The Outside Story Archive

  • Sliding Shenanigans thumbnail

    Sliding Shenanigans

    by Susie Spikol Faber | February 22nd 2018
    I have been living with an otter. He’s long and sleek, a graceful swimmer with an insatiable appetite for fish. At first he was just…

  • Hoarfrost thumbnail

    Hoarfrost

    by Joe Rankin | February 19th 2018
    In folklore and literature, Jack Frost is often portrayed as a mischievous guy, sort of Old Man Winter’s younger self. He’s a personification of everything…

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    Northern Visitors

    by Carolyn Lorié | February 12th 2018
    I have been keeping a close watch on my birdfeeders. Not only because I love seeing the juncos and goldfinches that arrive in flocks, and…

  • Ice-Out Days and Climate Change thumbnail

    Ice-Out Days and Climate Change

    by Declan McCabe | February 5th 2018
    While driving down from Isle La Motte in early December, my son and I noticed a fine skim of ice floating down the Alburg Passage.…

  • Twice in a Blue Moon thumbnail

    Twice in a Blue Moon

    by Carolyn Lorié | January 29th 2018
    On the night of December 3, 2017, a moon rose that was unlike any other of the year. Not only was it full, but it…

  • A Woodburning Life thumbnail

    A Woodburning Life

    by Laurie D. Morrissey | January 22nd 2018
    At about 9:00 on an overcast November Saturday, a group gathered at the edge of the Hopkinton/Webster Transfer Station (hereafter referred to as the dump,…

  • Bird Smell is Nothing to Sniff At thumbnail

    Bird Smell is Nothing to Sniff At

    by Carolyn Lorié | January 15th 2018
    I have spent about a decade as a backyard birder and have learned quite a bit in that time. I can instantly recognize the call…

  • No Fuss X-Mas Tree Recycling thumbnail

    No Fuss X-Mas Tree Recycling

    by Dave Mance III | January 8th 2018
    In urban and suburban areas, Christmas tree disposal has come a long way since the bad old days when trees were just compacted with the…

  • Quaking Aspen: Capturing Winter Light thumbnail

    Quaking Aspen: Capturing Winter Light

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | January 1st 2018
    Near the house where I lived during my Colorado years, there was a trail that wove through a sprawling grove of perfect quaking aspen trees.…

  • Beech Bark Disease thumbnail

    Beech Bark Disease

    by Joe Rankin | December 26th 2017
    If you’ve ever seen chevrons on the bark of an American beech, you know you’re looking at a tree that’s been hugged by a black…

  • Cluster Flies thumbnail

    Cluster Flies

    by Elise Tillinghast | December 18th 2017
    So here’s my movie concept: during a laboratory accident, a scientist exchanges his DNA with a fly. Over the next few weeks, our hero slowly…

  • The Afterlife of Logs thumbnail

    The Afterlife of Logs

    by Declan McCabe | December 11th 2017
    My three children have participated in a Four Winds Nature Institute program that recruits adult family members to lead grade-school nature learning. I have worked…

  • Liverworts thumbnail

    Liverworts

    by Susan Shea | December 4th 2017
    I followed a stream downhill through the woods as it coursed through a small ravine. At the base of the hill, just before the brook…

  • Nuthatches: The Upside Down Birds thumbnail

    Nuthatches: The Upside Down Birds

    by Joe Rankin | November 27th 2017
    Like many people who watch birds, I have my favorites. The nuthatches, for instance. Quirky little birds. Shaped like stubby cigars, with their short tails…

  • Coyotes Prepare for Winter thumbnail

    Coyotes Prepare for Winter

    by Susie Spikol Faber | November 20th 2017
    Eight years ago, my husband and I planted 128 fruit trees on a hillside, mostly apples, but the back few rows included stone fruits. Our…

  • Succession: How a Forest Creates and Re-creates Itself thumbnail

    Succession: How a Forest Creates and Re-creates Itself

    by Joe Rankin | November 13th 2017
    A few years ago, I started an observational experiment in forest succession on a couple of acres where we once pastured sheep and goats. Rocky…

  • Goldenrod Golf Balls thumbnail

    Goldenrod Golf Balls

    by Declan McCabe | November 6th 2017
    A few Thanksgivings ago, my then-ten-year-old daughter and I went for an afternoon stroll.  Unseasonably warm weather made for a longer than planned walk through…

  • Reflections on Roadkill thumbnail

    Reflections on Roadkill

    by Brett Amy Thelen | November 2nd 2017
    Every so often, my friend David texts me a picture of roadkill. A fisher trailing a single strand of blood-red sinew. A wind-roused pile of…

  • Bears Make Their Beds, and Soon They’ll Lie in Them thumbnail

    Bears Make Their Beds, and Soon They’ll Lie in Them

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | October 24th 2017
    The fields around our home are something of a bear buffet from mid-summer through fall: wild blueberries in July followed by blackberries, then apples come…

  • Hearts and Minds thumbnail

    Hearts and Minds

    by Dave Mance III | October 16th 2017
    Writers love conflict, and so we often put religion and science in a small pen and make them fight, our readers standing around with fistfuls…