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 […]

Yes, it’s cold–but you don’t have to be

It’s here, the cold, the crisp, the invigorating single digit weather that is a Maine trademark. The projected temperatures for this weekend indicate a big chill, and you can hunker down with warm slippers and a good book, or get out there and embrace the cold. Reveling in it is my choice, and I grab […]

Foraging for maitake mushrooms–the time is now.

Maitake season is upon us. I was mourning that we had not gotten any this year, and that my supply was getting rather slim, and that it was pretty late, and whine after whine. Then, a burst of rain, and they were popping up all over. Now I have to scramble to freeze or cook […]

The learning will never stop–naturalists graduate

The last installment of my progress as a Maine Master Naturalist, Tier 1.   Fireworks end with a grand finale of ear-aching noise and blinding flashes. That is nothing compared to the Maine Master Naturalist finale, Tier One. We followed in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark through field and forest, and then put on […]

Science and Art: A group of naturalists make beautiful bugs

Another installment in my progress as a Maine Master Naturalist Tier 1 student.   We are in the home stretch, final assignments are due, and there is some scrambling to finish projects. Nineteen never-say-die aspiring naturalists, who might just possibly all be called over achievers, were given the assignment of building an insect model. We […]