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 A male snowy tree cricket

Tuning in to crickets and katydids calling out on an August night

Friday, August 28, 2015

Caution: Reading this article will change your life. I love the August night sounds. Those still, hot and humid nights can be oppressive, but there’s a way to escape into a different world, the soundscape of crickets and katydids, calling to attract mates and stake out territories. Some nights, at twilight, I go out in my backyard and walk slowly …

Valley Views: Waiting raindrops

Friday, August 28, 2015

Waiting Raindrops Springfield Road, Belchertown, Photograph and text by Julius Lester, Belchertown Walking from the house to the garage in mid-June I saw this remnant of the previous night’s rain. When I came back a couple of hours later, the raindrops still clung to the blades of grass as if waiting for me …

Calif. cuts water use by 31% in July amid drought

Thursday, August 27, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. — California cities cut water use by a combined 31 percent in July, exceeding the governor’s statewide mandate to conserve, officials said Thursday. The strong water conservation figures show California residents are beginning to understand the dire need to cut back in a fourth year of drought, Felicia Marcus, chair of …

Fish and Wildlife Service seeks 160,000 acres in 4 states

Monday, August 17, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would like to acquire more than 160,000 acres of land in states along the Connecticut River as part of its mission to protect land and wildlife in a refuge …

Broad Brook Coalition uses 40,000 pounds of traprock in latest offensive against beavers at Fitzgerald Lake

Friday, August 14, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A group of 10 volunteers stood in a circle in Fitzgerald Lake Friday morning, the water up to their thighs, waists or chests, plunking pieces of traprock onto the floor of the lake surrounding the lake’s …

Beluga whales get their day in court

Friday, August 14, 2015

By Shannon McCaffrey The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS) ATLANTA — In a Russian marine research station along the Black Sea, 18 ghostly white beluga whales swim in tanks. Their fate could be decided by a federal judge in Atlanta. On Friday, the Georgia Aquarium will try to convince the …

Robins seen declining statewide but numbers tricky

Friday, August 14, 2015

The American robin is one of the most familiar and common birds; have you ever wondered just how common they are here in Hampshire County? This kind of question is asked by casual observers curious about backyard birds, …

Valley Views: Day-Spring

Friday, August 14, 2015

Day-Spring Springfield Road, Belchertown Photograph and text by Julius Lester, Belchertown I am a nyctophiliac, i.e. one who loves darkness and functions best at night. Thus I seldom go to bed before day-spring— an archaic and much more …

Heading outdoors: Area activities

Friday, February 13, 2015

∎ “Ride Like an Animal” Motorcycle Ride and Poker Run — The Foundation for TJO Animals hosts 7th annual benefit ride Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning and ending at the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption …

Bird Sightings

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A little blue heron was found at Wild Acres Park in Pittsfield. A lesser yellowlegs and a pectoral sandpiper were on Silver Lake in …

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg arranges Sept. 10 hearing in Greenfield for more gas pipeline testimony

Thursday, August 13, 2015

State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg has arranged for another hearing on the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project for Sept. 10 at Greenfield Community College. Rosenberg earlier arranged for the state Department of Public Utilities to conduct a public hearing in Greenfield during June on the pipeline project and …

Deerfield residents voice concerns about gas pipeline’s impact on water supply, homes, quarry and rail yard

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

DEERFIELD — Residents voiced their concerns Wednesday night about the proposed Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline, and safety of the town’s drinking water and the proximity of the project to homes, a quarry, an active rail yard and power lines topped the list. The public hearing was held …

Environmental news briefs

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

IN THE NEWS Volunteers needed for Source to Sea Cleanup The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 19th annual Source to Sea Cleanup will be held Sept. 25 and 26. People may participate by reporting a trash site in need of cleaning, joining a cleanup group, or organizing and registering …