For many of us, the coming days are a great time of faith, gratitude and celebration. Some of us, I suspect, miss the true meaning of Christmas because we get wrapped up in the giving and getting of presents. How can we not? We are constantly bombarded in the media about Black Friday, can’t-…

Over much of the world this year, desperate people have decided that their living conditions — poverty, hunger, violence, corruption — are insupportable, that almost anyplace else has got to be better than where they are, and have begun migrating toward what they hope will be better lives. T…

I once lived in a cottage perched atop a sloping field in Western Massachusetts. It was the lone structure at the edge of undeveloped forest and sat far from the road. The cottage had a large front deck with an expansive view, and a smaller one in back that faced the forest. It was under the…

This is not the time for planting trees in New England. But it is a good time for looking at them and deciding what to plant, come spring and summer. Since we have five months or so without flowers growing in our gardens, look at the silhouettes of trees, decide what pleases you, and read up…

The biggest threat to the health of children older than 1 year is not disease, it’s accidental injury. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year thousands of children suffer injuries from toys severe enough to be treated in a hospital emergency room.

Parents have been stressed out asking me how to make the holiday season less stressful for children and for themselves. Let me see if I can ease some holiday anxiety and provide some information on this topic.

Well, Christmas is only 17 days away. What a great time to offer our readers an array of gifts, straight from the Camp Swampy Catalog. But this year, we are going out of our way to offer some must-have presents for the older folks who still have the mustard to get out there and hunt.

It’s the time of year when the landscape is laid bare, the ground is impenetrable with frost and flying insects have faded into memory. As fall slides into winter, resident songbirds like robins and waxwings must switch from their warm weather diets of earthworms and arthropods to the best o…

It might seem like an irony to head into the wilderness for adventure and a break from society, only to bring your phone with you. But some apps are designed to help us get outside.

The late Marshall Dodge, I think it was, used to tell a story about an old-timer: a bachelor farmer who attended church every Sunday, sat by himself and always appeared to pay rapt attention to the sermon, whatever the subject.

I recently visited my friend Alicia Jenks, of Green Dragon Farm in Weathersfield, to take a look at her house plants — some 50 or more of them. Alicia considers them her “indoor garden,” her plant friends that keep her gardening all winter. She doesn’t think house plants are hard to maintain…

Parents have been asking me some eye-opening questions about eye injuries in their children and what to do about them. Let me see if I can go eye to eye with them and provide some information on this topic.

Parents have been asking me some eye-opening questions about eye injuries in their children and what to do about them. Let me see if I can go eye to eye with them and provide some information on this topic.

During the cold winter months, you are at an increased risk of slipping and falling while going about everyday activities like walking from your car to your front door. Building and maintaining your muscles — especially when you have to travel on slippery ice and snow — is critically importa…

During the cold winter months, you are at an increased risk of slipping and falling while going about everyday activities like walking from your car to your front door. Building and maintaining your muscles — especially when you have to travel on slippery ice and snow — is critically importa…

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This year, given the plethora of squirrels in the universe, I feel that I should just buy a dump truck-load of black oil sunflower seeds and drop it on the lawn in front of the deck. Then maybe the squirrels would let my timid titmice get to the feeder. Maybe not. But there are other ways to…

The sound of a gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis) evokes an image of the North Woods: dark green spruce trees, spire-like balsam fir, and bare-branched tamaracks silhouetted against a raw, slate-colored sky; the smell of wood smoke in the air and a dusting of fresh snow on the ground. I see th…

More teens try alcohol for the first time in June, July and December than during the rest of the year. That makes December a great time to talk to your teen not just about the dangers of drinking, but also the dangers of riding in a car when the driver has been drinking. This month may be th…

Parents ask me a lot of questions about how to talk to their children about puberty. Let me see if I can develop some information on this topic.

Most people follow a pretty standard smoothie recipe: A banana, some frozen berries, juice or almond milk, and maybe some spinach for extra nutrients. But one Vermonter, Steve Swanson, packs in an extra nutrition punch by adding a tablespoon of ground up crickets to his smoothies.

Mermaids and mermen have been “seen” and pictured since the Babylonian era. In past centuries, Greece, Japan, Ireland, Russia and Scotland have believed in local mermaids. There have been exhibits of mermaid skeletons; the 1837 Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, “The Little Mermaid”; the 19…

For breakfast I often drink a green smoothie that includes a banana, kale, some OJ, half a lime, fresh ginger, fresh mint if I have it, and water. It’s healthy, tasty and uses kale I grew. I usually pick fresh “Winterbor” kale from my garden until mid-December as even temperatures in the 20s…

Postcards are among the most popular inexpensive collectibles today, perhaps because they are easy to find. But they require time and searching to create a special collection. Postcards are wanted for the postmark, the stamp, the message or the picture on the front, and they can be framed an…

So you didn’t get to put your tag on a buck during the rifle season. Don’t fret, that is, if you are ready for the 9-day muzzleloader season, opening Dec. 1. You still have a shot at a buck and an antlerless deer, if you hold an antlerless permit.

In early November, I flicked on the porch light and took out the trash. In the brief time it took, a couple of late-season moths found their way to my porch light, and as I slipped through the back door, one of them joined me inside. I cupped my uninvited guest under a drinking glass and too…

It’s a well-known fact that the nursing profession currently suffers from a significant and growing worldwide shortage. Hospitals, including Rutland Regional Medical Center, are putting forth extra effort to ensure they are impacted as little as possible. They have implemented a number of in…

Postcards are among the most popular inexpensive collectibles today, perhaps because they are easy to find. But they require time and searching to create a special collection. Postcards are wanted for the postmark, the stamp, the message or the picture on the front, and they can be framed an…

With fall almost over and winter on the way, many parents comment how time simply flew by. Speaking of flu, ‘tis the sneezin’, which means it’s time to remind parents about flu shots for their children. And, of course, what the flu is and is “snot.”

Diana Moore and Larry Detweiler are members of Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice’s hospice team. Diana is the bereavement coordinator and Larry is the chaplain. Hospice offers interdisciplinary care, including pain management, personal care and social work, along with grief and berea…

With fall almost over and winter on the way, many parents comment how time simply flew by. Speaking of flu, ‘tis the sneezin’, which means it’s time to remind parents about flu shots for their children. And, of course, what the flu is and is “snot.”

Diana Moore and Larry Detweiler are members of Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice’s hospice team. Diana is the bereavement coordinator and Larry is the chaplain. Hospice offers interdisciplinary care, including pain management, personal care and social work, along with grief and berea…

“Jingle Bells” and “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” are already blaring in stores in an attempt to get us in the mood to buy holiday gifts. Good grief, Halloween is barely over. Still … here are some thoughts for all you eager beavers who now wish to buy gifts for your beloved gardeners.

Deer Dennis: The buck season is a week old and I haven’t seen a deer yet. What advice can you give me?

Deer hunters, like professional athletes, are always looking for an edge — it’s the nature of the pursuit. And so we’re susceptible to superstition, alluring gadgets and marketing campaigns. A classic genre that combines all three of those elements is the moon table, a chart that tells you w…

The White Mountain National Forest is large — over 1,200 square miles — peppered with 4,000-foot mountains and host to millions of visitors. During a holiday weekend on a popular mountain trail, you may rarely be out of sight of other hikers. Like the Adirondacks on the other side of Vermont…

“I bought a wooden whistle, but it wouldn’t whistle” is part of an old children’s song that goes on to joke about buying a metal whistle. But a modern metal whistle used by a policeman looks very different from the wooden whistle made centuries ago. And today, if a whistle is wood, it usuall…

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“It started with ducks,” said Missy Gilbert, standing in her garden surrounded by vegetable beds that had been put to sleep for winter. Two goats rambled around nibbling at old greenery, while an enormous flock of ducks waddled and clacked beyond the fence. One sat beside a kiddie pool clean…

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If you have cut back your perennials, cleaned up the vegetable garden and raked the leaves, you have good reason to be a tad smug. You’re ahead of me. But don’t be too proud — there is still plenty to do outside. It’s time for some fall pruning.

As if the emerald ash borer’s incursion into northern New England wasn’t enough, now there’s another potentially devastating forest pest marching this way: the southern pine beetle.

Nov. 15, the Thursday before Thanksgiving, is Great American Smoke Out Day. This day encourages and challenges people to quit smoking or vaping for a 24-hour period. Abstaining from using cigarettes or e-cigarettes for the day can boost one’s confidence and inspire a long-term quit attempt.

All the violence children see on the news is stressing out their parents. Whether it be a shooting or a natural disaster, parents want some insight into what to say to their children. Let me see if I can help.

One of the easiest and most satisfying gardening activities I do each fall is to plant tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocus in containers. I keep them in a place that is cold, but not freezing, for three or four months, then bring them into the warmth of the house, where I get gorgeous bl…