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While the spongy moths have stopped destroying the tree canopy for this year, it’s a banner year for Red Actea or baneberry.  Collect the seeds to sow in the woods for future flowers. Photo by Dee Salomon

Too Much of a Good Thing? Probably, Yes

A last word, for now at least, on the spongy moths; my friend Spencer asked if the open tree canopy created by the caterpillar destruction had caused a  plant growth spike here. Well, yes, I had noticed that the trees had grown vastly taller than in years past.

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.


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