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 01/20/2017 A Yo-Yo of a winter
Well the sounds of another warm day are echoing off my deck roof above me as the house roof melts today. Seems like we have been in a real yo-yo mode this winter. December brought the best ice on our ponds we have had in years. Then January has been running above average save for the few days we have seen temps dip near zero.
Snow finally came in January. At least enough to get the snow machines out this winter on to the trail that passes by the front of my house. We didn't have a single sled go by last winter. Then by mid January we had mostly bare ground here in Epsom. Some of the farmers fields revealed lush green grass still laying there. The six inches of snow early this week has delivered a few more snow machines my way. Still really not enough snow for a decent ride.
Turkeys were about everywhere it seemed this winter. I had been seeing some most every day for a while. But even they dried up with this latest storm. And speaking of dry. We certainly haven't got enough snow to quench Mother Earths drought that we have been experiencing since a year ago now. Hopefully at least enough snow melt to fill the vernal pools for our frogs and salamanders next spring. A pair of ravens has stopped by my bird feeder nearly every day for the scraps I leave on a raised platform. And I have had more blue jays at my feeder this winter than any other winter I can recall. By my count twenty at a time at times. I haven't seen a feather of my local grouse in more than a month though. Still I did see some deer partaking of the fresh greens last week when the field across from my house was bare of snow.
All in all not a bad or harsh winter for wildlife so far. Unless of coarse you are a little vole that needs the safety of snow cover to get around under this winter. The Suncook River has frozen pretty solid this winter compared to very little ice all of last winter. Although with these warm days of late I can see some spots opening back up. And it looks like temperatures are going to be running above average for this time of year for the coming week. When on average it is this week, mid winter, that tends to be the coldest of the year with day time highs around 30 and night lows around 10 degrees. So it looks like we and the wildlife are dodging the worst of this winter so far. Certainly the longer daylight has been very noticeable.
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