised me. I’d grown up in the town I was visiting and had…

  • Dinosaur Tracks thumbnail

    Dinosaur Tracks

    by Rachel Marie Sargent | April 23rd 2018
    Imagine taking a walk through a part of New England you’ve never seen—how it was 190 million years ago. This New England is hot, and…

  • April Showers thumbnail

    April Showers

    by Carolyn LoriƩ | April 13th 2018
    In the pre-dawn hours of April 22, the Lyrid meteor shower will peak. About 15 to 20 meteors will be visible each hour, which really…

  • Porcupine Salt Cravings thumbnail

    Porcupine Salt Cravings

    by Susan Shea | April 9th 2018
    When I was growing up, my family rented a vacation home on a mountain in southern Vermont. One night we were awakened by our dogs…

  • March of the Salamanders thumbnail

    March of the Salamanders

    by Brett Amy Thelen | April 2nd 2018
    There’s a myth environmental educators like to tell, and it goes something like this: after every long northern winter, spring returns. Days lengthen, temperatures rise,…

  • Spring Raccoons thumbnail

    Spring Raccoons

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | March 26th 2018
    Often, during my forays into the woods behind our house, I wonder who might be occupying the holes carved into tree trunks by time and…

  • Stone Walls thumbnail

    Stone Walls

    by Joe Rankin | March 19th 2018
    When you think about the iconic landforms of the Northeast, what comes to mind? The mountains, of course. The lakes. Of course. Rivers? Probably. But…

  • Early Arrivers thumbnail

    Early Arrivers

    by Carolyn LoriƩ | March 12th 2018
    May is bird heaven in our region. All the species that headed south the previous year are back: the flycatchers, vireos and thrushes; the warblers,…

  • Upside-Down Aquatics thumbnail

    Upside-Down Aquatics

    by Declan McCabe | March 5th 2018
    I had just finished my safety talk to some middle school students when I heard a bloodcurdling scream. In many years handling aquatic insects and…