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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Thursday 01/23/2014 Brrrrrrrrrrrrr and we have a conundrum here.

Something weird is going on with the Suncook River the last three days. Yes the thaw of over a week ago laid our fields locally almost bare of snow and we had some thawing going on. But we have been in a deep freeze several days going now down to zero or below at night. Yet the swimming hole on the Suncook River at Short Falls in Epsom seems to be opening up by the day. That just seems contrary to what should be happening. We should be making ice. Lots of it.

Now here's my theory. I think Old Sol is winning the battle with Old Man Winter. Just maybe the sun is high enough to counter balance this freezing. Despite the snow of last Saturday I still can see some bare ground under the sunny side of some big pine trees. So we have not reverted back to deep winter. But then again it is still January and winter can grab and crush our thoughts of spring with just one lurch.

The rising sun is starting to feel good on my face again as I go about my day pausing here and there to catch some much welcomed rays. And our longer day are very noticeably longer.

In my mind last fall I was thinking this would be a winter of robins. Seems like the last decade or more we have had wintering robins like never before. I can't help but think it is connected to all the flowering crab apple trees that have been planted all over the place. And this fall they seem unusually laden with fruit. And it is around these trees along parking lots that I usually see clusters of robins in the winter. Just seems that way to me. So this winter I should be seeing lots of robins. But I'm not seeing the hordes I expected. In the more rural setting I have seen turkeys balancing in these same crab trees gorging themselves on the fruits.

For more than a decade I planted hundreds of crab apple trees as part of my Fish and Game work. Turkey biologist Ted Walski purchased hundreds of trees each year using funding from the turkey license sales and Regional biologist sought land owners willing to host the trees or we planted them on state lands. I always took my share to plant. For some reason this program was stopped in the early 2000's. Too bad in my book. Yes it was a lot of work but these trees are going to last for decades providing fruit for all sorts of wildlife.

I'm not seeing much for wildlife myself this past week. The snow cover has driven my local turkeys back into hiding or more likely to someone's bird feeder. Still not really that much snow to hamper deer movements. So looking more like another, our fourth, easy winter for deer.


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2014-01-16 Its spring out there..maybe not.

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2014-02-04 The calm before the storms and plenty of fish to catch.

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