Woods and fields

Milkweed brings the monarchs

Berkshire naturalist Thom Smith goes looking for butterflies and their food plants.   This early August afternoon, before a heavy rain drove me home, I watched two monarchs apparently mating and another acting as if it would soon be laying eggs. I found them on milkweed plants. Flower and weed guides list Asclepiads syriaca as…

Hiking the Hopper Trail up Mount Greylock

I’ve been wanting to do this since the first weekend I lived here in summer. June 1999, after my junior year, I shared a roomy apartment with college friends on the first floor of a big yellow house on Park Street. I wanted to pick strawberries, and someone told me they grow wide along the…

Rare butterflies at Lime Kiln Farm

Berkshire Naturalist Thom Smith takes a walk through a Mass Audubon property in Sheffield. From beginning to end, a visitor to Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful walk that includes vistas of the Taconic Mountains beyond open hayfields and history with glimpses of barbed-wire fences, stone walls…