Chelsea Green Publishing


Lately I’ve become a connoisseur of mudrooms. I’ve been scanning the countryside for specimens of mudroom design, taking shots, and bringing them home to add to my mudroom bestiary, a collection of photographs I plan to consult as soon as I build a mudroom of my own.  I  say  bestiary  because  the  mudroom  embodies  a  unique architectural species. Rarely will you find two alike. Some are plain homemade,  some  ornamental. Often  they  say  something  about  the people behind the door. At  its  simplest,  the  mudroom  is  an  enclosed entry  way,  usually annexed,  where you can  stomp  the  dirt  or  snow off your boots,  or remove  them,  and  hang  up  a  coat  and  hat,  before  entering.  Read More

When Life Hands You Lemons, Dig a Pond

There’s a lake down the road they’re poisoning with chemicals to kill weeds. There’s an ocean down the coast they’re poisoning to drill for oil. Hey, where’s a kid supposed to swim? Get thee to a pond my friend, preferably your very own waterhole so you can keep out anybody with a drill or a jug of algaecide.
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All Haunted Houses Are Not Old

The condo sits on a hill in a clearing in the woods, one of those flatlander second homes with glass walls, zigzag angles, and a half dozen roof planes. I spent five months on the crew that built the place and I was lucky to get out alive. The house was bankrolled by a couple from Jersey and the pay was good. Too bad they never got to enjoy it.
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When Bucket Lists Hung on Trees: A Maple Syruping Flashback

I picked up the iron bar in front of the arch and pried open the right door. The fire flared out and the heat pushed me back. I pulled down the brim of my hat and jabbed the bar into the pile of flaming logs. After a good shake the logs settled and the red coals fell in a shower of sparks between the white hot grates. Then I swung around from the fire and started grabbing firewood from the pile behind.
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Ponds for Viking Funerals!

Boston Globe columnist Mark Feeney declares his affection for “ridiculously tame” urban ponds in a wry “G” section essay, “Fond of the Pond.” Bypassing the grandeur of more distant monumental landscapes, he’s quite happy with the human scale of Boston’s Fresh Pond as a strolling destination and calming object of contemplation. In fact he likes this pond so much he contemplates the rewards of a Viking style funeral on its waters.
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Zombie Jamboree

We were on the set of a movie being shot in Newbury, Vermont in 1986. It was about a small town full of zombies, and it was called Return to Salem’s Lot. It was a sequel to the film made from Stephen King’s second book Salem’s Lot. Sort of like Carrie visits Newbury. Newbury had a nice ring to it, horror wise. Anyway, it was directed by Larry Cohen, who was a kind of schlock auteur, which might explain how guys like Sam Fuller, the legendary Shock Corridor director, got in the cast. Shock meets schlock. Plus Tara Reid.
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Reflections on the 2009 Pond Season

With the pond season winding down, it’s our traditional time to look back, take stock of the season, and suss out trends in pond construction and use.
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Tap Your Pond for Fire Protection

There’s a saying in the countryside that the fire department is great at saving cellar holes, and insurance premiums covering backwoods homes reflect that pessimism. The combination of woodstoves, snow-covered roads, and widely scattered volunteer fire fighters make insurance underwriters edgy. And winter is not the only dangerous season. A few summers back, a squad […]
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Bubble Trouble in Your Pond: Winter Windmill Aeration and the Pitfalls

For many pond owners a time will come to improve water quality. A growing number of people meet this challenge with aeration. Aeration can be especially useful when you’re raising fish, particularly in the wintertime north where oxygen levels under the ice can be fatally low without that extra dose of air bubbles, otherwise known […]
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Frost Free: Keeping Cool and Saving BTUs

The extended forecast for winter: fear and shivering. The Governor of Maine worries that a “dangerous” winter is shaping up. Across the north country, the media echoes official predictions that it’s going to be a killer season because of high fuel costs and a crumbling economy. Fearful of cash strapped citizens forced to choose between […]
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