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
Monday 08/27/2007 The summer doldrums are upon us.
The late summer sun seems to have swept the skies clear of much of any sounds here in Epsom. Oh, I hear the occasional crow call and the rare blue jay call but not even a summer circada has called here. The summer moon has not been as effective as the crickets are in full chorus. When they began in earnest a couple weeks ago, and I pointed them out to my mother she said, "Oh no a frost is just three weeks away." Of course that was in the old days of her youth, before global warming. And she lived in central Maine where a frost probably came a little earlier. But we rarely get a late August or early September frost any more.
That was not the case not long ago. My daughter was born in late August in 1976. On that morning I had to scrape the frost off my windshield to drive my car. And for many years I would head out on Labor Day morning to my annual furbearer biologist's workshop hosted by a different state or province each year. That started 30 years ago. I had to be sure to place covers around my tomato plants so my wife could cover them at night in case of frost. This was always the first week of September. The first frost is more likely to occur the last week of September now, or later. This sure makes global warming an issue for me.
Speaking of summer doldrums, as you have noticed the NH Nature Notes has been in one this summer. Mostly because of a change over in my web masters. The one I've had for nearly four years was going out of business. It has taken a while to get the system changed over to a new master without loosing any content. Hopefully I'm just about there.
We have been in a summer drought condition for the last several weeks here locally. In fact another thunder storm passed just north of Epsom through the Lakes Region Saturday night. Not a drop of rain here. I was gone away all last week to the coast and my rain gauge remained empty. Several thunder storms have passed us by to the north. I did get a day on a coastal river trolling a tube and worm. John, the boats owner, was dragging in one striper after another including one we measured at 35 inches before he released it. I did catch several including my largest at 25 inches. Three hours of fishing the high tide brought nearly two dozen fish to the boat.
August is insect month. Monarch butterflies have been sailing southward by here now for a couple weeks. A little over a week ago I spent a day on Great and Little Bay with a friend fishing and watched the Monarch sweep across the Bay all day. Around here the fields and even my lawn is filled with crickets and grass hoppers. Good thing as the several turkey flock broods I have been watching are gorging themselves with this high protein fare. Also in my vehicle travels I have been watching for the first time in decades a brood of pheasants. Yes pheasants. Something I have not seen since I was a kid in Londonderry. And to make matters more interesting a big old cock pheasant has been watching over the brood all spring and summer long. The brood of eight has been trimmed down to just two when I saw them last week.
I'm surprised the lawns and fields have remained so green with the lack of rain the last several weeks. The smaller brooks have nearly ceased flowing, but I'd say we had a good supply of ground water to carry us through this drought. We could use the remnants of a tropical storm around here.
2007-07-18 Settling slowly into summer.
2007-09-05 Drought is going on to a month, rivers and lakes are dropping.
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