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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
nhfishandwildlif@aol.com

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Tuesday 05/23/2006 A week and a day since the Suncook River changed course the river still runs chocolate.

My travels today took me past the Epsom Circle east over the Suncook River above the breach. What a difference in color compared to my view this evening from my office window. While the sun has largely tamed the madness of the flooding river, even the lower level has not made much of a change in the rivers color. It runs the color of a cup of chocolate.

I have been in the forefront of monitoring the changes in the Suncook River since the breach by simply documenting what I have witnessed with dozens of photos. I also took it upon myself to work with the Fish and Game GIS mapping person to define the current channel of the river based on my own ground level observations and that of Epsom's Fire Chief Stewart Yeaton who flew over the river on Wednesday May 17 in the state police helicopter. It was his hand that first delineated the braiding of the river as it's level dropped.

Nearly ever day I have seen the river shift it's course in some way as the level has dropped. Map making could lead to a steady job on this river alone it seems. But this map has been in demand as it seems to be the only one. We printed another draft yesterday (5/22/06) so I could present it to the town's selectmen at their meeting last night.

In the mean time lots is still happening to the dry sections of the river below the Old Mill dams. A rare NH mussel, called a brook floater, has been found. The largest population ever found. Just as it is disappearing! Go figure. US Fish and Wildlife staff and NH Fish and Game staff spent much of yesterday collecting hundreds of the rare species and will keep them at the Nashua Federal Hatchery until they can be placed elsewhere in the river.

Today I couldn't help but notice all the pairs of mallard and Canada geese loafing here and there. No doubt within days of hatching their nest have been swamped. Most will renest, although the clutch size will be fewer. So give or take ten to fifteen days to construct a nest and lay eight or ten eggs, then another 28 days to incubate, we should be seeing baby ducks and geese around the end of June. They should have hatched the last ten days of May.

Locally the peepers have started calling again and the toads sporadically. Even the tree frogs have chirped the warmer parts of the evenings. But nights have been cold in the 40's after a over a week with the thermometer stuck in the mid 40's. Spring has been on hold for two weeks. Even the leaves have stopped sprouting to full size it seems.


   

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2006-05-18 The Day the Suncook River Flowed Upstream During The Great Motherís Day Flood of 2006!

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2006-05-25 Sand,silt, more muddy waters and less water in the exposed channels.

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