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

I did take what I felt to be a bear hike the other day. Well actually it was just a hike on one of my usual hikes I take a couple or three times a week. This hike takes me up a series of three hills to the height of land with a nice view of much of Bear Brook State Park. Bear Brook is a 10,000 acre tract of protected forest right near my house. I always feel so lucky to have it as a neighbor. Any ways this hike is mostly thru a cleared area and takes me close to 40 minutes to climb to the high point. There has been a pretty good supply of blue berries for over a month now along this climb. I can't help but pluck handfuls of these berries as I hike along. Only last week the blackberry bushes were plump with fruit as well. To see me hike would have been more bear like with me grazing from one patch of berries to the next. Both berries are dead ripe and just touching them causes them to drop into your cupped hand. How blue was the sky perfectly matching the blueberries in my hand I noted. I'm surprised not to have seen any bear scat along this hike as they are common in the area now. But there was this blueberry colored coyote scat that looked more like a pastry than a scat. Raccoons too have been foraging like me. Oh how plentiful the fruit is right now. And it is not just the berries by at every step the grasshoppers and crickets are scattering as well. This is a glorious time for wildlife right now. Perfect for this years young to have a growth spurt and be better prepared for the seasons just ahead. I can hear acorns thudding from the oaks nearby as well and it sure seems to be a great year for apples locally as well.

I did get out with the Friends of the Suncook River on Saturday for a hike into two separate water falls on the Suncook River. Well, actually they are not on the main stem of the river, but are on one of the significant tributaries. This is a hike the Friends have discussed taking a couple years now. The most spectacular falls is on a well posted property and needs permission to get in. Fortunately one of our directors had the contact. What a hidden gem it is with a rather long first plunge of water over a ledge dropping 20 feet or so, then a series of falls as it cascades down a series of lesser falls close to a hundred yards long. I think it was 16 of us who enjoyed the hikes. The second set of falls was more like a long sluiceway down a ledge slope probably more like 50 yards long. This one is called the Little Niagara Falls by the locals. This one is open to the public and is where we filled a bag with broken beer bottles, cans and trash to take out the half mile to our vehicles. How anyone can abuse such a place is beyond me and is the reason the first site is so heavily posted.

I did learn thru the grapevine that the tornado of three weeks ago DID touch down closer to my house than I first realized. Apparently, based on an aerial view by the town's fire chief the tornado first touched down on the south side of Fort Mountain before vaulting over the mountain then touching down and staying down for the next 50 miles. As the crow flies Fort Mountain is not all that far from my house, probably a couple miles to the northeast. I've got to get myself to the top of the mountain soon for a look to see if I can trace its path from up there. I did drive thru several of its paths driving to and from the water fall hike this weekend. I am so amazed to see the huge trees twisted off like match sticks. One swath was maybe only a couple hundred yards wide as it crossed the country road. But the swath was so defined it looked like someone had taken a sickle and just sliced the forest down.


   

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

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2008-09-05 The summer heat is on

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