Arts & Life

An intimate concert in the hills: Watermelon Wednesdays celebrates 25 years of presenting world-class acoustic music

07-19-2024 1:20 PM

By MELISSA KAREN SANCES

Even the bats are moved.At intermission they dance out of the belfry of the West Whately Chapel, like musical notes across a sunset staff. And after precisely cut watermelon slices are enjoyed, darkness falls and the second set begins, they flutter in...


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There is a Season with Molly Parr: Swoon-worthy dessert: A Jacques Pepin recipe for baked peaches filled with mascarpone

07-19-2024 1:01 PM

By MOLLY PARR

I think at this point we have more streaming services than I can count, but honestly, when I want to just sit and watch something, my go-tos are the cooking shows on PBS Create. That’s where I saw Jacques Pepin make this recipe for baked peaches...


Weekly Food Photo Contest: This week’s winner: Jodi Hnyda of Florence

07-19-2024 11:13 AM

Jodi Hnyda of Florence has the right idea: “I love to keep it light and fresh when it’s hot outside!” This bowl of yum contains cucumber, mango, garden greens, tofu and feta atop pearl couscous.How to enter: Snap a pic of something delicious-looking...


Valley Bounty: Peaches make their sweet return: Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield celebrates a bountiful season

07-19-2024 11:12 AM

By LISA GOODRICH

After much anticipation, peaches are ripe and now available on farm stands and at farmers markets in the Valley. Ben Clark, fourth generation farmer and owner/operator of Clarkdale Fruit Farms, explains that western Massachusetts is generally the...


Food, friends, music and beer: Food Truck Fridays is the place to be in Easthampton this summer

07-18-2024 3:53 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

Going out with friends can be challenging when clashing tastes in food make it impossible to choose a restaurant. But for Abandoned Building Brewery in Easthampton, the solution to this predicament is simple, and it comes rolling in on four...


Arts Briefs: Pottery tour in the Hilltowns, kid’s music in Northampton, ‘Hedwig’ in Easthampton, and more

07-18-2024 2:49 PM

By PAIGE HANSON

Clay all dayHILLTOWNS – The annual Hilltown 6 Pottery Tour returns next weekend, July 27 and 28. The event, which includes a tour of pottery studios in Westhampton, Cummington, Ashfield, Williamsburg and Windsor, brings throngs of visitors to the...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: A plant that’s sure to turn heads: Acanthus plants inspired classical Greek architecture

07-18-2024 11:57 AM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

Anyone with a passing knowledge of art history is familiar with the acanthus plant, whether they know it or not. The acanthus leaf, broad and serrated, is the decorative motif on the capital of the classical Corinthian column, more ornate than the...


Speaking of Nature: A bird that epitomizes ‘sleek’: An account of my first day at First Encounter Beach

07-16-2024 12:52 PM

By BILL DANIELSONFor the GazetteIt was a Saturday morning on Cape Cod, which is usually a problematic day because it is moving day. All of the weekly renters start heading off the Cape to make room for the next wave of renters and traffic can be a...


Knitters’ paradise: Webs, ‘America’s Yarn Store’ and a mainstay for Valley crafters for generations, turns 50

07-12-2024 3:03 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

When Webs opened their doors on May 16, the first day of the store’s annual tent sale, store manager Angela Cheek watched as a rush of people flowed through the doors for three whole continuous minutes on a Thursday morning. Within an hour, the...


Music in the sky: Summit House Sunset Concert Series returns to its 173-year-old home

07-12-2024 3:00 PM

By PAIGE HANSON

For the first time in two years, The Friends of Mount Holyoke Range have returned the Summit House Sunset Concert Series to its namesake, Skinner State Park’s historic Summit House. The Summit House, which sits at a 935-foot elevation on top of Mount...


150 years at home: Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke to open retrospective exhibit July 22; reception July 17

07-12-2024 2:50 PM

By PAIGE HANSON

On July 22, the Wistariahurst Museum will open a new retrospective exhibit, “Wistariahurst at 150: Reflections of the Museum.”“This exhibit looks at Wistariahurst’s history as a building in the City of Holyoke — first as a family home; then as a...


Weekly Food Photo Contest: This week’s winner: Amy Dopp of Easthampton

07-12-2024 1:19 PM

Amy Dopp of Easthampton made this blueberry pie on the Fourth of July for her family, using fresh berries picked from Bird Haven Farm in Southampton. How to enter: Snap a pic of something delicious-looking and send it with your name, town and a...


A hobby that rocks: Self-taught Whately stone carver sculpts whatever inspires him

07-11-2024 1:29 PM

By PAIGE HANSON

Around 15 years ago, Frank Popkiewicz was in Aroostook County, Maine, when he found a stone, in a shape that he thought resembled a bear, face down in the Earth.Since finding that stone, Popkiewicz’s interest in stones and rocks has only increased...


Valley Bounty: Rising from the ashes: One year after tragic fire, J & J Farms in Amherst enters new chapter with community backing

07-11-2024 1:27 PM

By JACOB NELSON

For over two decades, J & J Farms stood alone as the last dairy farm in Amherst. Many other small New England dairies shuttered as the economy shifted even more in favor of mega-dairies, but the Waskiewicz family held on, milking cows while also...


Let’s Talk Relationships: Triggers happen: What to do when your buttons get pushed

07-11-2024 1:23 PM

By AMY NEWSHORE

We all get “triggered” at times in significant relationships with loved ones. This happens when we react so strongly to what the other person is saying or doing that our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are out of proportion to the current situation....


Only Human with Joan Axelrod-Contrada: Laugh more, stress less: How humor can help us through our most painful times

07-11-2024 1:23 PM

By JOAN AXELROD-CONTRADA

Songs that combine a good metaphor with a bouncy beat rocket me into my word-nerd, ear-worm stratosphere. “Everyday I Write the Book” by Elvis Costello tops my list.How cool to think of our lives as books that we’re writing! Costello frames the song...


Speaking of Nature: Selective mowing: Finding the right balance of how much and how often to cut back the grass

07-09-2024 1:17 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

I think it is safe to say that most everyone is familiar with the notion of something called “No Mow May.” Basically, the concept promotes the idea that all mowing be put on hold during the month of May in order to allow our pollinators to get the...


This hiking club’s first rule? No diet talk: The Body Liberation Outdoor Club is coming to the Valley

07-05-2024 1:05 PM

By MELISSA KAREN SANCES

The founder of the Body Liberation Outdoor Club saw “The Fat Babe Pool Party” in “Shrill,” the Hulu series about a heavy woman’s journey to embracing her body, and felt like she was in a dream. In the fourth episode of Season 1, the main character has...


Valley Bounty: Blueberry fields forever: Family farm in Heath cultivates connection to a special summer crop

07-05-2024 12:44 PM

By JACOB NELSON

“This is a farm, but it feels like a wild place,” says Meredith Wecker about The Benson Place. “That’s why I fell in love with it.”The Benson Place is a diversified farm that Wecker runs with her husband, Andrew Kurowski, and is best known for their...


Meet the dinosaurs of western Mass: The Rock Fossil and Dinosaur Shop makes the prehistoric accessible for kids and adults

07-05-2024 12:40 PM

By PAIGE HANSON

Driving down the road on Route 5 in South Deerfield, commuters are met with a prehistoric surprise: a giant volcano with a huge dinosaur statue smack in front of a bright-green shack. Most find themselves asking, “What in the world is this...


Your Daily Puzzles

Cross|Word

An approachable redesign to a classic. Explore our "hints."

Flipart

A quick daily flip. Finally, someone cracked the code on digital jigsaw puzzles.

Really Bad Chess

Chess but with chaos: Every day is a unique, wacky board.

SpellTower

Word search but as a strategy game. Clearing the board feels really good.

Typeshift

Align the letters in just the right way to spell a word. And then more words.


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