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

More Spring Outdoors and Vernal Pools along the Nehantic Trail

May 11, 2021

Here we are 7 weeks after the Vernal Equinox, and it finally seems like spring has arrived. The daffodils that bloom in our front yard didn’t appreciate 2 inches of snow that arrived in April but thankfully they sprang right back up as soon as…

Finding Beauty in a May Day

May 4, 2021

“Nature is shy and noncommittal in a crowd. To learn her secrets visit her alone or with a single friend, at most. Everything evades you, everything hides, even your thoughts escape you when you walk in a crowd.” —  Edwin Way Teale, from “Circle of…

Installing a Bat House in Your Yard

April 27, 2021

This week I begin my spring and summer volunteer work for the CT DEEP Wildlife Division to help monitor bats. This will be the fourth year I’m doing this work, and I have written about this important volunteer activity in past columns. Twice a month,…

Eastern White Oak: Connecticut State Tree and So Much More

April 20, 2021

“If the oak is the king of trees, as tradition has it, then the Eastern White Oak, throughout its range, is the king of kings.” — Donald Culross Peattie from “A Natural History of North American Trees” The last several years have been hard on…

Our Shared Heritage: The Lebanon Historical Society

April 13, 2021

“History, I like to think, is a larger way of looking at life. It is a source of strength, of inspiration. It is about who we are and what we stand for and is essential to our understanding of what our own role should be…

Finding Beauty in April

April 6, 2021

“All of nature is a going concern. The business of spring is a prospering. I stand for a long time beside the swamp stream in a fairyland setting of low-lying mist glowing and tinted with the pink of the sunrise. Here is beauty, here is…

Ready, set, hike!

March 30, 2021

“Hiking is not escapism; it’s realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong.” — Jennifer Pharr Davis, Explorer, Author, Speaker The first day of spring 2021 dawned as a glorious cloudless day…

The Magnificent Great Horned Owl

March 23, 2021

“Every night the owl with his wild monkey-face calls through the black branches, and the mice freeze and the rabbits shiver in the snowy fields— and then there is the long, deep trough of silence when he stops singing, and steps into the air.” —…

Time to Spring Outdoors

March 16, 2021

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”  — Rachael Carson, The Sense of Wonder Saturday, March 20 at 5:37 a.m. is the vernal equinox and the first day of…

Finding Beauty in March

March 9, 2021

“Now is that sweet unwritten moment when all things are possible, are just begun. The little tree has not quite leafed. The mate is not yet chosen. To the rambler in the woods all that he can find in heavy books will be of less…

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…