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Environment

stevenw12339 via Creative Commons.
 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 …

Western Massachusetts offers abundance of trails for novice and experienced hikers

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

If you have a love for the outdoors and a yearning to connect with the natural world, western Massachusetts offers outstanding opportunities for walking and hiking for both novice hikers and experienced trekkers. The beauty of living in …

Resources for hikers

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Information on hiking in western Massachusetts is available from these organizations: ∎ Pioneer Valley Hiking Club — www.pioneervalleyhikingclub.org ∎ Appalachian Mountain Club — www.amcberkshire.org ∎ Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation — www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr For a comprehensive listing of trails to hike and walk in western Massachusetts, complete with …

Thomas Leue of Ashfield perfects Yellow Heat burner for waste vegetable oil

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ASHFIELD — When Thomas Leue of Ashfield took an offer in the early 1970s to travel to Point Barrow, Alaska, the country’s northernmost point, to take a job as a lab technician on a biology research project, he …

Pipeline opponents concerned about bill in state Legislature seeking easement on part of Otis State Forest

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Massachusetts House bill to carve 15 acres of state forest land in Berkshire County for a 13-mile Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. project is raising eyebrows — and voices — among opponents of the company’s larger Northeast Energy Direct pipeline that would cut across Plainfield in Hampshire County …

UMass assessment suggests varying impact of pipeline construction on natural resources

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. in some cases may benefit certain species but could cause significant harm to others. Scott Jackson, associate professor of wetlands and wildlife conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has developed a Natural Resource Assessment report, …

Eastern snakes fall to fungal malady

Sunday, August 9, 2015

NEW HAVEN, Vt. — Hidden on hillsides in a remote part of western Vermont, a small number of venomous timber rattlesnakes slither among the rocks, but their isolation can’t protect them from a mysterious fungus spreading across the …

Deerfield seeks public reaction to documents on natural gas pipeline

Friday, August 7, 2015

DEERFIELD — The Select Board will hold a public comment session Wednesday where residents will be able to express opinions on two documents the town is crafting about their concerns surrounding Kinder Morgan’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project. The documents will be submitted to the …

Off-shore drilling disasters prompt stronger regulations

Friday, August 7, 2015

Dear EarthTalk: Is off-shore drilling any safer for the environment today given lessons learned from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? — Leslie Jackson, Bern, North Carolina The Deepwater Horizon oil rig …

Valley Views: Pileated Family

Friday, August 7, 2015

Pileated Family Winsor Park, Quabbin Reservoir, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley As I was driving near the small Winsor Park, on my way out of Quabbin Reservoir in June, something caught my eye. …

Heading outdoors: Area activities

Friday, February 13, 2015

∎  Arcadia Invasive Plant Removal — Volunteers welcome Saturday and Aug. 15, 22 and 29, 9 a.m. to noon, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Rd., Easthampton. 584-3009. ∎  Walking Tour of African-American Heritage in 19th-Century Florence — Wendy …