Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally
ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer -
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff
Friday 03/14/2014 On the road much of the last three weeks south of here with winter looking to hold us in his grip a while longer.
My wife and I and our daughter and her family headed south to Florida February 21st. We decided to drive down this year for a change. And how quickly it changed as we drove straight through to south of Melbourne Florida door to door in 24 hours with 22 of that on the road. Amazingly hardly a peep from the way back from our two granddaughters 7 and 10. We spent much of the first week in the Orlando area and did the parks a few of the day. What luck we had with sunny skies most days with temps in the 80's. The one big change I saw compared to our last trips over the past five year was the number of people at Disney this year. Way more people. A couple of rides, like test track, meant nearly an hour wait. We had been spoiled I think by the down turned economy of the last few years compared to now. However rides like the agriculture one in The Lands was barren of folks. Guess Disney travelers aren't too interested in the environment. My family still is.
After the kids headed home after the first week my wife and I drove back southeast and settled into a hotel call the Surf Club at Vero Beach. We checked in on a Sunday afternoon and I was pleased to hear the surf boiling out back and from our fourth floor perch I could look down at the hundred yards of beach to waters edge. My wife and I headed out to dinner around 6:30 as a sliver of crescent moon dangled over the parking lot across A1A in front to the hotel. An Indian River finger was messaging the backside of the small 20 car lot not 60 yards away while the sea caressed the beach 60 yards to the East.
We got back about two hours later around 8 PM. High tide it would seem. I was amazed the 70 to 100 yards of beach had disappeared under the froth of the incoming waves and a few waves swept all the way up to the tiny sand dunes not 15 feet wide separating the hotel's foundation from the waves. And this was a calm sea event. Holy cow a climate induced rise sea will be sweeping this hotel off its foundation in no time to come. Looking up and down from the balcony showed every other structure to be at equal risk. So here we have the Indian River ready to devour this thin sandy spit from the west and a more ravenous sea ready to swallow it whole from the other side. Not a place I'd be investing in.
Well we had several relaxing days at beach side falling to sleep as the surf sounded off outside me just glad I was on the fourth floor. We stopped in Virginia fro a couple of days on our way back north to visit our son. I did first see snow again for the first time just yards inside Virginia state line with the ground pretty white in places at my son's home just west of DC. But a very warm Saturday magically erased most snow. We headed home just before light Sunday morning. Robins were in full migration with us as we headed north. By Connecticut we again had some snow again on the ground though robins still dotted the bare ground at road side. Most water was still frozen with the few open patches dotted with ducks and geese. I think we are all ready to push winter out for good. We made the trip in just eight hours arriving by early afternoon. Despite the deep snow still in our yard arriving home is always the most pleasant part of any of my trips. Our cat was besides himself with glory at our arrival with welcoming meows that ran on into the afternoon.
Yesterday's winter storm Vulcan kind of just sputtered around here. We stayed all rain into Wednesday night and awoke to a steady snow that left only about three inches of fluffy light snow to be removed. My wife and I made quick work of that once the snow ended mid day. By late afternoon our driveway was bare and dry.
The Suncook River out my window is still locked in ice with nary a sign of spring. Even the maple buds have yet to swell a fraction of an inch with would at least give me a hint of spring. I did stand and stare at the snow quickly melting of the sunny side of my garage roof this morning. While the temperature still read on five degrees the early morning sun was powerful enough to already start melting the snow off the roof. So maybe the sun will win after all. I sure hope so. Those robins I passed are sure ready to arrive. I can hardly wait for them.
2014-02-21 Locked in by winter's grip.
2014-03-26 Dodging another Nor 'Easter (I pray).
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