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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

Thursday 06/19/2008 Retreating tree frogs, great bass fishing.

Two or three weeks ago I could hear the tree frogs headed this way from across the road and within a couple of days they had swept by my house and settled into the backwater of the Suncook River, I call the meadow, below my house. Now the tree frogs are in retreat from the wetland. But they are slow to leave the place they have called home the last couple weeks and where they passed on their DNA to countless offspring. I find myself lingering, like the frogs, on this quickly evaporating spring. Summer is but a day away as I glance at my calendar. How does time move so swiftly this time of year. And, like the frogs, I find myself lingering and thinking about life that has passed so quickly.

I had a great trip to Maine last weekend with my son to Grand Lake Stream Maine with the New England Outdoor Writers Association. I am back on the BOD after a two or three absence.But this trip was our annual Spring Safari. We were booked into a very quaint old resort the Weatherbys at Grand Lake Stream. While most of the outdoor writers are rabid fly fishermen and mostly chose to fish for landlock salmon in Grand Lake stream, Adam and I are not. I hired a guide for a day of smallmouth bass fishing. We met our guide Mac Hurd (207-5925965) at 7:30 and we were soon cruising up West Grand Lake in the 20 foot Grand Lake canoe which his wife's father had made 25 years ago.

And did we get into the small mouth bass pretty much all day long. While they were not large on average, the biggest one was caught by Adam and was 16 1/4 inches long, we had tons of foot long fish tearing the surface of the lake up constantly. A highlight of the day for me was the box lunch on the beach of a camp once owned by WW-II hero Jimmy Doolittle. By days end, and we fished until nearly 5:30, we had boated over 100 bass!

The evening dinner was highlighted by speaker Regional Fisheries biologist Rick Jordan. He has had nearly four decades of experience managing the fisheries in the region and it was obvious. In fact I think they have sampled over 8,000 bass over the years. Other outdoor writers were surprised to hear that the bass 15 or more inches longer were in fact 15 to 18 years old. I had tagged and aged a couple hundred smallmouth bass from Wentworth Lake in Wolfeboro back in 1978 and had aged a number of these older fish.

Wildlife sightings were few on the trip, live ones any ways. I saw but one live deer, but she had a fawn nursing from her, so it was well worth the sighting. Well there were ospreys, loons and an eagle to be seen on the day on the lake. But I would have figured more sightings of live animals, like a moose or two, in the 600 mile round trip.

Back at home, a few thunderstorms have at least kept my lawn and garden growing nicely. That 5-day stretch of 90 degree plus days the first week of June had me worried we were in for a long drought of a summer. Especially since we had but a half an inch of rain in May. But I came home to 2 inches of water in my rain gauge. We are already heading into the summer doldrums as far as I can hear. How quickly the birds have quieted down from just a couple weeks ago. How quickly things are changing. Oh to hold on to time just a bit longer.


   

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2008-06-12 More moose than antlers, a fishing streak and a heat wave breaks today.

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2008-07-01 Simmering in summer heat with a cool evening on the Suncook River

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