The Outside Story Archive

  • 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 Lorié | 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…

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    Early Arrivers

    by Carolyn Lorié | 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…

  • 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


    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…

  • Northern Visitors thumbnail

    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…