The Outside Story Archive

  • Mystery in the Forest thumbnail

    Mystery in the Forest

    by Madeline Bodin | August 25th 2002
    Aimee Kidder hiked up a small rise and down into a dip in the forest floor. Then again, up and down across another dip. Aimee,… Read More »

  • The Garter Snake: Commonly Seen, Uncommonly Understood thumbnail

    The Garter Snake: Commonly Seen, Uncommonly Understood

    by Alan Pistorius | August 18th 2002
    “I see a garter snake in my yard once in a while,” an editor once complained to me, “but it’s never doing anything.” It’s true… Read More »

  • Ambushed! thumbnail


    by Ted Levin | August 11th 2002
    I grew up watching Walt Disney’s true-life adventures, where exotic animals from exotic lands paraded across a suburban movie screen for hour after uninterrupted hour.… Read More »

  • What the Wildflowers Say thumbnail

    What the Wildflowers Say

    by Elizabeth Thompson | August 4th 2002
    Wildflowers, ferns, mosses, and mushrooms narrate a rich story of the woods. They provide clues about climate, they disclose long-forgotten tales of hardscrabble farms, and… Read More »

  • In the Great Blue Heronry thumbnail

    In the Great Blue Heronry

    by Madeline Bodin | July 28th 2002
    We could hear the pond before we could see it. The shrill “oak-a-ree” of red-winged blackbirds could be heard well into the surrounding forest. Closer… Read More »

  • Invasive Plants and Animals thumbnail

    Invasive Plants and Animals

    by Mary McClintock | July 21st 2002
    On a visit to the Galapagos Islands a number of years ago, I quickly became used to the daily “shoe dunk in the bucket” ritual.… Read More »

  • The Misunderstood Snapper thumbnail

    The Misunderstood Snapper

    by Ted Levin | July 14th 2002
    Traversing both the north- and south-bound lanes of Interstate 91 is an achievement for a turtle, particularly an irascible thirty-pound snapping turtle whose sense of… Read More »

  • Healthy Forests? thumbnail

    Healthy Forests?

    by Virginia Barlow | July 7th 2002
    What makes a forest healthy? And can logging improve forest health? Perhaps you’ve seen ads – from paper companies, loggers, and sometimes foresters – with… Read More »

  • Queen for a Summer thumbnail

    Queen for a Summer

    by Catherine Tudish | June 30th 2002
    A couple of summers ago, while working in my garden and enjoying the company of bumblebees buzzing in the tall, ferny asparagus, I noticed something… Read More »

  • Mosquito Lullaby thumbnail

    Mosquito Lullaby

    by Madeline Bodin | June 23rd 2002
    You can hear the whine from across the room, higher in pitch and more ceaseless than the whine of a toddler, and even more annoying.… Read More »

  • A Chorus Line thumbnail

    A Chorus Line

    by Ted Levin | June 16th 2002
    I mark the progress of spring by the succession of frogs that raise their voices to court and reproduce. My favorite, gray treefrogs, pipe up… Read More »

  • Nonpoint Source Pollution thumbnail

    Nonpoint Source Pollution

    by Mary McClintock | June 9th 2002
    When I used to think of water pollution, I imagined an industrial building with a pipe spewing smelly, vile-colored liquid into a river. I’ve never… Read More »

  • Look, Fireflies! thumbnail

    Look, Fireflies!

    by Virginia Barlow | June 2nd 2002
    Deep down, most of us know that fireflies have a life, but a good firefly night brings such a flood of amazement and gratitude that… Read More »

  • Holey Alliance thumbnail

    Holey Alliance

    by Joan Waltermire | May 26th 2002
    The first dawn volley of a yellow-bellied sapsucker on our metal roof is exciting because it signals spring. The twenty-first volley is a little harder… Read More »

  • Bluebirds thumbnail


    by Ted Levin | May 19th 2002
    When the male bluebird first arrived in my front yard, I adopted a new routine. Whenever I reached the living room, I would glance out… Read More »

  • Glaciers and Taxes in Vermont and New Hampshire thumbnail

    Glaciers and Taxes in Vermont and New Hampshire

    by Chuck Wooster | May 12th 2002
    For those of you who view geology as a confusing bunch of stones from the ancient past, try this: Vermont has an income tax and… Read More »

  • How Do Trees Know When to Leaf Out in the Spring? thumbnail

    How Do Trees Know When to Leaf Out in the Spring?

    by Michael Snyder | May 5th 2002
    Thankfully, most northern trees aren’t dead in winter. They’re dormant – very much alive but relatively inactive. They still burn energy maintaining life, but little… Read More »

  • Turning Pines Into Cabbages thumbnail

    Turning Pines Into Cabbages

    by Virginia Barlow | April 28th 2002
    A white pine weevil close up or, even better, seen through a hand lens, is so silly looking it will make you laugh. This plump,… Read More »

  • Rites of Spring thumbnail

    Rites of Spring

    by Ted Levin | April 21st 2002
    When April temperatures reach 45 degrees Fahrenheit and a long rain extends into the evening, spotted salamanders are awakened by water trickling through the forest… Read More »

  • Vermont - New Hampshire: The Hydropower Difference thumbnail

    Vermont - New Hampshire: The Hydropower Difference

    by Chuck Wooster | April 14th 2002
    If Vermont’s natural advantage in the twin-state rivalry is soil quality, New Hampshire’s is surely hydropower. It is easy to forget in today’s fossil fuel-powered… Read More »