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VIDEO: Snowboarding on a flat field, thanks to a breeze

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Gazette reporter Stephanie McFeeters caught up with Max Mascelloni Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he was zipping around a field atop a snowboard, powered by the wind. The 31-year-old Amherst resident says the sport is popular in Europe. …

Fossils tell the tale

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Accompanying the new mural depicting the history of plant life at the Smith College Botanic Garden is an exhibit of plant fossils on loan from the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College. “Fossils are the basis for all our knowledge about the evolution of plants,” said the botanic garden’s director, Michael Marcotrigiano. “The fossils complement the mural by giving the viewer …

The flora story: Unique mural at Smith’s Botanic Garden depicts 4 billion years of plant history

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A new mural at Smith College that depicts billions of years of plant history, might well be the first of its kind, anywhere on Earth. Museums of natural history have long answered the perennial challenge of explaining what Earth looked like millions — even billions — of years ago, with the use of …

Time for bed: Tucking the garden in for the winter, but not too tight

Friday, November 20, 2015

The weather in early November was perfect for planting bulbs, raking leaves and putting the garden to bed. It was pretty wet and chilly last week but let’s hope there is balmy weather this weekend to get more …

Fall garden chores

Friday, November 20, 2015

Remove tomato plants, brassicas and any other diseased plants from the vegetable garden. Remove stems of peonies and phlox from the ornamental garden. Rake maple leaves from the grass since they tend to mat down under the snow. Compost the leaves or run the lawn mower over them …

Your Place: Whatever the winter forecast, prepare your house for it

Friday, November 20, 2015

Clean off the snowshoes, and sharpen the shovels. Winter is coming, and from what some old farmers have been saying lately, this year may well be even worse than last year. Frankly, I’m taking my usual wait-and-see attitude. Last Thanksgiving, we drove north to see relatives in the …

Living Smart: Does shutting furnace vents improve energy efficiency?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Saving money on energy costs and utility bills is a high priority for homeowners. Furnaces can suck up electricity and gas, especially if they’re heating more space than needed. In an attempt to lower energy bills, it’s often …

Get Growing

Friday, November 20, 2015

Many gardeners heartily dislike winter with its absence of flowers and the comfort of digging in the soil. Indoor greenhouses give us a chance to see blooming flowers and smell the earth and lift our spirits. There are …

Homes of the week

Friday, November 20, 2015

HUNTINGTON — ​Beautiful, custom-built home on a peaceful 3.85 acre lot offering privacy yet a convenient location. Inside you’ll find an open floor plan featuring a large living room with cathedral ceiling and a wood stove on a …

Living Smart: Projects for your home’s difficult teen years

Thursday, November 5, 2015

When it comes to home improvement projects on your house that’s coming of age, there’s no denying that your roof, windows and air conditioning and heating units might be getting moody, temperamental or give you the silent treatment …

Facebook flower show: A Florence woman shares her garden’s glory

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Many of us who pick flowers from our gardens to bring inside just stick them in a vase. But Sheena See of Florence is an artist with her bouquets. This year, she decided to share photographs of her …

Get Growing: Smith College’s chrysanthemum show opens Saturday

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Frost may have blackened your outdoor chrysanthemums but those in greenhouses are thriving. Each year Smith College in Northampton stages an impressive show of exhibition chrysanthemums in Lyman Plant House. This year’s show officially opens Saturday and continues …

When the books take over Walls of shelves dominate sci-fi writer Allen Steele's Whately workspace

Friday, October 16, 2015

A lot of authors have written about Mars. There’s only a short list of writers, however, whose stories are actually on Mars. Whately science fiction writer Allen Steele is among them. The first SF story he published in …