New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
A carbon copy of last year?
The first significant fall frost on Halloween coupled with the remnants of hurricane Noel over the weekend have stripped the trees of leaves. It is now looking much like fall.
Fall has come real late this year to my view of the Suncook River here in Epsom. The first real frost of the fall hit in the early morning hours of Halloween. I happened to be away with my family including my daughter, her husband and my two little grand daughters to Myrtle Beach South Carolina for the week when it hit. But my daily calls to my mom, who was keeping an eye on my house, informed me that my three tomato plants by the house had been killed. But I have been eating fresh vine ripened cherry tomatoes until November. That is a first. I have planed tomatoes against the south side of my house for close to thirty years most years. Most years they were frosted by mid September early on. But the frost was not so hard as to kill the hanging plants outside on my deck. Even the geraniums are full of color and life.
Our road trip to SC was split up by a couple days down and three days back. Most notable by me was the number of road killed deer from Mass. south through Conn., NY, NJ and on down to Virg. But in both NC and SC deer for the most part were missing road side. My guess is folks there are quicker to retrieve them. But the lack of dead deer surprised me.
Back at home over the weekend the view has changed significantly since I left on 10/25. Although leaves were falling in heaps when I left, the red oaks around my yard had not shed many and the red maples and cherries still were mostly leaf covered. The trees, even surprisingly the oaks, are now bare. A hard rain through this morning seems to be striping many of the vestiges of summer from the trees with only the beech trees holding on to trees full of burnt orange and yellow leaves.
Though fall has now arrived by my view we have not had a hard frost or so much as a ice skimmed puddle. For many of my past 50 plus years the smaller ponds would be soon skimming over with ice. So far this fall seems to be a carbon copy of last year when ice didn't form even on the small farm ponds until late December and on the lakes not until late January. Things are just plain weird.
Full splendor of colors on a warm foggy fall day.
November Crickets sound a warning