Author Archives: Gary Sanderson

A South Deerfield, Mass., native, Gary was the longtime sports editor at the Greenfield Recorder, a daily newspaper in Greenfield, Mass., where he retired in June 2018, having worked parts of five decades over 39 years. A 25-year, senior-active member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association and the Outdoor Writers Association of America, his Thursday column "On The Trail" ran for nearly 40 years, ostensibly focusing on fish and wildlife, conservation and issues pertaining to them in the Connecticut Valley, where his roots reach deep into its oldest burial grounds. He and wife Joanne live in a historic Greenfield Meadows tavern today known as Old Tavern Farm, which has a rich history dating back to the mid-18th century. The home, which became a National-Register-of-Historic-Places building on his watch, served as a small, seasonal bed and breakfast from 1999-2015. Gary's other interests include history, anthropology, archaeology, literature, genealogy, Americana, country auctions, and early-American architecture and landscapes, as well as hunting, fishing and especially reading. His primary focus is the Pioneer Valley, its people, places and critters.

Survival Games

Noontime Tuesday. Getting hot. Deep, pale-blue, hazy sky behind sparse cumulus clouds floating soft, high and wispy over the western upland horizon. I park next to the greenhouse, walk to the back of the truck, drop the tailgate to free the eager dogs, Chubby and Lily, the latter’s tail anxiously thumping her porta-kennel’s east wall. […]

Validating Viper

Coincidence? No, not a chance. More likely some sort of coded message. One I may never comprehend. Yet I will hold out hope that I may have time to scale such a pinnacle of understanding before I pass on to the spirit land. Time’ll tell. Honestly, truth be told, I had anticipated sitting here today […]

Searching For ‘Indian Al’

Honestly, I do not recall how I met “Indian Al” Niemiec, but, my oh my, did we have a blast fishing for American shad along the eastern bank of the Holyoke-tailrace, a channel feeding anadromous fish to the Barrett Fish Lift and over the dam. We probably made acquaintance at streamside on a day when […]

Blooming Trees, Running Fish, Climate Fools

The Japanese maples have burst into their spring crimson splendor, complemented by nearby cherry trees blooming pink to add their colorful tint to my home’s frontage for the arrival of in-laws Judy from Guatemala, Buzz from Maine and Jan from Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. In between the red and pink is yellow forsythia and the soon-to-be […]

Dawg Days, Forest Fight

I celebrated my 39th wedding anniversary Saturday; plus  gundog Lily’s 14th birthday. That bitch never ceases to amaze me, still patrolling terrain, flat or steep, wet or dry, with that happy tail and youthful gait. She’s incredible. Nearing noon that day, having already grabbed everything needed for my daily ramble with the dogs, my wife […]

Reading Signals

A gentle mist was falling for my noontime Wednesday walk and Lily and Chubby were rarin’ to go. Oh, how they love rainy days, which greatly enhance their scenting capabilities, producing a rambunctious hunting gait, tail in a joyous, eager wag reminiscent of how I once felt those first few days outside for baseball practice. […]

Talkin’ Turkey

You know you’re getting old when, day in, day out, you read about baseball diamonds, football fields, gyms and most-valuable-player awards named after people who were either your coaches, teammates or opponents, also friends and folks you knew well.Which brings me to turkey hunting and the spring season that opens in a little more than […]

Springtime Observations

What a day. One delay after another. Not a one of them unwelcome. Must be the springtime air. Positive energy. The season of optimism. Mating and nesting. No wonder birds are singing their happy tunes. On my way out to the dogs, delayed till noon, a blind man couldn’t have missed that brilliant cock cardinal […]

Springtime Bramble

Eleven o’clock, gray and damp, gentle spring rain falling, dogs patiently awaiting their daily morning romp around the upper hayfield and down through a Green River-side Christmas tree farm and wetland I long ago dubbed Sunken Meadow. On my walk out back to the kennel, I pass the two-plant rhubarb bed at the southwest corner […]

About Fishing … Sort Of

Even when you no longer partake, fishing never leaves you, is always there, the stimuli ubiquitous whether walking, hiking, crossing a bridge on the road or just plain fantasizing. I am reminded daily of the activity I so loved as a boy by a backyard brook named Hinsdale — its damp smell, its rattle, its […]

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