All posts by Karen O. Zimmermann

Karen O. Zimmermann

About Karen O. Zimmermann

Karen O. Zimmermann savors chance encounters with people throughout the state of Maine, and is endlessly delighted with the tales they have to share.

Weather proverbs, a true or false quiz

Weather is a favorite topic of conversation in America, it is safe, not likely to get people wound up, and always interesting. Weather lore has been around as long as there has been weather and people to talk about it, and I will take a weather conversation over politics any day. New Englanders have a […]

But Officer, my teacher told me to

  The four-years compressed into one-year learning extravaganza called the Maine Master Naturalist Program has gotten me into trouble more than once. I have been attacked by toe-biting insects and found myself deep in the woods with an angry goshawk. My last assignment had me talking to the police, or, had them talking to me. […]

It is sap season, why not make birch syrup, too?

Making birch syrup has been on my to-do list for years. I am fond of birch-flavored beverages and am out there tapping maple trees each year as winter turns to spring. Birch sap runs right after maple sap is finishing. It just seemed like a natural fit. I really wanted to tap yellow birch, as […]

Don’t let that snow get away! Preserving snow crystals is easy (or so I was told).

  I live for snow. I am not a skier, I just love walking in the stuff, sitting outside with a book and tea in the white, and taking far too many photos of things poking up through the snow, draped in snow, casting shadows on the snow… (Oh, if you are here just for […]

Winter warming drinks. Kick it up a notch from your mom’s hot chocolate

hot cocoa graphic

Cold days call for warm drinks. Think of a hot winter drink, and I’ll bet the first thing you think of is hot chocolate. I wish I loved hot chocolate, but it always makes me sick. I think it is my fault. It is such a delicious sugary buzz, I gulp it down quickly and […]

Can’t get a fish from a hole in the road

Tip up with flag up

The ice has come, the ice has gone, the ice is here again. It will be here for six more weeks if we can trust that Ground Hog. I am skeptical of any creature also known as a whistlepig, though, and for whom the leading topics in an internet search include 1.) How to repel, […]

What is ice fishing really about? At Great Pond, it is not just the fish

American flags on a jeep

400 plus souls gather in a field of ice. Three boys toss a ball for their dogs. A silver-blue Miata cruises with its top down. Fires dot the expanse, and a small group huddles around each one, warming hands and roasting hot dogs. It is the annual Great Pond Fishing Derby. Fish are the reason […]

Sauerkraut is comforting to make, comforting to eat

Fermented veggies in jars

With a name like Zimmermann, it is not surprising I grew up eating sour food–pickled herring, pickled onions, sauerbraten, and sauerkraut. I prepare German and Scandinavian meals regularly, too. While I make a sweet-tart red cabbage, and misshapen but tasty potato dumplings, somehow I had never made sauerkraut. My grandmother made kraut. I recall the […]

Five ways to have fun outdoors with no snow, iffy ice, and freezing temps

I avert my eyes from the brown and barren ground, and reluctantly stay off the very unsafe ice at some of my favorite ice walks. This is not a winter filled with powdery snow angels, hours spent crossing a flat frozen lake, or weekends hanging out at the fish shacks. Tempting though it is to […]