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Environment

‘Severe’ drought in 99.8% of California

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Drought conditions may have leveled off across California, but nearly 100 percent of the state remains in the third-harshest category for dryness, according to the latest measurements. For the past two weeks, California’s drought picture has remained the same, halting a steady march toward worse. But the breather has allowed the state to recover only ever so slightly. In May, 100 percent of California was experiencing “severe” … 0

Fire near Yosemite that 1,000 fled doesn’t grow

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

OAKHURST, Calif. — A wildfire that forced about 1,000 people from their homes in the foothills near Yosemite National Park held steady Tuesday as humidity and calmer winds aided the fight against the second blaze around the park in recent weeks. The fire in Madera County remained at a little under 2 square … 0

MAP:E. coli bacteria levels high in Connecticut, Mill rivers; Health officials warn against swimming, boating following storm

Monday, August 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The deluge of rain last Wednesday has elevated levels of E. coli bacteria at select spots on the Connecticut and Mill rivers, prompting health officials to warn people not to swim or boat there. Water samples taken Thursday in Northampton at a Connecticut River boat dock, in the Elwell Recreation Area … 0

After wildfire, debate over letting nature take its course

Sunday, August 3, 2014

GROVELAND, Calif. — Nearly a year since a historic wildfire charred a huge swath of California’s High Sierra, debate rages over what to do with millions of dead trees left in its wake: truck them to lumber mills … 0

Lake Erie algae bloom fouls Toledo tap water

Sunday, August 3, 2014

TOLEDO, Ohio — The toxins that contaminated the drinking water supply of 400,000 people in northwest Ohio didn’t just suddenly appear. Water plant operators along western Lake Erie have long been worried about this very scenario as a … 0

Greenpeace ship released by Russia after 10 months

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Greenpeace protest ship Arctic Sunrise has been released after 10 months of detention by Russian authorities and the damaged icebreaker is now limping back home to Amsterdam, the environmental activist group said Friday. The Arctic Sunrise was boarded and seized by Russian forces Sept. 19 and the … 0

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, August 1, 2014

HAWK College Highway, Southampton Photograph and text by Andrew Brodeur of Southampton This beautiful hawk was about 40 feet up in a tree on Route 10, very close to the Westfield- Southampton line. When I noticed it, I … 0

A naturalist mows the lawn

Friday, August 1, 2014

Lawn mowing gets me thinking. I think about why I mow the lawn; the one-word answer that often comes to me is “wood.” Left alone, most New England soil eventually grows forest. Trees block views, threaten damage from … 0

Westhampton wildlife

Friday, August 1, 2014

Kimberly Jones of Westhampton took this photo of a coyote that she saw standing in a field on the evening of July 23. … 0

Divers stop oil leaking from sunken WWII ship, but threat still looms

Thursday, July 31, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C.— The W.E. Hutton is one of hundreds of wrecks off the North Carolina coast, known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, where treacherous currents, shifting sands and strong storms have feasted on ships for centuries. Earlier this month, the Coast Guard received a call from a … 0

‘Ocean safari’ shark watch on offer

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BARNSTABLE (AP) — Two marine conservation groups are offering a daylong ocean trip on Cape Cod to search for great white sharks, humpback whales, gray seals and seabirds in their wild habitat, billing the trip as the first of its kind and calling it a safari. Organizers say … 0

A weather eye

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Bird Sightings

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. An Acadian flycatcher continues to be seen down from Gate 22 at the Quabbin Reservoir. Two young Orchard orioles were found in the East … 0