Arts & Life

Dining al fresco?: Some of the best places to enjoy a meal outside in Franklin County

07-12-2024 1:11 PM

By ADA DENENFELD KELLY

A good meal enjoyed outside is a wonderful addition to any summer day.Whatever you’re in the mood for, Franklin County has delicious, fresh food to enjoy outdoors with the backdrop of the gorgeous local scenery. Here are five recommendations for...


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A hobby that rocks: Self-taught Whately stone carver sculpts whatever inspires him

07-12-2024 1:09 PM

By PAIGE HANSON

Around 15 years ago, Frank Popkiewicz was in Aroostook County, Maine when he found a stone face down into the Earth, in a shape that he thought resembled a bear.Since finding that stone, Popkiewicz’s interest in stones and rocks has only increased...


Who was your best teacher? Identifying the universal traits of great mentors

07-12-2024 1:07 PM

By DOUG SELWYN

Please think of a person you would identify as your best teacher. It might be a teacher you had in a class at school or college, but it could also be someone you took a dance or drawing class with, a coach, an employer or fellow employee, a member of...


Faith Matters: ‘God’s Eye is on the Sparrow’: Unlike the fleeting nature of our troubles, God’s love is everlasting

07-12-2024 1:05 PM

By THE REV. DR. MEGAN E. LEARY

For my birthday last year my husband and sons gave me a bird feeder with a camera attached.The camera has a motion sensor that is activated when birds land to feed and then captures video of them eating. I have become enchanted with watching the...


Book Review: ‘That Day and What Came After’: Turners Falls author pens book about processing grief after loss

07-12-2024 1:04 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

Grief is a universal human emotion. We all lose people we love, particularly as we grow older. Rebecca Daniels of Turners Falls recalls the loss of her husband, and the strategies she used for dealing with that loss, in “That Day and What Came After:...


Valley Bounty: Blueberry fields forever: Family farm in Heath cultivates connection to a special summer crop

07-12-2024 1:04 PM

By JACOB NELSON

“This is a farm, but it feels like a wild place,” says Meredith Wecker about The Benson Place. “That’s why I fell in love with it.”The Benson Place is a diversified farm that Wecker runs with her husband, Andrew Kurowski, and is best known for their...


Sounds Local: ‘More musicians than we have porches’: Shelburne Falls Porch Festival returns bigger than ever this Sunday

07-10-2024 3:16 PM

By SHERYL HUNTER

Shelburne Falls is always a great place to visit in the summer, but even more so this weekend, as the town hosts its fifth annual Porch Music Festival on Sunday, July 14. This free event will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and feature over 40 musical acts...


The origin story of pimiento cheese: A Southern staple for decades, the colorful cheese spread is gaining popularity in New England

07-09-2024 1:19 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

Cheese has always been my favorite food category. If I had to choose between it and chocolate, I’d choose cheese (and I adore chocolate). Nevertheless, I was unfamiliar with pimiento cheese for much of my life.When I was in my early 20s I moved to...


An entryway and a whole new skill set: Greenfield homeowner took a hands-on approach to her dream project, and it paid off

07-08-2024 4:01 PM

By EVELINE MACDOUGALL

Donna Riggs goes by the nickname Lucky, and the first-time homeowner feels fortunate indeed. Riggs, 63, heartily contributes to making her own luck, and did so this spring by participating in the replacement of her home’s entryway. As a result, the...


Speaking of Nature: Selective mowing: Finding the right balance of how much and how often to cut back the grass

07-08-2024 6:01 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

I think it is safe to say that most everyone is familiar with the notion of something called “No Mow May.” Basically, the concept promotes the idea that all mowing be put on hold during the month of May in order to allow our pollinators to get the...


Discover a hidden talent: Craft class aims to inspire participants to submit their works to the Franklin County Fair showcase

07-05-2024 1:53 PM

By SAM FERLAND

The Roundhouse Craft Series, a class made for residents to learn crafting skills at the Greenfield Public Library, began on Tuesday, hoping to encourage and inspire participants to submit their crafts to the craft showcase at the Franklin County Fair...


This hiking club’s first rule? No diet talk: The Body Liberation Outdoor Club is coming to the Valley

07-05-2024 1:08 PM

By MELISSA KAREN SANCES

The founder of the Body Liberation Outdoor Club saw “The Fat Babe Pool Party” in “Shrill,” the Hulu series about a heavy woman’s journey to embracing her body, and felt like she was in a dream. In the fourth episode of Season 1, the main character has...


Let’s Talk Relationships: Triggers happen: What to do when your buttons get pushed

07-05-2024 12:41 PM

By AMY NEWSHORE

We all get “triggered” at times in significant relationships with loved ones. This happens when we react so strongly to what the other person is saying or doing that our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are out of proportion to the current situation....


Historian details long-forgotten history of a Colrain veteran’s murder, a manhunt and a prison escape

07-05-2024 12:40 PM

By ADA DENENFELD KELLY

The 1875 murder of a Civil War veteran named Joseph Riley Farnsworth is a story that is often forgotten in the annals of Colrain history, according to Catamount Hill Association historian Prentice Crosier.Farnsworth was coming back from a trip to...


Meet the dinosaurs of western Mass: The Rock Fossil and Dinosaur Shop makes the prehistoric accessible for kids and adults

07-05-2024 11:02 AM

By PAIGE HANSON

Driving down the road on Route 5 in South Deerfield, commuters are met with a prehistoric surprise: a giant volcano with a huge dinosaur statue smack in front of a bright-green shack. Most find themselves asking, “What in the world is this...


Sounds Local: Together for the first time in 10 years: Peter Mulvey to perform with David Goodrich this weekend in Shelburne Falls

07-03-2024 3:06 PM

By SHERYL HUNTER

When Peter Mulvey performs at the Permaculture Place at the Mill in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, July 6, at 7 p.m., it promises to be a special night of music.The singer-songwriter from Northampton is an engaging performer whose music combines...


A cool salad for hot summer days: A brief history and recipe for the Greek (Horiatiki) salad

07-02-2024 1:15 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

Hot weather hit us this year even before the official inauguration of summer on June 20. My house was designed to maximize sunlight in our New England winters. Consequently, it gets very warm in the summer months.When the warm temperatures arrive, I...


‘It’s not an exclusive club’: Charlemont concert series aims to make chamber music accessible

07-02-2024 9:49 AM

By ADA DENENFELD KELLY

CHARLEMONT — Organizers of Mohawk Trail Concerts, a series now in its 54th season that continues through July 20, aim to make chamber music accessible for all.“We just want to enjoy music and share it with as many people as possible,” said Mark...


Speaking of Nature: Become a part of the background: Reasons why you can, and should, take up nature bathing

07-01-2024 6:01 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

Sometime back in the 1980s, in response to increased urbanization and technological development, the government of Japan decided that it was a good idea for people to turn off their electronics and get back to nature. Thus it was that the concept of...


The long view: Reflecting on 30 years in local journalism

06-28-2024 3:25 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

In the early 1990s, I answered an ad for a reporting job at the Gazette. I had editorial experience — I’d worked as a copywriter, a copy editor, and a proofreader — and I liked writing, but I’d never worked for a newspaper, unless you counted a few...


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