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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

Friday 02/08/2008 Got Ice? Let it snow, let it snow,let it snow.

This winter's snow is like that rabbit that just keeps on going and going and going. Although yesterday and todays marks the 30th anniversary of the great Blizzard if 78'.

How well I remember that storm. I had been working at NH Fish and Game for under two years when that storm struck. I  was still in the Fisheries Division and a team of us biologists were called upon to head right to the coast during the height of the storm to help rescue folks. We dug a boat and motor out of winter storage and headed to the coast. Luckily I had brought along a pair of waders as well.

We arrived at the Hampton Police Department and were asked to work with the National Guard to head out into the flooding cottages that rimmed the marsh to try to evacuate people. The boat was useless as the incoming seawater was just a huge slushy mess. But walk we did. The roar of the sea not far away was overpowering. That and the wind just swept your words away.So we shouted and headed down one street after another knocking on doors to see if anyone was occupying the cottage and to see if they wanted to be taken out. These are mostly tiny summer cottages with the occasional off-season renter. I remember climbing huge snow drifts to get down the streets. Thankfully most of the places were vacant.

But there was this one "rescue". An old fellow we met at the one still open store had a six pack under his arm and wanted to be taken BACK to his soon to be flooded cottage. So we did. We loaded him into a huge National Guard truck that drove us to the end of his street. Then me a another couple fellows dragged him up over a huge snow banking down the street to his cottage. By now his boots had fallen off somewhere. I opened the door to a tiny cottage with about a foot of icy water on the floor and cats by the dozens stacked on the counters and any dry surface. He went inside and thanked us for helping him.

Back here this week I took a ride Monday around the big lake. I stopped at a number of the sport shops that surround the lake. Most were reporting 10 to 12 inches of ice for this weekends big Rotary Derby. Of coarse we had two days of warm to rainy weather this week that will open up any place with a current.

The rain and warm weather here keeps knocking the snow back a little, only to have another 2 to 4 inches a day added back it seems. This has been a real tough one on wildlife this winter. I got an email about a red fox hanging around a backyard in Sanddown this week. Lots of critters will be moving in closer to the bird feeders not only for the seed but for the seed eaters who are there. We sure need a warm up to drop our snow levels.


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2008-01-30 Rain showers dampening piles of snow. and a real summer week.

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2008-02-14 Eric Orff goes to Washington.

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