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‘Ice Whale’ By Jean Craighead George ——— The largest creatures on Earth are always a source of wonder for children. Siku, a bowhead whale, is the main character in Jean Craighead George’s last novel, “Ice Whale.”  Siku instantly became a favorite of the second and third graders. Like “My...
The month of March is the stepping stone to spring most years. After the weather of the past couple of weeks it might seem as though it has already arrived. The past few days have again reminded us that the cold weather is not yet through with us and nothing is out of the realm of possibility this...
 Animals, including our pet cats and dogs, have claws that serve various purposes. Photo by Tami Green
DEAR PET TALK: Why do animals have claws? — Tavon, 6th grade, Memorial Middle School, Fitchburg DEAR TAVON: Thanks for a fascinating question, and you need to go way back in history, where you find that dinosaurs had claws, as did early reptiles. Claws are made of keratin (which can also make...
Editor’s Note: Questions should be directed to the PC Doctor, care of the Athol Public Library at info@athollibrary.org or by mail at Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, Mass. 01331, or dropped off at the library. ****** Dear PC Doctor: This isn’t a computer question. It’s a Fitbit...
ollowing a year-long residence at Harvard Forest on a Bullard Fellowship, Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes has completed a book about this 100-year-old red oak tree growing there. The book is being released this spring with an event at Harvard Forest on May 2.  Photo by Lynda Mapes
Many area residents, especially those of us with a penchant to appreciate nature and history, are familiar with the intricate and beautiful dioramas in the Fisher Museum at Harvard Forest (HF) in Petersham. If you haven’t seen these 23 dioramas, which show how land use in the area has changed...
Yesterday afternoon I was on my way back from a routine doctor’s appointment when I received a text from my coworker Ashley Arseneau informing me that no one was able to get into our NewsEditPro cloud-based editorial software, being greeted instead with a strange error I was unfamiliar with. When...
The U.S., Postal Service will issue two first-class postal items this week, one a stamp and the other a stamped envelope. The stamp, due on March 1, will note the 150th anniversary of Nebraska statehood. It will be issued in a pane of 20 self-adhesive stamps, depicting a lake scene in that state...
As many people remember, or currently know for the teenagers out there, being 17-years-old can be hard no matter who you are. Few 17-year-olds can acknowledge that their problems are mostly in-the-moment issues that will some day become small and meaningless. In ‘The Edge of Seventeen,’ released...
Winter creates winners and losers in the animal world. Birds and animals living in northern climates like we have here in the North Quabbin Region have adaptations that have made it possible for them to survive winter. Even with those adaptations, not all wildlife survives winter and that is just...
DEAR PET TALK: How many times do you have to change the litter box if you have a cat? — Trixie, age 7 DEAR TRIXIE: Your kitty will be most appreciative if you (or your parents) clean the litter box frequently. Ideally, it’s every time she goes. Many stores sell a slotted scooper, so you can...

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