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 12/12/2014 On the edge of spring again.
Though we are headed for the depths of winter I can't help but think in some ways I'm on the edge of spring again. Spring in this case means the snow line. My wife and I headed over to her brothers house in Hampton over the weekend for a family celebration and was I surprised to see bare ground for much of our trip across route 101. Basically from Auburn east there was mostly bare ground to be seen. As the crow flies that is maybe ten or fifteen miles south of Epsom. Then we had two full days of rain that certainly diminished the snow level here in Epsom and had me thinking that the snow line had crept even further north. It is amazing how just a few miles can change the snow situation so much.
As I have said before growing up in Londonderry in the 1960's the snow/no snow line was closer to Boston where my father commuted daily. Then it moved to the state line by the early 70's and has crept more northward since. No doubt in my mind the results of climate change. Now the rain/snow line for many winter storms is this side of Manchester for me.
But snow we do have with a very hard base of ice. No doubt tough for or winter friends to paw through to get at any remaining acorns. But I have seen some pretty bare south facing slopes so maybe not so bad a winter yet for our deer and turkeys. But for better then a week the trees were covered in an icy/crusty snow coating that had me wondering how anything could survive such an event.
The local snow and ice covered fields have swept the usual crows from view. And I have had none at my bird feeder this fall and winter. For years I had crows as regulars here. But not any more. Even my neighbors raven would pass this way for a look now and then but even he has been absent so far. I put out the left over turkey from Thanksgiving on a raised platform in my backyard in hopes the crows or raven would be by. But it has supplied some protein for the good batch of blue jays I do have. More than a dozen spend much of the day here. I love blue jays. Not so my mom a mile down the road who shushes them away from her feeder. Jays are not just beautiful bit are so talkative at times. I love to hear their murmurs when I spend time in the woods. Don't they like to alert every deer within ear shot of your sneaks through the woods though. Still not a reason to curse them, all the more reason to respect them. They are the members of the woods gang and we are but intruders.
The hard rains of two days ago sure has brought the rivers and brooks up to a high flow. Not really a flood stage but pretty high for a winter flow.
We have just enough snow for a white Christmas and it sure looks like we'll keep it. So not a bad winter at that. The ice was looking real good for a while there. I'm not sure what the two days of rain and a week of low 30's has done to it. Hopefully enough to get out ice fishing right after Christmas. We are up against the shortest days of the year. Luckily the holidays will carry us through the darkest of days. Bring on Christmas.
2014-10-31 Gray is the day in kind of a mid November way
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