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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

Monday 12/17/2007 Walks in a winter wonder land.

Looks like a real old fashioned winter out my window this morning. In a little while I'll get out to scrap the last layer of snow from my walkways and driveway. This will be the third time in a week. Not something I have been used to in several years. This is the type of winters I remember having a decade or more ago. I have reports of 6 or more inches of ponds in the region, so ice fishing is underway over a month earlier than last winter. How the snow machines have been roaring past my house obviously delighted by the snow that continues to mount up. Looks like we have another 10 inches or so on top of the 6 or 8 we had.

How the birds are flocking to my feeders. I even had evening grossbeaks, a bird I have not had in years. Plus some redpolls, another rare bird for me, juncos, cardinals, chickadees, starlings woodpeckers, blue jays, tit mice and my special guests, the crows, have been constantly at my feeders. Not to mention the half dozen gray squirrels and a few red squirrels.

I'll be heading off down the road for my several-day-a-week walk into Bear Brook State park. How lucky I am to have such a wilderness as a neighbor. Though it is mostly a white pine to oak forest with not a lot of ground cover for many species, there are the sporadic deer tracks, fisher, fox and coyote here and there. Plus a beaver or two to be spotted along Bear Brook itself. I live not far from where the local hunter disappeared a couple weeks ago. Bear Brook contains 10,000 acres of mostly forested habitat. My winter walks are rarely interrupted by another, save for the weekend snow machines. The old Suncook Rail Road bed that passes through my back yard runs through much of the eastern side of the park as well. In places it is nothing more than a tunnel through the encroaching trees. I frequently walk it with my dog koko relishing our walks as much as me.

The Suncook River lays nearly frozen over in spots from my view. It is a much shallower river now and the stronger current that has resulted in the change since the floods will make the river less likely to freeze, no matter how cold it gets. We are just five days from winter. Soon, ever so soon, the days will s.l.o.w.l.y begin to lengthen. Time, even retired time, seems to be sweeping by at an ever quickening pace. Only a walk in the snow will slow this day for me.


   

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2007-12-06 Winter has arrived in a sleigh.

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2007-12-31 A Record December Snow is Falling

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