Is there anything as delicious as a sun-warmed raspberry plucked from the bush and popped into your mouth?

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Phlox is a highly versatile perennial with powerful blooms that can extend through much of the season. From spring-flowering, low-growing creeping phlox (Phlox subulata), to its taller, summer relative, garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), there are many cultivars with an endless variety of flow…

To quote the French dramatist Jean Giradoux, “The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.” Flowering plants fill our summer fields and gardens, bring bright spots of color to our woods, and — since their arrival on the scene some 130 milli…

We have had some very hot days so far this summer, and there are surely more to come. This made us wonder about how what we drink and how much we drink when the temperature and humidity peak, affect how we feel. We chatted with Kate Bean, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes care and e…

Biking is a very popular activity, especially here in Vermont, and it is a great form of exercise. But without protective gear, it can be dangerous. According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, bike injuries accounted for more than half of visits to the emergency room for those younger than 19.

Mulch is commonly used to help suppress weeds and to hold in soil moisture in dry times. There are many different kinds of mulch, and it is important to get the right kind, and to apply it properly if you want to get the benefits of mulch.

Occasionally, I get an email from a camp, school or even my local Rotary asking whether I can present an insect program. So it was not unusual last week for me to be handing insect nets to excited Cub Scouts. I led them toward some ash trees and made sure each Scout had an insect to examine …

Summer is upon us and in Vermont, the pandemic has retreated some, so we can celebrate with barbecues, cookouts and the delicious treats of summer. But what if I told you there’s a weapon of mass destruction lurking in our food? It tastes good; it is in everything from breakfast cereal to sp…

I was moving along a logging trail one late May about 15 years ago when I spotted several very small turkeys, appearing and then vanishing in the high grass. I was yet undetected by them, and I tried to get a count of just how many poults were moving about.

If your kale plants succumbed to cabbage worms, don’t fret. You can start a second planting in midsummer to enjoy a bountiful harvest in the fall.

Now that it’s July, you might notice your garden plants are starting to flower or even set fruit. Adding fertilizer by sidedressing heavy-feeding vegetables can give them the boost they need for optimal production.

Small businesses bring character to their communities. They are an integral part of small economies, and many people prefer shopping from mom-and-pop retailers rather than buying from large corporations. If you’re considering starting a small business in your own community, you might get som…

As we finally begin to emerge from the pandemic, and travel options are opening up, many of us are planning to be away from home this summer or fall. Just as we need to make arrangements for the care of our homes and pets, our gardens also will need some attention in our absence.

Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) is excited to announce the return of in-person Tobacco Treatment and Self-Management classes. These workshops are an initiative of Blueprint for Health and supported locally through the Community Health Team at Rutland Regional.

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Mid-summer is often a quiet time for flowers — many gardens have fewer dramatic blossoms than in the spring. I have made an effort to have plenty blooming now. It’s true that my Japanese primroses, peonies and Siberian iris have gone by. But I have many others, old favorites and lesser-known…

One summer day, I was relaxing on the bank of a secluded pond watching mallard ducks forage when a dark shape broke the stillness of the water. It was a North American river otter, swimming with its head and back emerging from the surface, sleek body more than 2-feet long, tapered tail trail…

Have you ever had a flu-like syndrome in the middle of the summer? Did you have any new symptoms or worsening joint pain after the flu-like syndrome? In a Lyme-endemic region like Vermont, tick-borne illness could be the culprit for those symptoms. Flu-like symptoms, headache, neck stiffness…

The act of flipping a row of sizzling burgers on a barbecue grill is one of summer’s simple pleasures. But there is danger lurking in those glowing embers, and the potential damage is far worse than a few charred cheeseburgers.

Walking down my road on an early June afternoon several years ago, I spotted a snake attempting to cross into the underbrush. Covered in colorful splotches, it quickly slithered across the pavement out of sight. I knew this wasn’t a garter snake, a familiar visitor to my garden, and later id…

Summer is here and in Vermont, there is no shortage of outdoor activities for you to enjoy. Unfortunately, ticks are here and not going away. As an infectious disease specialist, I see many patients with infections from ticks. You have probably heard about Lyme disease, but other tick infect…

Toward the conclusion of his heartfelt memoir, “Lieutenant Dangerous, A Vietnam War Memoir,” Jeff Danziger, known by generations of newspaper readers for his biting political cartoons, writes, “You will conclude, and I will agree with you, that I was not a good soldier.”

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By now your rhododendrons, lilacs and other spring bloomers have bloomed, and are ready to prune. By pruning now, you will not damage buds that will form later this summer and bloom next spring. This is also a good time to prune evergreens like pines and hemlocks if you are trying to control…

In summer, while vegetables and flowers thrive in the garden, so does poison ivy in backyards, woods, disturbed areas and anywhere else it can get a toehold. Challenging to recognize due to its changing shape in different environments, careful observation and some knowledge of poison ivy cou…

Aphasia is “an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write.” (ASHA). Aphasia does not imply a person has an impairment in intelligence or thinking. Aphasia can be deficits in speaking, understanding or both. Most often, this im…

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If you are a regular reader of this column, you know that I kill plants (just like you probably do): houseplants, annuals, flowers in the ground, and yes, even trees. Although some oaks live 400 years, most plants naturally have a much shorter life span. And although some die as result of my…

In 1860, a year after publication of his seminal work on the origin of species, Charles Darwin wrote to a friend, “At the moment, I care more about Drosera than the origin of all the species in the world.” Darwin maintained a lifelong fascination with carnivorous plants, including members of…

If you raise chickens, you know that, while they are laying baskets of farm fresh eggs and amusing you with their antics, they are also generating a lot of manure. Coop litter contains manure, feathers, undigested food and bedding material. A single chicken can produce as much as 130 pounds …

Did you know LGBTQ+ individuals have a higher risk of substance use and misuse than their heterosexual/cisgender peers? Survey data from the 2019 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows Rutland County youth and young adults who identify as LGBTQ+ report higher rates of alcohol use (37% vers…

Many people come in seeking relief for lower back pain through massage, and massage does help. What most are surprised with is how important the anterior portion of the body is, from the thighs to the ribs. It can be most surprising to find relief is brought to the muscles of the back by rel…

It is true that, since retirement, I sometimes find I have time on my hands. I get outside when I can, for exercise and sun, but there are times, mostly in the evening hours, when I turn on the TV for entertainment.

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As the song goes, it’s “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy!” Well, not really. Yes, I’ve planted my 53 tomato plants, 200 onions and more, but there is still plenty to do. Let’s look at a few chores you might want to do this weekend.

I never tire of watching the aerial acrobatics of swallows as they swoop over fields, darting back and forth to snap up flying insects. With their smooth, flowing flight and pointed wings, they are beautiful, graceful fliers. Tree swallows and barn swallows are the most abundant and widespre…

Do you ever plant your vegetable garden in the spring, and wish you had more space to plant other crops? With careful succession planting, you can plant more with the same amount of space.

The cover photo of the spring issue of Housecalls, Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice’s biannual community newsletter, features me with Joe Aldsworth, Deputy Chief of Fire and EMS and Deputy Emergency Management Director for Barre City, with the headline “Celebrating Our Community Par…

Summer is a great time to improve your overall well-being by getting outside! Being outdoors for as little as 25 minutes a day can help decrease stress. As one of Come Alive Outside’s Mile-A-Day participants said, “Getting out and moving every day for the past month has been the best part of…

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After a few setbacks in recent years, a beloved Vermont cheesemaker is producing and selling cheese once again.

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Our great-grandmother was our nanny when my sister and I were little, watching over us as we played on the sidewalk outside our building. She was a prodigious walker, as well. Every week, she walked us over to the New York State Education Building to wander its wonderful museum — mastodon an…

Picture a robin, out in the morning and hopping around the park. It finds breakfast in the form of a worm, but out of the nearby trees swoops a bigger bird. The bigger bird acts threatening, and the robin surrenders its worm like a kid giving up their lunch money to the school bully. It’s a …

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Growing popcorn is a fun way to extend the summer corn season.

Grow an abundant harvest with some timely garden care. Arm yourself with a few basic tools, a bit of time and regular visits to the garden throughout the growing season to keep plants healthy and more productive.