Plant Identification

Sara DeLucia, AMC’s Highland Center program manager, points out wildflowers along the Around-the-Lake Trail, an easy 1.2-mile walking path that circles Ammonoosuc Lake on the grounds of the Highland Center, in New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch. Watch more videos from the Nature Walk series and browse all AMC videos on YouTube.  

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My first visit to the alpine zone in New Hampshire’s White Mountains was on Mount Washington. I was 15 years old, surviving day three of a high school orientation camping trip. The challenge of climbing several thousand feet to stand atop an iconic peak filled me with a sense of accomplishment. While the summit view…

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The mushrooms you see on a woodland hike are like the tips of icebergs, heralding something much larger below. Some species of fungus boast networks beneath the soil that can extend for miles. These subterranean webs also play an outsize role in the forest ecosystem. “It’s hard for us to imagine there are such large…

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Kids are naturally curious, as any parent knows, and one great way to encourage their curiosity, while also having a lot of fun, is to participate in a citizen science project. Citizen science is usually defined as the practice of public participation in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. This can be anything from counting…

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One of the earliest signs of spring is the Eastern skunk cabbage pushing up through thin ice and snow-covered ground. This remarkable plant actually produces heat as it grows. Look for it in early March while walking near swampy areas in woodlands or near creeks and ponds. Sniff Around Skunk cabbage gets its name from…

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For kids who like nature, science, treasure hunts, and maybe even a little friendly competition, a BioBlitz is an ideal activity, one in which a whole family or even a school can participate. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, a BioBlitz is essentially a 24-hour program to find and identify as many species of plants,…

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I’ve written a fair bit about fall foliage, including the best resources for finding peak foliage; how to take great foliage photos, especially with a polarizing filter; and how to find better foliage using a geologic map. Over the course of researching these articles, I often got distracted deep into the underlying science of what…

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Three large black walnut trees stand in a perfect line, parallel to the side of a home in Wenham, Mass. An old rope swing dangles from a lofty branch. The owner says her kids sometimes bounce on the swing to dislodge walnuts from high above. Hundreds of the nuts litter the lawn. Russ Cohen kicks…

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Russ Cohen has been foraging in the Northeast for four decades. Shagbark hickory nuts, Cohen’s favorite foraged food, can be used in numerous cookie and pie recipes. Here’s his recipe for a wafer cookie. Ingredients 1 cup dark brown sugar (or maple sugar) 6 tablespoons flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 eggs,…

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Bring your family to the Berkshires of western Massachusetts for bountiful summer wildflowers, rambling hikes and bicycle rides, and real dinosaur footprints that will fascinate young T. rex fans. Here are four suggestions for your next outdoor getaway. Ice Glen and Laura’s Tower in Stockbridge, Mass. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne called Ice Glen, which is just…

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