New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
Winter arrived this week, then left us.
Oh what a day or two can do for our landscapes and minds here in NH. "A possibility of snow flurries" Tuesday morning turned into a full fledged snow storm within seconds. I was setting at my kitchen table at 9:11 Tuesday morning and could see a few sporadic snow flakes drifting down past my view. Within a minute that changed to a full blown snow storm with huge heavy wet snow flakes covering the grass with just a few minutes.
My heart rate was increasing with the intensity of the rate of snow increase as I wanted to grab my .308 and get out the door. But wait, I had to wait for a service man for some much needed repair work on an appliance. Minutes dragged on as I waited until his arrival and departure about noon. By then we had a good two inches of snow.
It took me a while to get a fresh track in front of me as the deer apparently were a ways away from my house. But I spent the afternoon mixing with fresh deer tracks and trying to get ahead of one of them. All to no avail by dark, though just as I climbed down from my tree stand, where I sat for the last hour, a couple shots rang out from not far away.
Still it was great to hunt on snow since we had none last year to my recollection around here. By the next day tracks were every where and I again spent a good part of the day around deer even though I didn't get so much as a glimpse of a flag. Deer are so much smarter than me.
By Thanksgiving the snow had melted overnight around here and family commitments kept me out of the woods. Today brings a cold snowless day but the sun is a welcomed sight after a few days absence. How still the woods have been these last few days. I think I only heard a couple of chick-a-dees and one blue jay in the hours I have spent quietly in the woods. Of coarse the snow laden trees muffled the sounds. And what views I have had of the snow covered trees. What beauty lay all around me as I maneuvered through the woods. Despite the snow and somewhat cold temperatures the ground remains unfrozen here.
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New Hampshire’s Restless Bears