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Valley Views: Blue Heron

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blue Heron Manhan River, Route 10, Southampton Photograph and text by Andrew Brodeur, Southampton I created this image just before dusk on my way home from work on Route 10 in Southampton Jan. 14. I always look in the upstream direction when I cross the bridge and never expected to see this great blue heron crouched next to the only …

Earth Talk: Flame retardants can be toxic, especially for kids

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dear EarthTalk: What is being done to get toxic flame retardants out of children’s furniture and other products? — Mary Sweetland, Seminole, Florida Putting flame retardants in furniture seemed like a good idea back in the 1970s to help protect against the risk of fire, but our insistence on safety has come back …

HEADING OUTDOORS: Upcoming outdoor activities in the area

Friday, January 2, 2015

∎  DCR Accessible Winter Recreation — DCR hosts accessible winter recreation for persons with disabilities, their families, and friends. Saturday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 7, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wendell State Forest, Montague Road, Wendell. Skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, more. Free. Pre-registration is required. All Out Adventures, 584-2052. ∎ On the Trail of Fisher and Porcupine — Wildlife hike Saturday, 1 to 4 …

Yellowstone River oil spill fouls Mont. town’s water

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More than 5,000 people in the rural Montana city of Glendive have been told not to use municipal water because elevated levels of cancer-causing benzene were found downstream from a weekend crude oil spill in the Yellowstone River. Officials said they were distributing fresh water that is being …

Northampton couple opens sanctuary for unwanted animals

Sunday, January 18, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Audrey is a snow white turkey, a watch bird so to speak, who is the first to greet visitors with her quick-throated exhortations at 55 North Loudville Road. Close by is Michael, a much larger dark-feathered …

Seven groups get $10 million federal grant to protect Connecticut River watershed

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The region has won a $10 million federal conservation grant to help a coalition of agencies and nonprofits protect natural resources. This two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture focuses on improving the health of Long Island Sound by making changes along the Connecticut River valley. It …

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tussock Moth, Mill Valley Road, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley While photographing frogs at a small pond in Belchertown Oct. 12, I watched this little Tussock Moth caterpillar appear and begin crawling along …

Earth Matters: Nature’s clock: Studying the timing, life cycles of species

Friday, January 16, 2015

Isn’t that a lyric cicada calling? How recently did he emerge from his underground nymph stage? Here’s a patch of spring beauties; when did they start to bloom? When did that scarlet tanager arrive from his wintering grounds …

Water the focus of photo exhibit at Robert Floyd Photo Gallery in Southampton

Friday, January 16, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — “Still Waters, Rolling Seas,” a group photo exhibit is on view at the Robert Floyd Photo Gallery and Learning Center, 2 East St., through Jan. 28. A closing reception will be held Jan. 25 from 2 …

Bird sightings

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. Two barnacle geese and a white-fronted goose are among a large flock of Canada geese in the river beside and below the island in …

Partnership seeks to protect forest land in western Massachusetts

Friday, January 16, 2015

After working for more than a year with woodlot owners around Franklin County and finding a need for help improving forest health, the regional government will join 11 other organizations in a conservation project to help region’s economy. It could lead eventually to a wood pellet factory to …

Plainfield videographer’s documentary about compressor stations along pipeline route to be shown in Erving

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Plainfield videographer’s documentary about compressor stations, like the one planned along the proposed route for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in Northfield, will be screened as part of an informational meeting planned by North Quabbin Pipeline Action at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Erving Senior-Community Center on …

Hatfield Solar venture sold to NuGen Capital Management before unfavorable court ruling

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

HATFIELD — Town officials and opponents of a large-scale solar power plant planned for Hatfield said they were surprised to learn this week the company behind the facility sold the project last summer. The news comes less than …