Monthly Archives: July 2009

Like Chipmunks

Seems I can’t get away from cougars, mountain lions, catamounts, pumas or whatever you want to call them. The reports keep coming at me like the Connecticut River Coordinator’s office wishes Atlantic salmon were migrating up the valley. Thse days, there seems to be a flurry of big-cat sightings along the Montague/Leverett, MA., line, Sawmill […]

Marlboro, Northfield Repors

On the cougar front, two more interesting notes from readers; one arrived via snail-mail from an 80-year-old, Readsboro, Vt., poetess who grew up on her family farm in Marlboro, Vt., the other by e-mail from a Northfield resident. Both had something to share about western Massachusetts/Vermont cougar sightings. First the poetess, Bertha F. Akley, a […]

Two More

Two more cougar sightings, one in Pelham, the other in Shelburne. Where this investigative mission ends nobody knows, but the reports just keep on coming from credible witnesses with no apparent reason to lie. You be the judge. These two reports came last week, following a column had by a vignette about a Shelburne sighting […]

Gaffigan Sighting

Before 6 a.m. on a spring morning, Amanda Gaffigan Steele of Plainfield was taking a circuitous route to work in Hatfield, traveling toward Greenfield on Route 2 near the overgrown Mohawk Mountain ski trails when she noticed something unusual crossing the road near Jed’s Cider Mill. Of a grayish brown hue, the large animal carried […]


Betty Waidlich may start getting strange looks again from people who recognize her making her daily rounds at the supermarket, gas station or beauty salon. A half century later, she’s letting the cat out the bag, so to speak — a big cat she told friends about in 1956, when she was stunned to see […]

Paw Prints

What caught my attention on a midday stroll through the toasty dining room was a cardboard box on the wooden porch floor, next to it a packet of mail bundled with a heavy red rubber band. In the bundle was a sturdy white envelope with a return address to Northfield. Yes! The pictures from Judy […]


The phone message arrived at my Greenfield home Friday afternoon. Colleague Mark Durant left it. There had been a cougar sighting in West County, and the man who reported it, Will Blattner from Washington, D.C., had photos. Ah, for the wonders of BlackBerry technology. Blattner had somehow gotten my name, left his cell-phone number and […]

In Colrain

It took a while for a spring cougar sighting in Colrain to reach this space, but here it is, brought to my attention a few weeks ago by longtime friend and Shelburne selectman Joe Judd, himself an outdoor writer. The date of the sighting isn’t clear and the woman who made it wasn’t real forthcoming […]

Nartowicz Sighting

Another witness with no reason to lie or desire for publicity came forward to report a cougar sighting on Routes 5 & 10 in Deerfield. “What exactly are they, anyways?” asked Steve Nartowicz of Greenfield. “I call it a mountain lion. Is that right? Or is it a cougar?” Fact is it doesn’t matter. Cougar […]

Cole Sighting

Try telling Gary Cole of Athol that Eastern cougars are extinct. He saw one cross the road in front of him. So did his wife. In a neat, flawless, hand-written letter, Cole recounted his summer sighting that occurred around 7 p.m. as the couple crossed the Route 202 bridge crossing the Millers River. About 40 […]

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