By Monya Relles
How often do you cross the Connecticut River? Do you drive across the majestic and sometimes trafficky bridges that span its banks? Do you ever walk the Norwottuck Rail Trail in Hadley, peering over the edge toward the shocking cold of the water below? Or maybe you only cross on special occasions, to visit distant friends? Do you skate across the Oxbow in the winter time, or even brave the cold for ice fishing? Over thousands of years, the Connecticut River has been many things to many people, and the roles the river has played in our conscious and unconscious lives reflect back elements of the cultures and peoples who interacted with it.
By Laurie Sanders
If you’re interested in natural history, the Connecticut River Valley is a great place to live. The combination of geology, hydrology, human history and climate create a remarkable diversity of habitats. In Northampton, where most of my conservation work has focused, you can explore 40 different types of natural communities — from rocky summits and cliffs to open marshes, floodplain forests and rivers.