We have seen it in all forms of media — television, radio, print, and of course, Facebook — that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Embedded in that messaging is how important it is to get annual mammograms.

As we age, it is common to lose calcium from our bones. When this happens, our bones become less dense, which can make them brittle.

Now is the time to buy garlic for planting — unless you have some from your own garden that you saved for that purpose, as I do. You’ll want to get your garlic planted a month before the ground freezes, so depending on where you live, you may want to plant some soon. Garlic needs to establis…

As the seasons change, we are reminded of all the fun activities that living in Vermont offers. Keeping our joints in good condition is a must if we want to continue to live a happy and healthy life, and it’s a good time to review some tips that can help us keep our bodies in top physical shape.

As we age, it is common to lose calcium from our bones. When this happens, our bones become less dense, which can make them brittle.

Turkey season has started, youth deer weekend is the first weekend in November, and Vermont’s ever-popular deer seasons are just around the corner, starting with the regular rifle season from Nov. 10 to Nov. 25, followed by bow-and-arrow and muzzleloader seasons from Dec. 1 to Dec. 9. While …

Parents of infants and toddlers frequently ask me a mouthful of questions about pacifiers. Let me see if I can pacify everyone’s concerns with a few tips on this interesting habit.

Parents of infants and toddlers frequently ask me a mouthful of questions about pacifiers. Let me see if I can pacify everyone’s concerns with a few tips on this interesting habit.

Local food often conjures images of farm-to-table meals served at trendy restaurants in Vermont’s urban centers, or tables of fresh produce overflowing into the aisles of a community’s farmers market. While these are important parts of Vermont’s growing local-food movement, an important part…

It is dark, pitch dark, as I set out for the opening day of the bow season. I make my way up a steep ridge, then step carefully down the ridge, looking for the old, twin pine trees that mark my path. My headlamp shows the way, but, as any deer hunter who ventures out in the dark will attest …

As a boy, I was exploring the loft of my grandmother’s barn when I disturbed a bumblebee nest among the moldering hay bales. In my memory, I leap stuntman-like from the haymow and hit the ground 10 feet below running flat out, rounding the corner of the barn then glancing back to see if anyo…

Polydrug use is the combination of more than one drug, which is usually riskier than using a single drug. Mixing opioids with benzodiazepines (benzos) is a common, but deadly combination. More than 30 percent of opioid overdoses in the United States include benzos, according to the National …

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I’ve always liked the idea of a bike and barge trip. I imagined floating along narrow canals somewhere in Europe, getting off and riding to the nearest local bakery or café, then getting back on (with a bottle of inexpensive but good red wine in my bike basket) and reading peacefully on the …

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For many years I was in denial. Yes, I refused to accept that fall and winter were on the way by October. I didn’t start fall clean up until November, and by then it was cold, raw, often wet and unpleasant out. Now, having reached a certain age, I prefer to work when it is warm and sunny — s…

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“In general, birds are not doing well in Vermont,” says John Buck, a wildlife biologist who specializes in migratory birds with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. Thirteen of the more than 200 species of birds that nest in or pass through the state are listed as endangered, meaning…

“What’s this shiny black beetle with four eyes?” asked Erin Hayes-Pontius, a visiting UVM student, from her microscope. Without glancing up from my own scope I answered, “That’s a whirligig beetle.” Erin’s answer came back: “err, cute … but what’s it really called?”

From downtown Oslo to its airport is just over 32 miles by road. It’s a 50-minute bus ride. But there are no low-flying planes landing or taking off above the city center. The electric commuter train that leaves from a large station right in the city center and then dives or zips through the…

Summer is over, officially, and the garden knows it. Tomatoes exist only in the kitchen, many flowers are looking lackluster and trees are losing their leaves. What’s a gardener to do? I buy color in the form of chrysanthemums and fall asters. And I enjoy wild asters that appear along the ro…

If you are trying to make heart-healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet, it’s helpful to know some basics about nutrition, starting with the components of food.

The life of a whitetail deer is fraught with danger. Black bears, bobcats and coyotes prey on fawns. Adult deer fall victim to automobiles, coyotes and accidents. Beyond all of those struggles, deer must also contend with their greatest predator — the human hunter.

You and your 18-year-old friend go to a party. You didn’t know there would be alcohol present. You decide to stay since you both agreed not to drink. You’re having fun and losing track of time when suddenly you realize your friend has been drinking and doesn’t look so well. As your friend vo…

Parents have been asking me a mouthful of questions about biting. Let me sink my teeth into this one and provide some information on this topic.

I wake up at three in the morning, and this pops into my head: “O boy, I wonder what size batteries the travel alarm clock takes. Triple As, prob’ly. Hope I have some. Better check after I get up.”

The northern watersnake, Nerodia sipedon, has a lot going against it in the eyes of most people. I’ve watched this medium- to large-sized snake clear a crowded lakeside beach in a matter of moments. As the local naturalist in my small town, I’ve become this snake’s self-appointed public defe…

With its vivid reds, oranges, and yellows, fall is an excellent time to take photos in Vermont. Throw in a classic red barn, picturesque stone wall, or a backdrop of mountains, and you’ve got an excellent reason to get behind a lens.

September is the month of getting ready for what is to come: Putting the firewood away in the woodshed. The snow blower must be readied for the snows that will surely come. The sand barrels must be filled. It is all about the coming winter and the challenges that the season brings.

It really is a small world, after all. We were having dinner in a seafood place in Saco, Maine, a few weeks ago and, of course, there was a waiting list. So I stepped outside, and a younger man, also waiting for a table, noticed my baseball cap, with the “Screaming Eagle” logo. “You were air…

I usually hear the kingfisher before I see it. If I’m reading by the lake, its harsh, rattling call gets my attention. I look up to see the flashy blue-and-white bird fly to a new perch or hover over the water scanning for small fish and crayfish. If I’m kayaking, I try to follow it along th…

One of the things carried in the back of my head, each and every time I set out to hunt or to fish, is the hope that I will come back with a story or two.

If you walk by a pond on a summer evening, you may hear the deep “jug-o-rum” of a bullfrog or the “tung” of a green frog, sounding like a plucked banjo string. Sometimes you’ll hear a whole chorus of frogs, the songs competing with each other for attention. The frogs are not singing for our …

If freshwater insects did senior superlatives before graduating from aquatic life, what would yearbook entries say about dobsonflies? Largest? Most ferocious? Most likely to change names? Most likely to bite a human? Or to be used as fish bait? Or to be confused with a centipede? All of thes…

It was a wonderful night, spent with my son and my four grandchildren as we watched Steven Spielberg’s latest film, “Ready Player One.” I kissed the kids goodnight and, in darkness, walked to the pickup truck. A flash of light caught my eye, then another. So I stood there, in awe, and looked…

So, your daddy didn’t tell you he loved you quite as much as he should have. And mama wasn’t all that much of a homemaker. You poor thing. Well, the next time you hold your regularly scheduled pity-party, consider this: Be very grateful that you weren’t born as a baby turkey rather than as a…

One afternoon in early June, a small brown bird swooped down in front of our kitchen window. I wondered where it had swooped from when, a minute later, I saw it fly back up, with a sliver of straw in its beak. I went out the back door, onto the deck, in time to see the bird exiting the showe…

Over the past few decades, black-legged tick populations have grown relentlessly throughout much of southern Vermont and New Hampshire, and farther north in the Connecticut and Champlain Valleys. These are the ticks that carry Lyme disease, and so what was once a novelty illness has become a…

If I get out early enough today, I could make the run to Poultney. That “if” hinges on a number of factors: Much depends on what time I hit the trail, what the temperature is, is there rain in the forecast, how much traffic will I encounter? Well, the so-called traffic isn’t really a factor,…

One moonless May evening, my husband and I walked down to our local pond, flashlights in hand, to look for toads. We were delighted to discover hundreds of them, floating, darting, and jockeying for position in an explosion of courtship. Their surround-sound trills left our ears ringing.

Seated behind the wheel, alone in the truck in the darkness, I was scared beyond words. If the cops came along, there would be big trouble. If I didn’t do my job right, there would be trouble from my father.

Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings” is one of my favorite childhood books. I loved the way Mr. and Mrs. Mallard interacted, their seemingly endless search for the perfect nesting place, the description of classic Boston neighborhoods, and the whimsical names of their eight ducklings.

Even as he walked the beach an hour after dawn that morning, the dark fisherman was fishing. He held no rod or bait, but was fishing for information.

When I was little and tagging along as my dad tended his vegetables, I would sometimes find large black and yellow garden spiders. They were beautiful, and I noticed they had a curious trait: They often added a bright white decorative zigzag to their webs. I always wondered why, if a spider …