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

Long Term Hope for Control of the Emerald Ash Borer

December 13, 2022

“It is a kind of all-American tree, growing everywhere east of the Rocky Mountains. It is used by most Americans, for sports equipment – baseball bats, tennis racket frames, hockey sticks, bowling alley floors, oars, polo mallets – as well as for tool handles and…

Exploring December While Shopping Local For The Holiday Season

December 6, 2022

“It has been a glorious winter day, its elements so simple, the sharp clear air, the white snow everywhere covering the earth, and the polished ice. Cold as it is, the sun seems warmer on my back even than in summer, as if its rays…

Building a Better Mousetrap Without Rodenticides

November 29, 2022

Every autumn at my house is also, secretly, called “mice-murdering season” when we do battle with families of pesky, albeit cute, white footed mice trying take up residence for the winter. Some years we only have a few, but other years it’s a major incursion.…

Roosting (not Roasting) Turkeys Take Flight

November 22, 2022

On a cool evening recently, I stepped outside to enjoy twilight. The fireplace was lit, dinner eaten, and I took a moment to enjoy the slow descent of nightfall in autumn. As I stood taking in the beautiful evening, I heard the unmistakable short gobble…

The Fisher of the Forest

November 15, 2022

The Last Green Valley is still 84 percent forest and farms, undeveloped land with most of our natural habitat in woodlands. Our region is home to an abundance of wildlife and today we’ll examine the fisher, one of our most energetic and unique forest dwellers.…

Exploring November in The Last Green Valley

November 8, 2022

“Now the hours of daylight are shortening noticeably. Dusk and dark advance minute by minute as these November nights close down. By midafternoon today it is beginning to resemble sundown under a heavily veiled sky,” — Edwin Way Teale from the chapter “Darker Days” in…

Halloween and Exploring Folktales and Haunting Traditions in The Last Green Valley

November 1, 2022

Tomorrow is Halloween, a favorite celebration for kids of all ages. Halloween is not just about candy and costumes. Its roots are in the festival of Samhain, a tradition of the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. Here is an interesting description of the origins…

Do Woolly Bears Predict Winter Weather?

October 25, 2022

By all accounts October has been a spectacular year for foliage. At this writing the trees appear to be in peak color, with most of our large sugar maples sporting bright yellow and orange coats with splashes of red. The red maples are shimmering scarlet,…

Invasive Plants – Information and Solutions from the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group

October 18, 2022

Plants have long traveled the world with humans, purposefully transported and planted in regions they had never grown before. The early colonists brought plants, fruit trees, grasses and grains to the new world, just as corn (maize), squash and beans grown by the Indigenous peoples…

A Backyard “Pheasant” Surprise

October 11, 2022

A lonely, male ring-neck pheasant moved onto my property in early May. I say lonely in pure human speculation, but also because he is the only pheasant we have seen and his loud penetrating kok-cack call emanating from our back pasture seems to be asking…

October in The Last Green Valley

October 4, 2022

“On such a day as this everything is beautiful and pensive at once. There is a hint of sadness in the transient glory of these soon-departing colors. This is the culmination of the beauty of our northern year. Now in a relentless few days, in…

Our Fall Season Migration Has Begun

September 27, 2022

I first heard them on Monday, September 12th, the unmistakable cacophony of Canada geese heading south, their honking calls urging them onward. I watched as the tightly gathered, V-shaped aerial squadron sliced through the sky and out of sight. I am not sure if this…