Plant Identification

With Spring only weeks away, red maple buds are poised to burst into flower.         If you’ve never had a chance to greet these early bloomers at eye level, prepare for a welcome blast of winter-busting color. Red maple flowers are spectacular, and they come by the bazillion.     Some trees…

Read More....

The more you think you know a place, the more likely you are to be proven wrong. I’ve written about New England—especially Massachusetts—for years, and while I feel like I know every nook and cranny, I’m always delighted to find a new piece of the outdoors to love. Such is the case with Camp Sayre,…

Read More....

If you’re able to recognize only one plant, it better be poison ivy. Memorize these helpful hints to identify it in any season.  “Leaves of three, leave them be.” Poison ivy leaves always occur in clusters of three. “Longer middle stem, don’t touch them.” The middle leaflet of the trio will have a longer stem…

Read More....

A predawn light has begun to brighten the eastern horizon, but I still need my headlamp as I scramble along under a cloak of maples and oaks. I make up time on a clear stretch of trail but immediately slow down again to avoid stumbling on loose stones. I’m hurrying because I’m late. I was…

Read More....

Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? Perfect for young and old alike, this activity—also known as a treasure hunt in some family circles—lends itself to camping trips, birthday parties, even your own backyard. From close-to-home forays to summer-long hunts all over New England, an outdoor scavenger hunt introduces a healthy dose of competition and discovery…

Read More....

According to the New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS), native plant species are disappearing at an alarming rate. In a report released this spring, researchers detail the trend—and what can be done to halt it. One easy measure is to make space for native plants in your own yard. Daniel Jaffe of NEWFS recommends starting…

Read More....

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.  

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....