Outside/In: Go Big or Go Home

Oct 28, 2016

In this week's episode, the rise and fall of the Keene Pumpkin Festival, a quaint New England tradition that took a dark turn when riots broke out during the 2014 festival. Plus, the calmest extreme sport you'll ever witness: bird-watching. 

Sam answers a listener question about some rather nefarious crows and we travel to the most glamorous outdoor spot you've likely never noticed and discover it is teeming with microscopic life.

Smashing Pumpkins

In the early '90s Keene, New Hampshire created a pumpkin festival to bring the community together, but after 24 years the quaint festival tore the town apart.

You can read more about this story and listen again here: Smashing Pumpkins

The Early Birder Gets the Bird

In 2013, Neil Hayward was depressed. He had just left the biotech company he helped start, and he was getting over the end of a very serious relationship. He had disposable income, and free time. Suddenly, he found himself doing a lot of birding. A LOT. Sam delves into the subculture of extreme bird-watching and discovers some serious birdness.

You can read more about this story and listen again here: The Early Birder Gets the Bird

Ask Sam: Assassin Crows

Whether he likes it or not, Sam has become the go-to source for all of our questions, from showing him photos of weird bugs we want him to identify, to why asparagus makes your pee smell funky, to what psi our bike tires should be. And we're not alone - everyone has questions for Sam. 

This week Sam answers a listener's question about crows. Specifically, murderous crows that she witnessed attacking a duck. Is that...normal

If you’ve got a question for our Ask Sam hotline, give us a call! We’re always looking for fun stuff about the outdoors to investigate. Leave us a voicemail at: 1-603-223-2448. Don’t forget to leave a number so we can call you back.

10x10: Traffic Circle

 Occasionally, we're going to be looking very closely at certain really cool spots. We're calling these types of segments 10x10, because--hey--we've got to draw the line somewhere. But it could be a 10x10 plot anywhere: in the woods, on a mountain, in the water, in the air. And really, it could be 10 anything by 10 anything: feet, inches, miles, FATHOMS...we're not big on making any hard and fast rules. 

If I were driving past a flat treeless traffic circle, and I said what’s that stuff growing there?  You’d say something like: "It’s called 'grass' Sam. Big whoop." 

But I’m here to blow your mind with some grass facts. Now, the human branch of the tree of life, the hominids, has seven species. But grasses have 12,000 species--there are pretty grasses, gross grasses, tall grasses golfy grasses, sea-grasses. We found grasses and a whole lot more in the Lee traffic circle.

See more photos from the traffic circle: S02|E02: Go Big or Go Home