If the gray days of November get you down, get outdoors! The National Mental Health Association (NAMI) finds that a one-hour walk, even in weak winter sun, can improve mental health. Late fall and early winter are prime times for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a mild form of depression that occurs during the darker time of year.
As September slips away, summer releases its warm grip. Days begin to cool off, and the Canada geese fly with joy for their migration. Gray squirrels scamper across the forest floor, picking through the white and red acorns and the occasional hickory or butternut. The leaves begin to show the promise of fall as they turn miraculous shades of gold and red, draping canopies over the backroads.
As summer winds down, oodles of events and activities beckon us outdoors.If you are winsome about the waning garden season, consider a hands-on workshop at Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg. Learn to make a mini-greenhouse cold frame on Sept. 14; it can add weeks to the growing season in both spring and fall. On Oct. 12, create a succulent pumpkin planter that can live outside in frost-free weather or be a centerpiece or indoor decoration. Information and registration at redwagonplants.com.
Down the road apiece in Ferrisburg, ducks and rice grow in harmony. Boundbrook Farm sits at a low point where run-off collects. Along its route to Lewis Creek, the water floods rice paddies, leaving the farm with less phosphorus than when it arrived.
Even us whacky ice fishermen who love the cold barren environment on the frozen lake, share a certain affinity for the second Saturday in April. Known in some circles as the “Glorious Opening Day of Trout Season,” for many of us it is simply the celebration of swiftly flowing water and the hope of hooking up with nice holdover rainbow.
Indulge me for a moment and allow me to write about the same topic as last month. I am obsessed. It started off innocuously, like a mere sniffle at the beginning of a common cold. It soon developed into a fever pitch with me tossing and turning in my bed at night.
By now, most people know I’m a bit of an environmentalist. I love the outdoors—hiking in the Adirondacks, snowboarding and snowshoeing in Vermont’s mountains, ice skating on frozen lakes and ponds in the North Country.
There’s not a ton of good news in the climate change conversation these days, but Vermont pops up frequently…
Are there bunnies in your garden this summer? In our neighborhood at least one family of foxes seems to be keeping the bunny population in check. Several recent evenings we have spotted as many as three kits scampering about. Morning walks to the strawberry patch have revealed heaps of feathers, fur and bones, as well as ropes of intestines strewn across the yard. But the lettuce crop remains robust!
By the time the ink dries on this issue of The Charlotte News, hiking in Vermont’s higher elevations will be open for the season. The Green Mountain Club (GMC), steward of Vermont’s Long Trail, offers numerous walks, hikes, paddles, birding and workdays in our region through the upcoming hiking season. A June sampling:
As we close the door on mud season and approach our state’s beautiful spring and summer months, many Vermonters are switching from indoor exercise to outdoor activities.
My wife and I attended a film festival in Middlebury recently. It was the 10th Annual Fly Fishing Film Tour on Friday the 13th. For almost a decade now I have been attempting to educate the public—both the hunting/fishing sector and the non-hunting/fishing sector—about the healing qualities of participating in the outdoors.
The natural world is awakening. March entries from my garden journal prepare me for the vicissitudes of the month, when lions and lambs interact frequently. From 1998: Snow cover generally gone since early February. Huge snowstorm on March 22. In 2001: Town Meeting Day Storm cancels Town Meeting and dumps 30 inches of snow on Burlington, fourth greatest snowfall on record. Also three snowstorms after March 25!
Tonight I am packing my dark-green duffle bag and my backpack with all of my favorite toys: duck and goose calls, turkey box calls, slate calls, turkey wing bone calls, turtle shell calls, crow and peacock calls, owl calls and all my late-season ice fishing gear. I will stuff the large green duffle bag with my favorite base layers and chamois shirts, my old Carhartt coveralls and my “camp pillow”—a chamois shirt stuffed with fleece vests and jackets.
Let’s call this the armchair edition of Out-Doors. Despite frigid temperatures and biting winds, I have managed to cross-country ski nearly every day. But an hour or two of exercise in temperatures either side of zero does not fill these brief winter days. So I’ve been reading about the outdoors and have some ideas for your fireside hours.
When I tell someone that I am a forester, their response is usually “great!” This is generally followed by a brief pause, and then, “What does that mean?” We foresters are confused with loggers, park rangers and arborists, in addition to many other professions. What defines a forester is that we practice “forestry,” the management of forested ecosystems.
Take a walk on the wild side of Burlington! Rock Point is the largest parcel of undeveloped land in the city. Miles of trails, breathtaking views and natural wonders await. Here’s what you need to know.
Late in the summer ragweed fills the air with pollen from oodles of tiny flowers. Many who think they harbor allergies to goldenrod are instead allergic to ragweed. Both bloom at the same time, but goldenrod is pollinated by insects and so does not disperse its pollen. A tincture of ragweed leaves is thought by some to help fight this allergic reaction.