Follow the Trail with Bill Reid,
The Last Green Valley's Chief Ranger

Garden Thoughts and Seed Catalogs

March 2, 2021

“I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” — Henry David Thoreau, from “The Dispersion of Seeds,” 1860-1861 One of the joys of winter is the arrival of seed catalogs in…

A Gathering of Winter Flocks

February 23, 2021

This winter I’ve noticed a variety of winter bird species gathering in flocks at my feeder. Each year I expect to see several dark eyed juncos scouring the grass under our feeder. This year they arrived in late fall, right on time from nesting grounds…

Celebrate Black History Month with a Visit to the Norwich Freedom Trail:

February 16, 2021

“The next day, Friday morning, Brother Simpson took me down to the steamboat and started me for New York, giving me a letter directed to David Ruggles, of New York.”  From the Autobiography of James L. Smith, published in 1881 and reprinted by the Society…

Finding Beauty in February

February 9, 2021

And then the owl called, and I wondered why that sound had ever inspired fear or horror. It was bird song and I thanked God for it, in the night and the silence and the cold winter’s nadir. Bird song in February darkness! A voice,…

A Winter Hike in The Last Green Valley

February 2, 2021

Every season of the year brings an opportunity for an enjoyable day outdoors, whether it is spent exploring forest or field, river or lake. Months and weeks turn purposefully through the lifecycle of our natural world. Our encounters and experiences change within that annual cycle…

On the Letterboxing Trail in The Last Green Valley

January 26, 2021

For folks looking to get outdoors with family, friends, or just a solo hike in nature, let me suggest a letterboxing activity as a fun way to explore. If you have youngsters and would like to spark their interest in nature, then the enticement of…

Eagle Month in The Last Green Valley: The Midwinter Eagle Survey

January 19, 2021

Every January for the past 11 years I’ve visited the Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery to look for eagles. Last Saturday I returned again, this time with seven other eagle searchers. We were there to take part in the annual Midwinter Eagle Survey organized by the…

First Day Exploration of a “Young Forest Habitat” at Mount Misery

January 12, 2021

Jan. 1 dawned with temperatures in the low 30s, low hanging clouds and the occasional peeks of sunlight. My wife and I have a tradition of a hike or walk to begin the new year. “First Day” hikes are a fun tradition for many people,…

Finding Beauty in January Freshly Fallen Snow

January 5, 2021

“On this day of bleak cold, the earth seems dead. Yet every northern field and hillside, like a child, has seeds and powers of growth locked within it. From cocoon to bur on a winter’s day, there is everywhere life, dormant but waiting,” By Edwin…

A 2021 Monthly Guide to Exploring The Last Green Valley

December 29, 2020

New Year’s Day is Friday and each of us will welcome 2021 in our own way. I will be happy to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. The challenges this past year were unprecedented in my lifetime, and, even with the turn of the calendar…

Welcome to winter – the season of snowshoes

December 21, 2020

The snows of winter arrived early this year, even before this week’s storm that covered The Last Green Valley in significant inches. Despite the recent arrival of the white stuff, winter actually starts Dec. 21 at 5:02 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Welcome to the Winter…

Giving the Gift of Nature & Conservation in The Last Green Valley

December 21, 2020

As the holidays approach I have been thinking about what gifts to purchase for family and friends. I try to shop at smaller local businesses as much as possible and in recent years have focused on giving “experiences” rather than things. This has led me…