The Outside Story

The Outside Story is a series of weekly ecology articles that has been appearing in newspapers across New Hampshire and Vermont since 2002. The series is underwritten by the Wellborn Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation - Upper Valley Region and edited by Elise Tillinghast at Northern Woodlands. To suggest a topic for a future article, inquire about writing for the series, or learn how to bring the series to your local paper, contact Elise.

Some of our favorite articles from the series have been collected in The Outside Story - local writers explore the nature of New Hampshire and Vermont and The Outside Story Vol.2, available in the Northern Woodlands online shop and at bookstores across the region.

“This is the finest, and most timeless, almanac I’ve ever seen. For those of us who cohabit northern New England with the bear and the grosbeak and the trillium, it is the single easiest (and most charming) introduction to our neighbors, to our place, and to the passage of time that’s yet been written.” - Bill McKibben


Latest Article from The Outside Story

American Goldfinch: a Common Bird with Uncommon Habits

I love the fact that there is always something new to observe in nature. Take goldfinches, for example. I have often watched them devour milkweed seeds from an acrobatic, upside-down position. Recently, I spotted several bright yellow males perched atop dandelion stems, plucking the seedheads at a frenzied pace. Previously, I had only seen them snag dandelions in mid-air.

Of all our native songbirds, American goldfinches (Spinus tristis) are perhaps the most consistent vegetarians. Thistles are a favorite food source… Read More »


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