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Environment

Study: Toothless ‘dragon’ pterosaurs once ruled skies

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ancient winged reptiles called pterosaurs were so successful that they ruled Earth’s skies for tens of millions of years, according to a study published in the journal ZooKeys. The fearsome fliers, part of a family of pterosaurs named Azhdarchidae, get their name from azdarha, the Persian word for “dragon.” Unlike earlier pterosaurs, they had no teeth, and they dominated from late in the Cretaceous period (around 90 million years ago) … 0

‘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, … 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

Resurgence of gray seals spurs calls for hunt

Sunday, July 20, 2014

ROCKLAND, Maine — Decades after gray seals were all but wiped out in New England waters, the population has rebounded so much that some frustrated residents are calling for a controlled hunt. The once-thriving New England gray seal … 0

Suddenly, the sun is quiet: Where did the sunspots go?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The sun has gone quiet. Almost too quiet. A few weeks ago it was teeming with sunspots, as you would expect since we are supposed to be in the middle of solar maximum-the time in the sun’s 11-year cycle when it is the most active. But now, there … 0

Bird Sightings

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. An Acadian flycatcher was found inside Gate 22 of the Quabbin Reservoir. Two adult and three young orchard orioles were reported in Northampton. A … 0

Earth Matters: Sights and sounds of the seasons: A Texas immigrant’s experience

Friday, July 18, 2014

When most folks imagine retirement, they usually think of a move to a warmer climate. However, some of us have gone in the opposite direction. Yes, it is a long way from Texas to Massachusetts, both in distance … 0

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, July 18, 2014

WOODCHUCK Newton Street, South Hadley Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely of South Hadley It’s garden time and this woodchuck, also known as a groundhog, appears to have caught the scent of tender young plants as he … 0

Seneca Nation commits to native-only landscaping

Sunday, July 13, 2014

CATTARAUGUS RESERVATION, N.Y. — The Seneca Indian Nation is strengthening its roots to the land with a new commitment to use only indigenous plants and trees in public landscaping. The western New York tribe is believed to be … 0

Ohio scientist to test water before fracking soars

Sunday, July 13, 2014

As the shale gas boom was making its way into Ohio in 2012, University of Cincinnati scientist Amy Townsend-Small began testing private water wells in Carroll County, the epicenter of the Utica Shale. Her project, which includes samples of more than 100 wells, is one of the few … 0

Deerfield fruit farm owner Tom Clark decries Tennessee Gas pipeline project

Friday, July 11, 2014

DEERFIELD — Clarkdale Fruit Farm, usually associated with acres of apples, peaches and cherries, became a focus Friday of growing opposition to the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline, as dozens of anti-pipeline protesters gathered at one stop of a … 0

Earth Talk: Is there a link between obesity and chemicals in everyday products?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that, above and beyond our bad eating and lifestyle habits, some chemicals in everyday products are contributing to the obesity problem. Can you explain? — Alyssa Israel, Fairfield, Conn. Obesity is a huge problem … 0

Bird Sightings

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A red crossbill was heard calling as it flew over the southern end of the Quabbin Reservoir. A black vulture was seen in Belchertown. … 0