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You Can't Mess With Mother Nature (But That Doesn't Stop Me From Trying)

 August 16, 2014

In his book "The Control of Nature" John McPhee chronicles such futile human efforts as spraying fire hoses on a volcanic lava flow that threatened an Icelandic fishing village, building dikes along the flood-prone Mississippi River and constructing landslide barriers around...

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Recent Posts

For the Ultra Athlete, Nothing Succeeds Like Excess

 August 9, 2014

At 5:40 Thursday morning the sun had yet to poke above the horizon, but Laura Ely of Stonington and Pam Dolan of Mystic already had begun a 20-mile cycle through the hills of southeastern Connecticut.

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A Fox in the Blueberries and Other Garden Surprises

 August 1, 2014

    When my wife returned from the garden the other day, somewhat breathless and empty-handed, she announced, "You’ll never believe what’s trapped in the blueberry enclosure."

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At Last, Kayaks Overpower Jet Skis

 July 25, 2014

While launching my kayak on Maine’s Rangeley Lake the other day I took a short detour to avoid a particularly annoying personal watercraft rider who had been buzzing around in circles, seemingly oblivious to loons, humans and other...

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At Pamplona, I Root for the Bulls

 July 18, 2014

Here is what Bill Hillman wrote in the book he recently co-authored about how to survive running with the bulls in Pamplona:

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Setting a Five-quart Limit on Beach Coolers No Big Deal – I Rarely Put Down More than Three or Four Quarts of Tequila Anyway

 July 12, 2014

I don’t understand why everybody is making such a fuss about a new ordinance banning coolers larger than five quarts from Old Lyme’s Sound View Beach. What’s the problem? Three or four quarts of tequila are usually...

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Hitting the Road with Your Kayak – Not Literally, I Hope

 July 4, 2014

If I ever won the lottery — an unlikely occurrence since I never buy tickets — my principal indulgence would be the acquisition of assorted waterfront properties, where I would store sea kayaks, whitewater play boats, standup...

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Ticks, Slugs, Skeeters, Wasps and Other Critters I Can Do Without

 June 28, 2014

After my morning run and swim the other day I prepared for a relaxing respite on the deck and carried out a bowl of Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit, a can of club soda and the latest issue of The New Yorker.

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Surviving the Farmington River's Boateater Rapid

 June 21, 2014

While kayaking down a 110-mile wilderness section of the St. John River in northern Maine years ago, the last free-running waterway in the Northeast, my paddling companions and I constantly reminded each other what loomed ahead —...

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Everybody Who Has Ever Beaten Me in a Race has Cheated. They’re all Cowards!

 June 14, 2014

Most people were so revolted by California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn’s comments last Saturday after his horse failed to win the Triple Crown they launched a blistering attack on Twitter — the 21st century version of...

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Kayaking from New London to Orient Point and Back – Given the Choice I’ll Take a Glorious Day in Favorable Conditions Over Hell on the High Seas

 June 6, 2014

As we paddled through The Sluiceway at the east end of Plum Island the other day, the seas, which had been pancake-flat all across Long Island Sound, began building, and I watched with some trepidation as breaking waves crashed against a...

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Attack Of The Killer Vines And Other Plant Violence

 May 31, 2014

This time of year our spirits rejuvenate with blooming flowers, sprouting foliage and chirping birds, but amid verdant lushness and bursting life death lurks, striking violently or creeping stealthily.

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A-glamping We Will Go

 May 24, 2014

Friends, family and loyal readers realize I would prefer pitching a tent on the side of a mountain to spending a night at the Ritz-Carlton, and would rather gobble gorp by a campfire than choke down pâté de foie gras at Le...

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Paddling Alongside History: A Kayaker's Perspective Of The Whaleship Morgan

 May 17, 2014

As the Charles W. Morgan, the world’s last surviving wooden whaleship, edged Saturday morning toward the downtown Mystic drawbridge for the first time in nearly three-quarters of a century, throngs on shore cheered, a flotilla of...

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A Fitting Farewell in Fishers Island Sound

 May 10, 2014

At last, a warm, sunny day last Saturday brought a slew of kayakers to one of the best launch sites in Connecticut, Noank’s Esker Point Beach, where five of us branched off from a pack of paddlers and steered toward my favorite...

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Preserving The Preserve in Old Saybrook: A Triumph Over Greed

 May 3, 2014

Extending for 1,000 acres on the shore of Long Island Sound and the mouth of the Connecticut River, and containing a mix of unspoiled woodlands, wetlands and Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, the magnificent tract known simply as The Preserve...

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Getting Back To ‘Normal’ After the Boston Marathon

 April 26, 2014

Part of the thrill of crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon Monday — aside from being surrounded by cheering throngs, having a pretty woman slip a lanyard with a finisher’s medal around my neck, and eventually...

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Chimps on the Loose: Why I Skip Zoos

 April 19, 2014

You may have seen the video of seven chimpanzees that escaped the Kansas City Zoo the other day after the ringleader broke off a 6-foot-long tree branch that he then used to scale a wall.
The wily...

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Inch By Inch, Row By Row, I'm Gonna Make This Garden Grow – Even If It Kills Me

 April 11, 2014

Hunched over like Quasimodo the other day while I hacked a trench with a mattock and then dropped pinpoint-size kale seeds into damp garden soil (why do they have to be so blasted tiny?!), I nonetheless found myself humming "Garden...

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She's Baaaa-ck ... The Window-Whacking, OCD-Afflicted Cardinal Is Up To Her Old, Annoying Tricks

 April 4, 2014

As challenging as this past season has been, what with constantly stoking the wood stove, shoveling snow and ashes, and having to bundle up like Nanook of the North, I enjoyed one aspect: Silence from the nutty cardinal that spent...

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Epic Winter Creates Epic Whitewater Conditions

 March 29, 2014

All that snow and ice that piled up during a winter that never quit has to go somewhere when it melts, and the long-awaited thaw has finally gotten rivers, streams — and the blood of whitewater enthusiasts — flowing.

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