The Outside Story: Crows in Winter

During winter, I catch glimpses of crows as they fly swiftly over our valley, cawing, or gather in small groups to feed on roadkill along the highway.

Judith’s Garden: Sleeping Beauty, Part 2

It’s mid- January as I write this article. My garden, and most likely yours too, is sleeping under a light covering of snow.

Ways of seeing: Gentle heat provides pleasing winter thaw

During the beginning of the month, when it wasn’t below zero, I lost heat. Sitting at my computer, not moving around the house or yard, my hands were icy.

Matthew Dickerson: The delight of one outdoor chore

The temperature is in the low teens. My chainsaw hums smoothly. The machine likes this temperature. I stand in six inches of snow next to a huge old maple that got toppled by a strong wind a few weeks ago.

Faith Gong: January in four scenes

During our family’s early years in Vermont, my friend Deborah warned me that January was the coldest month. “There’s usually one week every January when the temperature never gets above freezing,” she said.

Ask a Master Gardener: How to force winter flowers

Forsythia in February? Impossible, you say? Not so. A vase full of flowers from the garden won’t take much more effort than harvesting some branches to force them to bloom.

Jessie Raymond: Too-tight coat gives cold comfort

The tight fit limits my mobility; even the most basic movements, such as reaching across my chest to put on my seatbelt, become full-body workouts. I once hit my target heart rate just trying to close the back hatch on the car.

Judith’s Garden: Sleeping beauty, Part 1

What about the garden in winter, as it sleeps under a blanket snow? This can be equally beautiful. It’s all about the contrast of the seasons — something that I relish about living in the Green Mountain State.

Matthew Dickerson: Ode to snow (and an outdoor center)

My wife and I bought our seasons passes for the Rikert Nordic Center today. In truth, it was more of a step of hope than one based on the present reality.

High school athletes made the most of pandemic-shortened winter season

ADDISON COUNTY — This winter’s high school sports mirrored the fall season. It began with uncertainty. Would the pandemic allow the athletes to play? A post-holiday surge of infections threatened athletes’ hopes, just as a late-summer peak in 2020 challen … (read more)

The Outside Story: Bluebirds flock to feeders in winter

On Valentine’s Day, as I sat down to write, I noticed a burst of blue outside my upstairs window. Looking out with my binoculars, I counted six eastern bluebirds. Clustered on and below my suet feeders, they were a wonderfully pleasant surprise on a chill … (read more)

To avoid rescues, plan winter hikes

A crop of recent books about search and rescue in the mountains will keep you on the edge of your chair (or mountain crag), and give valuable insight on how to stay safe (see suggested reading below). Rescues are time consuming, expensive and dangerous, e … (read more)

Ways of Seeing: Winter feels different this year

My summer tires were switched over to winter ones on a warm, sunny December morning. It was one of those days that made me forget that it had snowed a few weeks earlier and that I was welcoming the warm breeze on my face while standing in front of Heffern … (read more)

Senior Lifestyles: Winter adds new pandemic challenges

MIDDLEBURY — If there was one silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was that arrived at the beginning of spring, when people of all ages could at least congregate outdoors with appropriate face attire and social distancing. But a Vermont winter is ni … (read more)

Garden: Keep your compost alive during the winter

While you might think that cold temperatures keep a compost pile from composting, that is not the case. In my winter compost pile I regularly achieve temperatures in excess of 130 degrees Fahrenheit even when it’s in the low teens or single digits at nigh … (read more)


The Addison Independent will be closed on Monday, July 4th. The newspaper will be published on Thursday, as usual.