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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

Tuesday 07/22/2008 Rain, some much needed rain leads to a cool and quiet NH

At last a few of the storms that had been passing Epsom by have swung this way. Rain, much needed rain has fallen for parts of the last several day. While parts of the state have been hit with some wild weather conditions, including a tornado warning in Strafford County the other day, we have missed the worst of it here. The gentle rain of the last few days has cooled and quieted life around here. Outwardly life is at a standstill, yet I know that this year's crop of young are growing like mad and life is every where around. But you must search to find it.

I did get out last Friday for my annual blueberry picking day. Or I should say "raking" day as I bought a blueberry rake three years ago. This is a small dustpan shaped container with tines along the bottom used to swish thru the berry bushes as the berries collect in the bin. I have raked blueberries as a kid in Maine first when I stayed at my grandmothers in 1962 a couple weeks and then two years later when I went up to spend three weeks with an aunt and uncle in order to rake them. As I remember I got 10 cents a basket full.

Blueberries were much harder to come by this year compared to the last two years. I have been hiking and checking several sites I have picked in past years. The berries were few in numbers, scattered in patches here and there and very small this year due to our drought. Where I have been able to fill a 5-gallon bucket with berries the last two years I spent an hour and a half bent over raking the tiny berries of the bushes. And of coarse I manage always to pick a nice hot and humid day for this activity. I just finished cleaning and freezing them yesterday. But now my freezer is packed with bundles of blue ready for me to sprinkle over my cereal nearly every morning.

Last week on the 14th the tiny tot toads first appeared on my lawn migrating up from the meadow down back. I took my granddaughter Katie out to "rescue" them. She watches a cartoon called Dora who has a propensity to rescue animals and I knew she would be all for it. And I am worried about these pencil eraser sized critters getting smashed by the ever growing traffic on our road. So Katie and I plodded around the lawn with her darting this way and that scooping up the tiny tots. Her two year old sister Erin followed along like a puppy as well. Soon we had gathered a dozen or more which we then crossed the road to the field to release. The Katie wanted to give it a go alone. It wasn't long before she had a jar bottom squirming with life. And she wanted to go across the road all by herself to release them. Now she has an eye out for the smallest of wildlife that most children, let alone adults, will never know or come to appreciate. Thousands of toads will likely be crossing my lawn. I'll not mow it during this annual event. But I bet I am one of few who check their lawns for toads before mowing. It is so nice to have a sense of the rhythm of wildlife in NH and to be able to pass it along to Katie.


   

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2008-08-01 Of Frogs, toads and a tornado in Epsom, what a week!

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