Thom Smith

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…

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…

Three-petalled red trillium blooms on the forest floor.

Thom Smith explores Bartholomew’s Cobble

As the annual wildflower festival and native plant sale heads into its final weekend, Berkshire naturalist Thom Smith recalls a walk through Bartholomew’s Cobble, a Trustees of reservations Property in Sheffield along the Housatonic River. American author Hal Borland (1900 – 1978), best known for his nature musings, wrote, while living on his 100 acre farm on…

Thom Smith — Happy May Day

In New England (and old), May Day is traditionally a day for wildflowers. People would go Maying, giving bouquets, decorating the town center with flowers. They would play music and dance. The celebration has roots in Roman and Celtic holidays, and it’s easy to see the same kind of excitement now in the wildflower festival at Bartholomew’s Cobble all this week and the wildflower search at Lime Kiln Sanctuary on Saturday. So here, in celebration, Berkshire naturalist Thom Smith gathers wildflowers in Berkshire woods and fields, and his daughter, Laura Gross, offers a May tribute to each one.