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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

Monday 08/11/2008 The neighborhood gossips have gathered outside my window this morning, but are strangely silent.

Crows are generally the biggest blabber mouths about. Generally they cannot keep a secret. The bigger the discovery the more they blab and yak about it, or so it seems. But this morning the crows have skulked in on silent wings and mostly not a murmur can be heard.

I truly enjoy watching and listening to crows and have had a "crow feeder" in my back yard for over a decade. Basically my crow feeder is composed of the compost I would not place on the ground for worry about attracting skunks and such. But I have a raised 2 foot by 2 foot platform about 7 feet up from the ground that has kept the furry animals from it so far. Plus I don't feed every day over the spring summer and fall months. In the winter I trek over to the local bakery thrift store weekly for my "crow food". Plus instead of dumping my table and kitchen scraps that can't go into my outside ground compost area into the trash I am recycling them back into nature.

How the crows love my left overs. But usually when one discovers the goodies I have left out, like some magical elf to them I imagine, the discovering bird is quick to announce the find to any other crow within loud calling distance.

I have, for instance, placed some scraps, such as when I have cleaned fish or game I have kept to eat, well out in the field across from my house. Usually by the time I get back in my yard and turn to watch a crow comes sailing in for a look. But as a rule instead of devouring all they could all alone, the bird flies into the nearby pine tree and begins to call in other crows in the area. Within just a few minutes numbers of crows are sharing the wealth.

But not today. Scraps for the Sunday night chicken BBQ for my family were still out there late into this morning. But around 10 I noticed a crow, or maybe a few different ones, dribble in silently drifting on to the platform without so much as a murmur let alone a loud call. And this has gone on through the day as the scraps have dwindled. Maybe its the weather that has them in a thither. Silent crows, these are not the crows I know.

And rain, still more rain. I emptied out a two inch level in my rain gauge yesterday. And it's back up another inch by mid day today. The Suncook River out my window looks more like a topping to a banana split that the river it should be. It runs a chocolate color. About every three days I am emptying about two inches of rain from my gauge. How the rivers and brooks are running this August. And nearly every afternoon we have a thunder storm come rumbling through. I tell you since the tornado swept through this town two weeks ago even the distant rumble of a thunder clap puts me on edge. How different my perception of a storm now is.

My four year old granddaughter Katie pretty much wants to set off on another baby toad rescue each time she arrives here. I have been trying to tell her that the toads that are out here now probably want to stay as the baby toad migration has passed, but she insists on finding the little critters and we take them well out along the edge of the field across the road to let them live away from the road. How plump some of these little tikes have gotten the last three weeks. We did find three to move yesterday. Katie carefully reaches into the plastic jar to lift them out, then kisses each one as she sends it on its way. I think we may have another wildlife biologist in the making.


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

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2008-08-19 A bear hike and hidden waterfalls on the Suncook River.

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