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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

Friday 08/08/2014 The silence of summer is deafening

No birds are singing or even calling it seems and the crickets that fled as I mowed the lawn this week have yet to sound a chirp. I guess these are the dog days of summer without so much as a yip. I am watching a number of blue jays linger among the trees, but even they remain silenced. Come fall these same jays will be anxious to call and give away my position as I stalk through the woods deer hunting. Yes jays usually have a lot to say. A number of tufted titmice are about as well they too giving me the silent treatment. A flock of crows passing high overhead were the only talkers this week and they just in passing.

Now I did hear a faint chirp from my resident tree frog that has spent the summer somewhere under my vynal siding where the breezeway connects to the garage. By noon that south facing side of the house is almost untouchable with the heat of the full sun baking it. But he is there and most every morning I can spot a scat he has left on my deck. Now this is a truly amazing critter. Come winter tree frogs literally freeze solid. And here it is literally baking at over a hundred degrees in the summer sun with no access to fresh water anywhere near my deck. I am in awe with such animals ability to cope with our extremes.

My cat did bring into the house yesterday a beautiful meadow jumping mouse. I quickly snatched it away and he seemed none the worse. Now jumping mice are another cool creature. They hibernate like a bat or woodchuck. They are a true hibernator. I once encountered one at Little Cohas Marsh in Londonderry on Groundhog Day while checking duck nesting boxes as a wildlife biologist for Fish and Game. That one was totally asleep. I simply put in right back into the box in its nest. Jumping mice have a long tail and hop like kangaroos. But I have not encountered many in my life so this one was a nice bonus for the week. Darn cat.

We have had ample rain to keep even our smallest of stream running a bit all summer long. And the Suncook River has not dropped to an ankle deep trickle like some years of late.

I await the first cicada and crickets but they better get started. Come another week our nights will be cooling quickly and the possibility of a frost will be not far behind. Say it isn't so. Where does time go?


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