MARY LOU RECOR, at Journey's End, the northern terminus of the Long Trail, is the featured speaker at the Green Mountain Club’s Taylor Outdoor Adventure Series lecture in Middlebury on Thursday, Feb. 20, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, 2 Duane Court.
Photo/Mary Lou Recor
MIDDLEBURY — In celebration of the 28th anniversary of the Green Mountain Club’s Taylor Outdoor Adventure Series, the Bread Loaf Section will host speaker Mary Lou Recor on Thursday evening, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, at 2 Duane Court, in Middlebury. She will share a slide show of her winter end-to-end hike, “Searching for White Blazes: Hiking the Long Trail in Winter.”
The Long Trail Guide rightly states that the Long Trail is “not designed for winter use” — white blazes, dense woods, deep snow, remote trails and short days. The following is...
After a fairly lackluster winter, we had our first big snowstorm yesterday.
Today, the world beyond my windows is gorgeous. Because the snow was preceded by ice, the tree branches bend low and glitter in the sunlight as if they’re encased in glass. Temperatures have yet to rise above freezing, so the snow still lies heavy on the evergreens. I’m unsure of the total accumulation – I’d estimate somewhere between 8 to 12 inches – but the fields are blanketed white, and the remaining hay bales in our neighbor’s field look like marshmallows tipped on their sides. The sun came out today, in a bright...
AS EVIDENCED BY these tracks, bears are more active than normal this winter due to mild winter conditions and fall foods being available.
VERMONT — Many Vermont bears are not getting much rest this winter, according to Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s bear biologist Forrest Hammond, so he is urging people to avoid disturbing them or providing any kind of food for them.
Most bears seek their winter dens when it becomes difficult for them to find food and not due to winter cold. During years of natural food shortage, some bears give up trying to find food and enter their winter dens as early as October. This enables them to conserve the energy and fat reserves they have, rather than staying out and expending more energy looking for...
This coming June, the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) is hosting their annual conference at Jay Peak up in northern Vermont. It’s a great gathering of outdoor communicators: writers, photographers, filmmakers, editors and publishers, and others affiliated with the industry including reps of various manufacturers.
I’ve been to this conference twice in the past four years: when it was held in Montana in 2016 and then again in Arkansas in 2019. As enjoyable as those locations were, and as much as they had to offer in outdoor recreation, I’m even more excited to have the conference...
Dear Homeward Bound,
My friend and I were talking about feeding birds in the winter and he said that he’d herd it was not a good idea. I think that’s crazy; I love feeding birds and I know that it helps them make it through the winter — especially late winter when the natural food sources are super scarce. He said it can hurt birds more than help them.
What do you think? Seeing the birds at my feeder is one of the things that gets me through the dark days of winter!
I agree with you about the joys of feeding birds ... it also feeds our souls. But your friend’s...
Winter’s Delicate Solitude
This is the closing-in time of year:
The weary earth rests, leans back and retires;
Pine-quilted hills guard the brink of the world,
Horizons now strangely attainable.
The sky yawns, heavy-lidded and colored
With sleep, and lowers on the lazy creek.
As wind chimes silence their icy tingle,
The streets gather closer; the village curls,
Like a mouse, into itself to preserve
A vital warmth in a long night so still
With cold, so brittle, an unkind word or
A wayward careless thought could shatter it.
— By Matthew McDonough
Originally from Rhode Island, Matthew...
ILLUSTRATION BY ADELAIDE Tyrol
VERMONT — A couple of decades ago, I spent several winters living in Crested Butte, Colo., where I learned to peer into the cottonwood trees between Route 135 and the East River on the rare occasion when I needed to travel south to the closest “big” town. There, just downstream from the local fish hatchery, I would often find a group of bald eagles perched and waiting for their dinner to swim by.
Growing up in New England, I’d never seen a bald eagle close to home — and certainly not a dozen of them in one cluster of trees. But the birds that serve as our country’s emblem have made a...
Winter is here and it is important to prepare animals you keep outside for the colder weather. Most large animals are kept outside in winter and there are certain steps you should take to ensure they stay safe.
For animals kept in a pasture, ensure posts and boards are secure, especially where snowdrifts form. It is essential that animals can get out of bad weather: one option is a run-in shed with the open end facing away from the wind. Make sure that mineral and salt blocks will not be covered in snow.
Always make fresh water — not forzen! — available to outdoor animals. Use stock tank...
CROWS IN THIS Middlebury tree will be an easy target for the annual Christmas Bird Count, which will take place in several Addison County locations in mid-December.
Independent file photo/John S. McCright
ADDISON COUNTY — Every year dozens of birders head into the fields and woods of Addison County, while dozens more bird enthusiasts watch at their birdfeeders in December to spot and identify the number and variety of bird species in the region.
The Christmas Bird Counts here will take place in mid-December. The Mount Abe Christmas Bird Count will take place Saturday, Dec. 14. Call Randy or Cathy Durand at 453-4370 for details.
In the Northwest quadrant of the county, the Ferrisburgh Christmas Bird Count will take place all day Saturday, Dec. 14, in Ferrisburgh. Call Mike Winslow at 877-6586...
Dear Homeward Bound,
It’s starting to get cold and I’m worried about my neighbor’s dog. He seems to live outside and I don’t know if that’s okay in the winter.
Curious (and worried)
Dear Curious and Worried,
Thanks for caring about your neighbor’s dog. Unfortunately it is not against the law for a dog to live outside 24/7 in Vermont, but there are requirements about the kind of doghouse there has to be.
Furthermore, if the temperature is below 50 degrees, certain kinds of dogs have to be brought inside. According to state statutes, these include: dogs that are not acclimated to the...