Photo: Rare Owl in Hadley

This photo was taken on April 18 in Hadley, Massachusetts, near Northampton. It shows a long eared owl. It's unusual to see any owl. Long eared owls are especially rare. Owls sleep during the day and hunt at night. They can catch mice in total darkness. This photo was taken by Eileen Wang of Hadley. She took the photo while hiking on a piece of land that was saved from sprawl by the Kestrel Land Trust www.kestreltrust.org. To enlarge the photo, click on it.

2,000 at Rally with Vermont Governor to Shut Valley Nuke

Some 2,000 people attended a rally at the Brattleboro Town Common on April 14 to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Vermont governor Peter Shumlin, U.S. senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Vermont attorney general Bill Sorrell were among the speakers at the rally. "We will not rest until Vermont Yankee is gone," Shumlin said, to a standing ovation from the crowd. The second photo shows Shumlin giving his speech. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photos by Eesha Williams

1,700 at Springfield Rally for Justice

There were rallies for justice in Springfield on March 31 and April 2. About 1,700 people attended the March 31 rally, which was the bigger of the two. The bigger rally was to support Trayvon Martin, and to protest racist police. There were similar protests around the nation. Martin was an unarmed African American teenager who was shot and killed in Florida in February by George Zimmerman. The government has failed to charge Zimmerman with any crime; he is free.

137 Arrested at Valley Nuke Protest; 1,500 March

On March 22 in Brattleboro, 137 people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. They were arrested at the office of Entergy Corporation, which owns the reactor. About 1,500 people marched about three miles from downtown Brattleboro to Entergy's office, where they heard live music and saw street theater.

Hundreds March to Close Valley Nuke

About 350 people marched seven miles from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to downtown Brattleboro March 11. The march was organized to commemorate the one year anniversary of the nuclear crisis in Japan, and to advocate the permanent shut down of Vermont Yankee. Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone’s throw from New Hampshire.

Photo: Snowy Forest Near Brattleboro

This photo was taken on March 1 in Dummerston, Vermont, near Brattleboro. About a foot of snow fell that day, after a winter of very little snow. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Photo: Hadley Hayfield

This photo was taken in Hadley, Massachusetts, near Northampton, on February 22. Hay fields like this one are usually mowed a few times a year, depending on the weather. A cow that isn't grazing on pasture usually eats about half a "square" bale of hay daily. (So-called "square bales" are actually rectangular. Round bales have become more common in recent years and are much bigger than square bales.) To make the photo bigger, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Road, Sewer Workers Win; School Crossing Guards Organize

Workers at the Amherst Department of Public Works voted last week to sign a two year contract with the town. They maintain Amherst’s sewer and drinking water systems, run the garbage dump and recycling center, fix the town’s roads and traffic lights, and take care of the parks and trees. They belong to the AFSCME union www.afscme.org local 1725. They will get 1.3 percent annual raises.

Photo: Winter Sunset

This photo was taken on December 10 in Dover, Vermont, near Brattleboro. After a mild autumn in the Valley, temperatures are dropping as winter approaches. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photo by Eesha Williams

15 Activists Arrested in Springfield

On November 21 in Springfield, 15 activists were arrested for protesting Bank of America's decision to force poor people out of their homes. Hundreds of supporters cheered at the downtown action. Protesters were arrested for blocking the entrance to a Bank of America branch, and for refusing to leave the bank's lobby, where they held signs and chanted, "Bank of America, bad for America." Outside, people inspired by Occupy Wall Street chanted, "We/ are/ the 99 percent."

(To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "See full size image." photos by Eesha Williams)