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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 02/29/2008 The snow keeps going, and going, and going

I am staring out my window at a near record snowfall. We have passed the one hundred inch mark with another snow storm expected this evening into tomorrow. The all time record was 122 inches set back in 1872. We have a fare chance of breaking that record in March.

Last Saturday I took a lady who wants to write about the Suncook River into the avulsion. Epsom's Grand Canyon. I brought snowshoes and I figured I would need them with about three feet of snow on the ground in my yard. But as luck would have it, the deep freeze of the previous days has kept a real firm crust just under the recent eight inches of snow. So it was a pretty easy hike in with snowshoes in hand just in case they were needed. I think I crossed but one track. And that was a mouse track. We have had two more snow storms since then.

At my daughters house in Concord deer have been moving on that same crust right into the back yards. Her neighbors cedar trees have been devoured. But the hard crust and deep snow actually enable the deer to reach browse way above what they could normally reach. Not that this winter isn't a killer. It certainly is. This crust won't last forever and when the bottom drops out every thing will be in trouble just when they can least tolerate it. Already I'm getting reports of folks finding dead deer. From deer to coyotes and bobcats the deep snow will be dramatically thinning out numbers this winter. Upwards of 80 percent of the young born last spring will likely perish.

Here the birds are desperately filling up at my bird feeders this morning. No doubt preparing for the upcoming storm. As for me, I have been shoveling my house roof the last couple days and picking away at my deck roof. Last nights zero temperatures will make it that much harder to break through the two layers of icy crust to try to move the cement-like mixture off the roof.


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