The Harvard Forest

  • Post published:12/03/2011
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The Harvard Forest is located in Petersham. That is the first thing I learned about the Harvard Forest, which actually belongs to and is cared for by Harvard University. It is not located in the town of Harvard. I first heard of the Harvard Forest and the Fisher Museum when I met John O’Keefe a year ago after he had retired from his position at the Harvard Forest. Recently I called O’Keefe because I wanted to know why…

Bridge of Flowers

  • Post published:11/28/2011
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The Bridge of Flowers officially closed on October 30, but it will be open for a few more days so people can take the scenic route from Shelburne to Buckland OR Buckland to Shelburne. Last week there was a final exciting event. Note the graceful ironwork on the Bridge sign. It was a collaborative community effort between Bill Austin and Grey Marchese of Austin Design in Colrain, artist/blacksmith Bob Compton of Rising Sun Forge in Conway, and Michael Therrien's…

Things I Never Thought About

  • Post published:06/06/2011
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It is one thing to know about the life cycle of a tree.  It is quite another thing to know about the life of a pine cone. Today we parked our car near some low hanging branches of a Norway Spruce, and I could not help noticing little groups of tiny cones.  Then I looked down and saw six inch cones under my feet. I had never thought that 'pinecones' did not start out at mature size.  Did…

Another Lawn-less Garden

  • Post published:05/17/2011
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Yesterday I attended a reunion of the book club I helped found in 1965. The book club continues, and the book under discussion was Per Petterson's I Curse the River of Time.  I very much enjoy Petterson's books, and indeed many of the chilly books of the Scandinavian writers, but it is ironic that this book of lonliness and the failure of emotional ties was the topic among a group of women friends meeting over tea and cake…

The First Dandelion

  • Post published:05/02/2011
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The appearance of the first dandelion means spring has really and truly arrived. It also means that lawn mowing will not be far behind. Because of a family obligations, and a joyous publication party for Carol Purington and Susan Todd's poetry anthology, Morning Song: Poems for New Parents,  Saturday was taken up with family and friends. On Sunday we were eager to go out and play in the dirt. Some of the seedlings I have had out in…

Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

  • Post published:12/24/2010
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The need to find symbols for eternal mysteries lies deep in the human family. At this time of the year the landscape is bare and frozen. All the life of nature seems to be frozen and dead. Gone is the verdant green, brilliantly colored flowers, rushing waters. The days grow ever shorter; even the sun seems to be failing. Ever since the beginning of time humans have faced the terror of this seeming death and looked for hope.…

Evergreens in the Border

  • Post published:12/21/2010
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Thinking that they were too tender I avoided hollies for many years, but I finally decided to give them a try. I planted "Blue Princess" and "Blue Prince" about ten years ago. They are said to grow slowly, so I don't know if I am too impatient, but they have grown very slowly.  They are growing in full sun, and there is no question that they are in acid soil. No need for Holly Tone fertilizer here. The…

Choosing Our Christmas Tree

  • Post published:12/20/2010
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Henry and I set out Saturday morning to cut our Christmas tree. Unfortunately, this photo does not capture the field of diamonds that surround our house, but it does capture our cat Holly who likes to hike with us. This time we had to stop and put her back in the house. We saw lots of animal tracks as we walked down the Rose Walk. I thought these were deer tracks, but Henry wasn't so sure. A fair amount of…

Our Own Charlie Brown Christmas

  • Post published:12/10/2010
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My youngest daughter Kate, formerly known as Kathy, requested that I reprise this column. I am amazed that I found hard copy; it was written on my old Kaypro and published in 1985. The year 1971 was important for me. In January I was a suburban housewife, busy with PTA, chaufferring the children, the Ladies Literary Circle, chauffering the children, and chauffering the children some more. By September I was divorced, settled in Greenfield with my five children…

Christmas Lists

  • Post published:12/09/2010
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I have barely begun my shopping, but I admit that much of my shopping is done in the bookstore.  On the other hand many gardeners like to get plants - or gift certificates for plants to be used in the spring.  I did let a comment slip about how many new roses I'd like in the spring. Fountains and birdbaths attract the birds, but they are also a beautiful ornament in the garden. Of course some things wear…