Gardens are ephemeral. That’s a simple fact, and one I was quickly made aware of by my first job after horticultural school. I was hired by Columbia University to restore, as best I could, the landscaping on a historic Hudson River estate it had turned into a research campus some 30 years pr…

Not all insects die with the onset of cold winter; many spend the winter over in leaves, under bark, or elsewhere outside. The wooly bear caterpillar, or woolly worm, is the caterpillar we look to for a prediction about the coming winter. The story is the narrower the rust-brown stripe in th…

Do not doubt the blue jay! It is a Corvid, along with crows and ravens, and all are well known as intelligent birds. They have helped spread oaks by spreading acorns, and even as intelligent as they may be, blue jays do on occasion misplace an acorn and other seeds, as do squirrels. I imagine that sometimes one may die before gleaning its cache.

JP Terlizzi’s photographs of food and dishes are still lifes flipped on their head. Unlike their Dutch and Flemish models that approach a carefully arranged everyday scene from eye level, Terlizzi’s look straight down, turning the dismantled pomegranates and peeled lemons into new arrangements of colors and shapes.

Like each of the seven photographers featured in the juried exhibit “Perspective” now on view at Sohn Fine Art Gallery, Terlizzi reconsiders how you look at the world, and explores different ways to capture it in images. 

Thinking outside the box is second nature to Williamstown Theatre Festival Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield.

It should come as no surprise, then, that for its 2021 season, Greenfield is bringing the Festival out of its boxes — the indoor Main Stage and the Nikos Stage at Williams College’s ’62 Center for Theater and Dance — into the expanse of the outdoors.

Spring is here (so we're told!) and so is outdoor dining in the Berkshires once again.

Last summer, area restaurants expanded patios, converted parking lots and set up bistro tables on sidewalks to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. In the past week, restaurants are begun to announce reopening outdoor spaces, dusting off sun umbrellas from their long winter hiatus. Of course, a few eateries may hold off seating outdoors in the next few days unless you've got a shovel and parka with your reservation — a rare mid-April snow storm could bring a few inches of snow Thursday night into Friday.

Chez Nous co-owner Rachel Portnoy shares her memories of the first time she visited her husband's family in France in the spring: "There was a dish of fresh local radishes on the table with a pile of salt next to them. I’d never seen this and happily crunched into a spicy, puckery, salty, long radish. But one was really enough for me. The strong, unmitigated flavor definitely packed a punch! I love the way that thinly-sliced radishes can give some needed punch and color to a salad, but to eat them on their own like that, I needed a schmear of another Breton delicacy: Sardine Butter."

We all have our weaknesses; those items that you can't resist ordering when you see them on a menu, or the seasonal treat you buy whenever it appears in the store.  For food columnist Elizabeth Baer, it's fresh figs. These easy, cheesy stuffed figs are the perfect way to celebrate the spring season. 

My last column featured some of my favorite kitchen hacks. I had many comments on the various ideas I mentioned, though, only Marilyn Gattuso, a native of North Adams and a former Pittsfield resident, now of Naples, Fla., offered her favorite.

"When you burn your hand/fingers while baking or cooking, immediately place your hand in a container of flour or cover the area with flour — sting and potential blister/scar will disappear."

GREAT BARRINGTON — Therapist Allyson Dinneen was sitting on her couch during this Berkshires pandemic winter, still stunned that people were interested in thoughts she had been refining about pain and the multitude of emotional sufferings.

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