It was just three months ago that Neil Dunlop traded a pressed work shirt and tie for head-to-toe Carhartts and thick leather Kinko gloves. I forgot to ask him whether his full beard and weathered-Vermont-man look are new additions, or if he sported those before becoming a farmer; but regard…

Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. It is an irregularly irregular pattern of the upper chambers of the heart (the atrium) that beat rapidly and abnormally because the atrium is no longer coordinated with the lower chambers of the heart. Common symptoms people with atr…

On Town Meeting Day, registered Vermont voters come together to discuss the business of their towns, including the budget. Every year, Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice requests funding from each of the 23 communities we serve.

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I know that many people, especially gardeners younger than the age of 40, use the internet to find the answers to their questions. That is fine, but the internet is full of “fake news” and spurious assertions. I do use the web, but if I want to learn about something in-depth, I reach for a b…

With the lengthening daylight and the many seed catalogs arriving in your mailbox, it’s hard to ignore the promise of spring.

There comes a time in every mammal mother’s life when her young leave. For some, this comes in a matter of weeks; for others, it might be years. As I follow bobcat tracks through snow on a mid-winter day, dispersal is on my mind. My 18-year-old son is preparing to fledge, and I ponder this t…

The stress of COVID-19 has many people feeling isolated and/or worried about their health. Smokers might find it hard to quit, and those who have recently stopped might find it easy to slip back into smoking again.

As you hit the trails this winter, take a close look at Vermont’s forests. Some trees are threatened by invasive forest insects and in some places, you might be the only one to spot them!

It’s a late winter morning, almost a year into the enforced isolation dictated by the pandemic. The alarm clock beeps in the twilight at 6 on the dot. Reaching my arm out from under the covers to shut it off reminds me how cold the room is. Wide awake, but still torpid, I hear running throug…

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Are you suffering from the mid-winter blahs? More importantly, are your houseplants? We can’t be in our gardens outside now — except for a few stalwarts who are pruning, I suppose — but we can take good care of our houseplants.

In a February forest, evergreens provide welcome color. But look more closely on the bark of trees, conifers and hardwoods, and you’ll find other bright hues, from sunny yellows to blue-greens. These are lichens, common, but often overlooked members of the winter woods.

On a classic zero-degree Vermont winter day, Val Stori laced up her running shoes and drove to a start line one mile from her home in Underhill to set out on a virtual 5K race. In a normal year, she uses running to explore the world and has set out on long-distance trail-running adventures i…

For many of us, the reality of a half-million deaths from COVID-19 is enough to persuade us to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available. In fact, the pandemic may soon claim as many lives as cardiovascular disease does each year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 appears to attack the cardiovascu…

There is something about a bowl of warm soup on a cold winter day that warms the heart and soul, as well as filling the tummy. And if the ingredients are from your own garden, the soup tastes even better! Here is a soup I made largely with ingredients from my garden.

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My buddy, Dudley, and I were just past the halfway point of the 207-mile Alaska Marathon. We’d had a good nap and a great meal at the Skwentna Roadhouse and now, at dusk, were headed south on the frozen Skwentna River, with the finish line about 100 miles ahead. Dudley stopped for a second a…

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If you’re like me, you probably wake up in the morning, make coffee and breakfast, and ready yourself for your day without putting much thought to what’s happening beneath your feet.

Last summer, I regularly passed a stand of towering white pine trees at Camp Plymouth State Park in Ludlow, where I live and work. Most days, I saw at least one hairy woodpecker, a few blue jays, chickadees, a pair of broad-winged hawks and a multitude of red squirrels around the trees. One …

Heart Month gives us a time to reflect on the many factors that support a healthy heart. A major contributor that comes to mind when we consider this is exercise. Your heart is a muscle, and aerobic exercise strengthens that muscle and improves its ability to pump blood throughout your body.…

It’s no surprise to feel pain after a car accident or bad fall, but many of us have aches and pains even without these more significant traumas. Repetitive movement patterns can lead to pain, dysfunction and restricted range of motion. This pattern is known as repetitive strain injury, which…

I have an old friend in Texas, a former classmate, who reports that her years, her eyesight and her decreasing ability to handle complicated matters are leaving her more dependent upon her family — a few of whom, luckily live within miles of her home. One of her sons recently tackled the COV…

A woodpecker frequently visits our feeder, alighting on the wooden supporting post and hopping up the post to the suet. Its medium size and striking markings — black wings spotted with white, a large white patch on the back, and a red spot on the back of the head — identify the bird as a mal…

I recently asked a few readers, garden friends and tree experts a question: “What is your favorite tree in winter?” It’s not easy to pick just one, any more than most of us would be willing to name a favorite child. I invite you to think about the question and perhaps, come spring, you will …

Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice’s mission is to provide high-quality, medically necessary home health and hospice care to all Central Vermonters at home. We also offer personal care and case management support, maternal-child health care, public foot-care clinics, and immunizations…

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns among patients who are pregnant. As women health care providers, our charge is to reassure our patients, as well as provide guidance for the well-being of their developing fetuses.

If there’s anything more hellish in the life of an elderly Yankee than driving in Boston traffic, it’s anticipating having to. The thought of hurtling at 75 miles an hour through Methuen, Medford and Somerville in the company of thousands of homicidal maniacs in SUVs (all of whom, unlike me,…

The loss of life is unfathomable. Until December, I didn’t know of one person, anywhere, who had contracted the virus, nevermind died.

I consider the lack of biting insects and other invertebrates to be a wondrous gift of the winter season. I can wander unmolested through wood and field absent the attentions of mosquitoes, deer flies and ticks. And aside from a short list of “usual suspects,” insects are a rarity to be enco…

My daughter burst through the doors of the school bus one sunny winter afternoon and ran straight in to my arms. “I fell off a log, and I have three Band-Aids!” she exclaimed cheerfully. On our walk home from the bus, she told me all about it: The kids in her kindergarten class had found a l…

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I hate to be the one to give you bad news, but some seed companies are already running out of seeds. Don’t panic: there are, in fact, plenty of seeds out there. And if one company doesn’t have your favorite tomato or zinnia variety, chances are some other company will.

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I’ve been growing vegetables organically all my life. I use no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. I don’t often think about the reasons I do so, any more than I think about breathing — it’s just something I do.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom over our community. I am sure you have heard that the number of individuals diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus are on the rise. Though this is frightening, it is important to note that many individuals do well, have mild symptoms, and are able to recove…

On frigid winter evenings, the hooting of a barred owl (Strix varia) serves as a reminder the darkened forests of the Northeast are still very much alive with activity. Their nocturnal calling emanates from favorite forest haunts, including along lakeshores, swamps and rivers. But the sound …

Anyone from babies to senior citizens can be at risk for developing glaucoma. Without initial treatment, glaucoma can cause permanent blindness. The good news is, while glaucoma can’t be cured, early treatment can control it or slow progression.

“We are in the midst of a mental health crisis,” said Community Health Behavioral Health Director Christopher Chadwick. “Not only are we dealing with mental health issues, but we are also seeing an increase in overdose deaths across the state,” Chadwick said.

It is a new year, a collective sigh of relief to be moving on, yet we are still very close to the winter solstice, the deepest darkest day of winter. In 2020, we all experienced a massive slow down, halting social gatherings and various hobbies or activities. For many, like me, this has been…

Chicken soup: It’ll cure what ails you. At least, that’s what we’ve always been told. But is there any truth to it?

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If you are like me, you buy new perennials, trees and shrubs every year. Most plants sold locally are hardy, but not all. It’s good to know the “zone hardiness” of plants before you buy them, and how the zone maps work. In a nutshell, the colder the climatic zone, the lower the number.

Last June, my wife, Marie, and I encountered a mature wood turtle while walking through a forest near our home. We admired the intricate topography of its shell, inspiration for this species’ scientific name: Glyptemys (“carved turtle”) insculpta (“sculpted”). The 9-inch adult had brownish-b…