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

Friends at the Feeder

December 28, 2021

The house where I grew up was a one-level modern house with large windows my folks called “picture windows.” It was on a dead-end road and surrounded by tall trees of mostly oaks, some birch and maples, with the windows affording a panoramic view into…

Winter Is Coming

December 21, 2021

The morning of Dec. 9 we woke to a dusting of about 1 inch of snow that had me scraping the windshield and brushing off my truck before heading to the office. For some folks winter starts with the first snow, but for me it…

A Bald-Faced Hornet Nest

December 14, 2021

Outside my kitchen window, about 20 yards from the house is a bald-faced hornet’s nest. Suspended by a single thin branch on an old sugar maple tree, it hangs seven feet off the ground and is remarkable for its size and beautiful shape. The nest…

The December Night Sky

December 7, 2021

Star gazing is a wonderful activity any time of year, but something about a cold, clear and moonless winter night makes it seem even more magical. There is science behind the magic of winter star gazing; lower humidity in the winter atmosphere means clearer, crisper…

The Unique and Beautiful Tamarack Tree

November 30, 2021

The season of dazzling hillsides ablaze with vivid, colorful, autumnal foliage is all but over. There may be three more weeks before the winter solstice, but already most of our trees are showing their bare, skeletal branches, foretelling the approaching season of cold. At this…

Let’s OptOutside

November 23, 2021

Thanksgiving ushers in a season of celebration. We set aside our hectic lives to gather with family and friends to break bread, give thanks and enjoy cherished traditions. Roasted turkey with all the trimmings has usually been our mid-day meal, and when I was growing…

Where do Amphibians and Reptiles Go in Winter?

November 16, 2021

Some of our region’s mammals and birds either hibernate or migrate to survive the cold winter season of limited food resources. Snug in dens they snooze through the cold weeks and months or fly thousands of miles to tropical regions full of insects and blooming…

The Migrating and Hibernating Season

November 9, 2021

“This dropping into a sleep that seems so close to death is one of the strangest adventures of the animal world. The flame of life, for months on end, sinks so low it almost–but not quite–goes out” — Edwin Way Teale, from “Autumn Across America,” Chapter…

A Year of Fungus Among Us – Puffballs too!

November 2, 2021

The wet months of July and August may have put a damper on summer vacation plans, but it sure did wonders for the number of wild mushrooms found in the woods. I am the first to admit I have very little knowledge about mushrooms, wild…

It’s Been a “Nutty” Season of Acorns

October 26, 2021

There are several folktales when it comes to forecasting the severity of winter weather, and one I have heard quite a bit this fall is, this winter will be severe because oak trees are producing so many acorns. Recent hikes in our woods have been…

Hiking the Natchaug Trail along the Civilian Conservation Corps Loop

October 19, 2021

“As long as the light lasts in these mid-October days, we want to spend each sunlit moment out-of-doors. The silent tide of the autumn colors that has been rising during the earlier part of the month has held for several days now at its peak.”…

More Walktober!

October 12, 2021

This holiday weekend marks the half-way point of The Last Green Valley’s Walktober. So far, the weather has been mostly glorious and allowed our beautiful Heritage Corridor to shine. With three more weeks to go, however, Walktober really begins to heat up as the temperatures…