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Cardamine impatiens, the narrowleaf bittercress, hides among my ferns, which it can resemble when young. Its seeds pop open when the pods are touched, sending them flying. Photo by Dee Salomon

At Last, Some Good News

At least where I am situated, in Litchfield County on the shores of the Housatonic River, it looks like there were two hatches of spongy moth caterpillars.  The older hatch has slowed down and is starting to pupate.  I have noticed fewer droppings as I walk the woods.  And a few other observations that, for a change, have me smiling: There are d


The Round Hill Highland Games return to Lime Rock Park in Salisbury, Conn., on Sunday, June 26, with caber tossing, a 1-mile kilted run and many other exotic delights.  Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

In a Topsy-Turvy World, the Highland Games Bring a Taste of Tradition

For most people, it won’t make much difference that this year’s Round Hill Highland Games will be slightly different than they are in a normal year.

First of all, who really knows what normal means in a COVID-19 world.


Come taste Andy Williams’ award-winning Bloody Mary mix at LaBonne’s market on June 25, where the mix is now being sold in bottles. Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

A Bloody Good Bloody Mary Mix

The history of the Bloody Mary cocktail is vague, with no one really certain how it got its name or who invented it in the first place.


A good strawberry shortcake doesn’t have to be fussy; you can make one quickly with a simple homemade jam, ladyfingers and whipped cream from the can. Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

A Shortcut To Strawberry Shortcake

Sweet red strawberries from California have been at grocery stores for weeks now, and soon we will begin to see the smaller, tarter local berries.

Even though strawberry is my favorite jam flavor, I rarely make it. But this year I figured out a berry preserve “cheat” that is delicious even if it’s not perfect.


Frank Gehry’s Fisher Center is reason enough to make a trip to Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., and the Bard College campus, but there are also concerts and performances there throughout the summer. Photo of Fisher Center by Peter Aron/Esto

Bard College: Worth the Drive for Music & More

Distances seem to become daunting, even insurmountable, here in the Tristate region. Perhaps it’s because we’re all so comfy in our country homes — although I think actually what happens is that, emotionally, we all begin to set up Boundaries that Must Not Be Crossed.


Sisters Petra, at left in photo, and Sadie Leite, at the entrance to one of the trails leading to the Connecticut section of the Appalachian Trail. Photo submitted

The Leite Sisters Hike The AT with Caterpillars And Cinderella

I don’t really know where the idea came from. There are a lot of sources I can point to. My family has a house in Salisbury, Conn. I often see thru-hikers stomping toward ice cream at LaBonne’s market.


Hazmat, at left, and Boo Boo are hikers on their way to Gorham, N.H. , to complete their journey along the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail. They are from Georgia and have been doing the trail, section by section, over the course of several years. Photo by Lans Christensen

In 2022, the AT Has Grown in Length and In Number of Hikers

I haven’t done the math on this, to be honest, but I’d be willing to wager that there are more miles of hiking trails in the Tristate region than there are paved roads.


Some extraordinary cars show up on our area roads. This 1953 Hudson Hornet was on Main Street in Kent, Conn., at the end of May. Photo by Lans Christensen

Vintage Vehicles That Can Inspire Dreams & Bring Back Memories

Truly a legendary piece of American automotive history, the Hudson Hornet was only manufactured from 1951 through 1954. It was one of several Hudson models, but by far the most popular and sought after.

With only four years of production there just aren’t many of them available or even in existence.


Elizabeth Mayhew, the renowned cake decorator and baker behind The Dutchy of Millbrook, contributed one of her gorgeous creations to the 2021 Let Them Eat Cake fundraiser for the Sharon Historical Society & Museum. Photo by Elizabeth Mayhew, The Dutchy of Millbrook

Baking as a Competitive Sport (And a Fundraising Tool)

Baking cake is not a specialty of mine. For some reason, my cakes are never as successful as my bread.

Which means this article will not provide you with a foolproof cake technique, other than to suggest that box cakes are much better than you think they’re going to be and often in fact are much moister than a from-scratch version.

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