Arts & Life

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

07-19-2024 1:26 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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Valley Bounty: Peaches make their sweet return: Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield celebrates a bountiful season

07-19-2024 10:17 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...


Conway poet writes ‘for people who love language’

07-19-2024 10:14 AM

By SAM FERLAND

With her second collection of poetry, Conway resident Libby Maxey is documenting various moments of belonging and isolation while reflecting on time spent during the COVID-19 pandemic that may have been forgotten if not turned into poetry.“I think the...


Shakespeare reimagined: New play based on ‘King Lear’ explores themes of dementia and addiction

07-19-2024 10:13 AM

By ADA DENENFELD KELLY

Over 400 years after Shakespeare wrote “King Lear,” a theater production reimagines the story as one about the complexities of dementia.Director Toby Vera Bercovici of Cleveland Heights, Ohio and Northampton created the play over the course of five...


Faith Matters: Embodying the spirit of Jeong: Universal values of mutual respect and love echoed across various faiths

07-19-2024 9:57 AM

By THE REV. DR. CANDI ASHENDEN

Before heading to South Korea in August to visit my son who teaches there, I did a little research into the religions of South Korea and was intrigued by what I learned. I discovered that South Korea, a vibrant country with a rich cultural tapestry,...


Films for the whole family: Greenfield Garden Cinemas’ Studio Ghibli Fest continues through the end of the year

07-19-2024 9:57 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

There’s still time to be spirited away to the world of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated worlds, as the Greenfield Garden Cinemas’ Studio Ghibli Fest continues through the end of the year.Building off the success of last year’s more-limited festival, folks...


Sounds Local: Women take center stage: Four female singer-songwriters to perform at July 26 Off the Common event in Greenfield

07-17-2024 2:21 PM

By SHERYL HUNTER

Despite the oppressive heat, July has been a good month for music fans, and it only gets better in the weeks ahead. As the month is ending, it’s almost time for the second event in the Off the Common summer music series. Hawks & Reed Performing Arts...


Mosaic mural by Ashfield artist lands on Keystone Market

07-17-2024 12:49 PM

By ADA DENENFELD KELLY

When Ashfield artist Robert Markey looked at the empty wall on the side of Keystone Market in Shelburne Falls, he saw a blank canvas.When the building’s owners agreed that the wall could be the location of Markey’s latest mosaic mural, he was excited...


Embracing the smash burger: Attempting to make at home the newest trend in fast food

07-16-2024 12:54 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

My love for food is rooted in tradition and family — so it can take me a while to catch on to current trends in Foodie Land. I have thus only just discovered the smash burger.Smash burgers are the current chic descendant of the hamburger, a dish that...


Step into this ‘outdoor living room’: Greenfield couple’s garden is their place to unwind and get creative

07-15-2024 2:33 PM

By EVELINE MACDOUGALL

A Franklin Street neighborhood in Greenfield has become even more welcoming for passersby of many species, thanks to the efforts of Dawn Kennedy and Margo Townley, who’ve transformed their property into a bountiful haven on less than one-fifth of an...


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

07-15-2024 6:01 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

It 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 bear. However, I had the advantage...


Dining al fresco?: Some of the best places to enjoy a meal outside in Franklin County

07-12-2024 1:11 PM

By ADA DENENFELD KELLY

A good meal enjoyed outside is a wonderful addition to any summer day.Whatever you’re in the mood for, Franklin County has delicious, fresh food to enjoy outdoors with the backdrop of the gorgeous local scenery. Here are five recommendations for...


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

07-12-2024 1:09 PM

By PAIGE HANSON

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


Who was your best teacher? Identifying the universal traits of great mentors

07-12-2024 1:07 PM

By DOUG SELWYN

Please think of a person you would identify as your best teacher. It might be a teacher you had in a class at school or college, but it could also be someone you took a dance or drawing class with, a coach, an employer or fellow employee, a member of...


Faith Matters: ‘God’s Eye is on the Sparrow’: Unlike the fleeting nature of our troubles, God’s love is everlasting

07-12-2024 1:05 PM

By THE REV. DR. MEGAN E. LEARY

For my birthday last year my husband and sons gave me a bird feeder with a camera attached.The camera has a motion sensor that is activated when birds land to feed and then captures video of them eating. I have become enchanted with watching the...


Book Review: ‘That Day and What Came After’: Turners Falls author pens book about processing grief after loss

07-12-2024 1:04 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

Grief is a universal human emotion. We all lose people we love, particularly as we grow older. Rebecca Daniels of Turners Falls recalls the loss of her husband, and the strategies she used for dealing with that loss, in “That Day and What Came After:...


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

07-12-2024 1:04 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...


Sounds Local: ‘More musicians than we have porches’: Shelburne Falls Porch Festival returns bigger than ever this Sunday

07-10-2024 3:16 PM

By SHERYL HUNTER

Shelburne Falls is always a great place to visit in the summer, but even more so this weekend, as the town hosts its fifth annual Porch Music Festival on Sunday, July 14. This free event will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and feature over 40 musical acts...


The origin story of pimiento cheese: A Southern staple for decades, the colorful cheese spread is gaining popularity in New England

07-09-2024 1:19 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

Cheese has always been my favorite food category. If I had to choose between it and chocolate, I’d choose cheese (and I adore chocolate). Nevertheless, I was unfamiliar with pimiento cheese for much of my life.When I was in my early 20s I moved to...


An entryway and a whole new skill set: Greenfield homeowner took a hands-on approach to her dream project, and it paid off

07-08-2024 4:01 PM

By EVELINE MACDOUGALL

Donna Riggs goes by the nickname Lucky, and the first-time homeowner feels fortunate indeed. Riggs, 63, heartily contributes to making her own luck, and did so this spring by participating in the replacement of her home’s entryway. As a result, the...


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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