The snapping turtle (Chelydra s.serpentine) is the largest freshwater turtle in Blackstone Heritage Corridor.  It can grow to over 18 inches in length and weigh more than 40 pounds.  The snapping turtle has a keen sense of smell and primarily eats fish, amphibians and other water creatures.  It has a greenish cast to its otherwise…

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I have noticed a very small hummingbird sucking nectar from a basket of wishbone flowers near my back door.  Watching it closely, I realized that it was not a bird but a type of hawk moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, or a hummingbird hawk moth.  Because it has a long proboscis and hovers near blossoms, making a…

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Everyone loves trees!  The serene greenness of a forest is soothing.  It’s beautiful.  It is something to be enjoyed, photographed and hiked through. What does an acre of forested land really do for us?  Quite a lot, it turns out.  Each acre provides environmental services that, if had to be paid for otherwise, would cost…

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What’s between 65 and 145 million years old?  Ants!  They live everywhere in the world except Antarctica and several very remote islands.  They live in a colony, a huge organism where the ants work in a uniform way for the collective good.  Each ant has a task.  The Queen lays a bazillion eggs.  The wingless…

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Given my recent blog about robins and their relationship with worms, it seems appropriate for me to give equal time to the worms.  I’ve been reading a very interesting book, The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart.  This particular book is about earthworms.  It has received rave reviews by The New York Times, the Boston Globe,…

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The endearing American robin, also known as the “Harbinger of Spring.”  The notion goes so far back in my memory.   I fail to recognize the first time I became aware of the robin and its notoriety for marshalling in the welcomed, new spring season, which begins for me at the beginning of March.  We see…

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The family tradition of cutting our own Christmas tree goes back to my childhood.  I remember walking for what seemed like miles with my Dad across the rocky fields of my grandmother’s farm.  My Mom had me wrapped up tighter than a mummy with heavy woolen snow pants, coat, mittens, hat and scarf, and rubber…

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It’s nearly Christmas and there are so many a special memories associated with the season.  My husband and I became engaged during the holidays many years ago, while enjoying a beautiful snowy escape in Old Quebec with its culinary traditions like tourtière.  So our holiday feast always features the French-Canadian meat pies.

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My mother used to start writing notes to friends and addressing Christmas cards the first week in December.  She had the most beautiful handwriting, having been schooled in the Palmer Method.  Even her quick “scribbling” was an attractive conglomeration of swoops and flourishes.  I treasure her knitting instructions, recipe cards and letters as part of…

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In a few months, Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor will celebrate its 30th anniversary.  As we designed our 2016 calendar, we used the opportunity to renew our commitment to our environment and to announce our Trash Responsibly™ campaign.  We hope you will join us to make some responsible choices that will have a positive…

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