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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

Friday 12/19/2008 Only hours from our official winter with our first major snow storm minutes away.

Winter officially begins a little after 7 Sunday morning. There is just something about the daylight starting to lengthen that just warms the heart. We are in the depths of winter sort of speak. Our real first snow of the year with snow that looks like it will stay was just two days ago. Even the ice storm of a week ago had pretty much disappeared here in Epsom, though I read that close to 45,000 NH residences have yet to get there power back. I was in Dover to meet with congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter this morning and on my way home I stopped at a little store on Route 9 in Barrington that had just got their power back an hour before. I was lucky here as I lost power for just two days. Just three days ago my lawn was bare of snow. It looks like we are in for another 6 to 10 inches this afternoon and evening. The ground has frozen over the last 10 days though. So I am guessing, that without a big warm up and rain event, we are in for a white Christmas and long winter conditions.
 
But we sure have been in more of a warm rain cycle this fall compared to last. In fact within the last two weeks, since my last Nature Notes, the Suncook River has been into two separate "high flood" stages with the corn field in the meadow below my house flooded. The water was over the banks of the river although well below the 100-year flood levels that seem to be coming quite regular. During the last flood a cold front moved in that dropped the temperatures into the single digits. Within a day the flooded corn field was covered in ice. This is a first in the 29 and a half years I have lived here. We have never had a huge "winter flood" before and never has the field been covered with ice before. However a brief warming trend over the weekend into Tuesday quickly melted much of the ice over the field leaving just the wetlands covered in ice.
 
I have been by Northwood Lake in Northwood several times the last two days and it is entirely skimmed with ice. As it was a month ago during a cold snap in November but a warm rainy cycle opened it back up for much of the last half of November and the first part of December. I did notice in my travels along Route 101 yesterday that even some of the small ponds down there had little ice.
 
Wildlife seems to be frantically feeding at my feeders before the storm.The squirrels and the birds are vying for space at the feeders today. It has been a rather slow period for wildlife for me the last or two. I haven't even seen any of the local turkeys in several days. There are several of my neighbors near and far that feed the turkeys and steal them away each winter when snow arrives.

   

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2008-12-04 Yo yo weather, temperatures and water levels in the Suncook River

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2008-12-23 A white Christmas no dream.

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