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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 09/07/2004 Glorious Fall Temps.

The last few days have been the best we have had for a while. Dry, clear mid 70s kinds of days that seem like fall is at hand, but not quite here yet. Even the sounds are richer with the cooler denser air. I can hear the leaves clattering in the not too strong breeze outside my window right now. The Suncook River has taken on a darker cast of green from the more slanted sunlight compared to the perfectly blue sky reflected on a summers day. It looks like the greens of the white pines and maples have edged out the blue in some sort of battle of colors. Although the breeze feels more summer-like as it is in the low 80s today. But a very dry air mass has us pickled in a perfect day.

Just like yesterday which was a bit cooler especially since I was at my camp in Maine not far from the coast. Yesterday was a perfect day and more perfect because I took my grand daughter Katie for an hour-long hike up the hill from camp. A hillside that I have covered hundreds of times hunting for decades, picking strawberries and blueberries since the 1960s and even before that. I spoke to her of my first memory of this hill. When I was four and living in town my father brought us across in an old wooden boat to pick apples on Sidlinger Hill. We brought a huge burlap sack that were in common use then and my father found his favorite apple tree dating back to his use. While the field around it had turned to brushy patches, several old apple trees gathered what light they could. The apples were huge, and we filled the sack. I suppose my mother made apple pies, but my memory gushes with the smell of the apples and the burlap sack they were placed in.

I learned from an aunt just the day before that Katie's great-great-great grandfather was a local minister and had bought much of this land which bares his name. There was so much to show her. We managed to catch a couple of grasshoppers, found a dead butterfly, chewed on a round granite rock and a red maple leaf. Spotted a frog that quickly hid from us and sat on a rock to listen to a trickle of water splash into a small pool. Then we tossed the rock in to watch the splash and ripples. Her eyes gleaned every pixel of picture I'm sure.

The shrubs had lots of small birds filtering through, warblers. Fall warblers are so difficult to identify, but a song sparrow was easy to ID as was an American Bittern and Great Blue Heron that took flight from the beaver pond. Life was everywhere, especially in my heart as we meandered along. We gathered a few feathers that birds had left for us including morning doves, turkeys and the GBH. What treasures were to be found on an early September hike.


   

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