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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Tuesday 08/31/2004 Weird, Wacky, Weather with us lately.

Is it just me, or have others noticed the really weird weather we have been having for some time. Twice in the last 8 days I have heard the radio blare "A Tornado Warning!" Now we are not in Kansas (I don't think), but in good old NH, where weather may turn on a dime, but we don't have tornados. Certainly not a couple in a week. Actually the first warning I heard was when I was heading to my camp in Maine on the 20th. We had just crossed into Maine when that eerie warning came on the radio. You know, like the ones we heard in the 60s where you were just kind of listening to the radio in the background. But then it would jolt you to turn the radio way up to make sure they would say "This has been a test of the emergency broadcast system. This was only a test." Since we all expected the world to end any moment from a nuclear conflagration, you wanted to make sure you did something before the end. At least send the petal to the metal for a bit and go out in glory.

But now it actually is often a warning of some pending disaster. Just as I crossed the border into Maine in South Berwick the warning said there was a tornado warning in South Berwick. Yup, I was at the epicenter of the pending sucking vortex!

Now a warning means a tornado has been sighted by someone or by the Weather Service radar. In this case the radar detected it and a funnel was sighted, but apparently didn't touch down. So what a surprise when the warning was flashed again Sunday. This time right in my back yard. Again apparently it didn't touch down but just a couple of weeks ago someone got video of a tornado crossing Lake Winnipesaukee.

Plus Friday morning as I sat at this very keyboard I heard what I thought was some local dynamiting as the house shook with a thud. No, that was AN EARTHQUAKE. Not much of one, but I felt it. Only the second I have felt here in 25 years. And today we have what once was nearly a hurricane sliding by our coast and two more enroute. Time to batten down the hatches I guess. And thunderstorm after thunderstorm the last couple of weeks. Last summer there was only one of any note. As much as I love to enjoy them for some reason they are more of concern this summer. Lightning bolts can do very bad things to your house, dozens tossed your way, up the odds of a real bad hair day.

On the wildlife side of things it seems like my son-in-law Derek has hit the jackpot this week. Friday it was a nice bear crossing the road mid afternoon right in front of him not a half mile from my house. He has seen several large deer too, and pulled into my yard Sunday afternoon and announced that a whole flock of turkeys were in the field near my house. I did see the turkeys, but no bear for me. Me, the bear-man, who is virtually the only one to NOT see a bear in Epsom yet. Go figure.


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