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

Exploring The Last Green Valley – The Ancient Snapping Turtle

August 22, 2016

The Ancient Snapping Turtle On the far-away island of Sala-ma-Sond, Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond. A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat. The water was warm. There was plenty to eat. The turtles had everything turtles might need. And […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley – The Beautiful Cardinal Flower

August 15, 2016

The Beautiful Cardinal Flower Whence is yonder flower so strangely bright? Would the sunset’s last reflected shine Flame so red from that dead flush of light? Dark with passion is its lifted line, Hot, alive, amid the falling night. Cardinal Flower, by Dora Read Goodale, […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley – Harvesting Water Chestnuts

August 8, 2016

Harvesting Water Chestnuts On Thursday, August 28, 2016, I had one of the more interesting and satisfying paddling experiences I have ever had. No, my day did not include an enjoyable and scenic float down one of our beautiful rivers. Instead, I spent a very […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley – The Beautiful & Historic Town of Scotland

August 1, 2016

The Beautiful & Historic Town of Scotland From time to time this column features one of the 35 towns located within The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor, and today we feature Scotland – one of our smallest, historic, and most heavily-wooded towns. Scotland has […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley – The Majestic Great Blue Heron

July 25, 2016

The Majestic Great Blue Heron I remember very clearly the first time I saw a great blue heron. It was in the early 1970s and I was hiking with friends at a large protected forest and wetlands habitat in Concord, MA, when suddenly a mature […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley – The Climbing Strangler of Trees – Oriental Bittersweet

July 18, 2016

The Climbing Strangler of Trees – Oriental Bittersweet As a wanderer of forests, paddler of rivers, and hiker of hills I am always on the lookout for invasive plants. Over the past several years the spread of invasive plants has imperiled our native plants. Without […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley – Enjoying Wetlands in The Last Green Valley

July 11, 2016

Exploring The Last Green Valley, Enjoying Wetlands in The Last Green Valley When we plan an outing to explore the beautiful natural resources here in The Last Green Valley, we tend to think of our state parks and network of trails that lead us through […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley – Fireworks and Celebrating Independence Day

July 4, 2016

Exploring The Last Green Valley, Fireworks and Celebrating Independence Day There are many holiday traditions that we all enjoy throughout the year. We stay up till midnight on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the first moments of the year. We search our closets for something […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley – Haying Season in The Last Green Valley

June 27, 2016

Exploring The Last Green Valley, Haying Season in The Last Green Valley “Make hay while the sun shines.” Old Proverb As of this writing, June has been mostly dry with few prolonged rain storms. Our dry weather has caused me to water my vegetable garden […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley – The First Day of Summer in The Last Green Valley

June 20, 2016

Exploring The Last Green Valley, The First Day of Summer in The Last Green Valley This Monday, June 20th, marks the first day of summer for 2016. Here are some first-day-of-summer facts from The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a handy source of weather information and wisdom. […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley, The Hermit of the Forest

June 13, 2016

Exploring The Last Green Valley, The Hermit of the Forest Readers of this column may recall my fondness for bluebirds and the bluebird boxes on our property in Putnam. The bluebird is one of the more familiar species of the thrush family, a diverse group […]

Read More...

Exploring The Last Green Valley, Mountain Laurel – Appreciating Kalmia latifolia, Our Connecticut State Flower

June 6, 2016

Exploring The Last Green Valley, Mountain Laurel – Appreciating Kalmia latifolia, Our Connecticut State Flower I was first introduced to mountain laurel after I moved to northeastern Connecticut in 1980. I lived on Route 198 in Woodstock, and at that time, the 5-mile stretch of […]

Read More...