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
Thursday 09/20/2007 Sunshine, schools of juvenile alewives and sweet stripers.
What a picture perfect week it has been. And I've made sure I have spent much of the day and evenings outside.
Tuesday I headed down to Portsmouth to join my friend Jean on yet another day of fishing. The day started cool but warmed by early afternoon. While I stood on the dock at Pierce Island while he took his skiff to get his boat from the mooring I noticed a line of schools of bait fish swimming towards the dock. There were actually 4 or 5 schools lined up along the shore as if marching in line towards me. The dimpling was familiar with me as I had tracked the alewives doing the same in Northwood Lake a few years back when adults were stocked there to spawn each spring. And this same type ripple gave them away as they migrated down the Suncook River past my house in Epsom. Sure enough the first school of untold hundreds swarmed the shore as they swept past me around the end of the dock which was now very low in the water as it was nearly low tide. As I waited the 20 minutes or so for Jean to bring his boat about, school after school of juvenile alewives passed me by. These were just a few thousand of the hundreds of millions of juvenile alewives now migrating down out of their freshwater birth places and out to sea. It was wonderful to watch.
Jean has recently bought at auction a new little freezer for storing bait fish for stripers. So we headed right out to 2KR, despite the fact that the channel beyond the dock was intermittently exploding with feeding stripers. We had some luck and nearly filled a bucket with six inch long tinker mackerel. We did have enough time to take a few drifts in the river with our fresh bait and did land and release some schoolie stripers.
The days have been so perfect this week. I did manage to get our garden put to bed for the winter this week. Though we have had NO FROST YET (Global Warming??) the garden had withered in the extended drought of the last month and a half. It took me most of Monday to root stuff out, rototill and plant a bag of winter rye. What a satisfying feeling I get smelling the earth as I till ,and my mother's and my counter now lined with jars of dill pickles and canned tomatoes. They are so handsome that I have yet to send them into hiding on my basement shelves. My mother sits in her chair at gardens edge nearly every evening watching the late summer sun set the trees on fire around the garden and I can't help myself in joining her some afternoons. The bare brown soil quickly turns to green as we contemplate next year's garden while we discuss how things went this summer and what we may try next summer.
Deer and turkeys, deer and turkeys and still more. Boy the deer and turkeys just seem like they are everywhere in my late afternoon travels lately. I've seen a few hawks whirling about the sky and a few flocks of birds, it just doesn't seem to feel like Fall yet though later today it officially begins.
2007-09-13 The drought is broken by two days of rain.
2007-09-26 It's 70 degrees at 7:00 am. What's up with that?
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