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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

Sunday 02/18/2007 Sun, fun and fishing.

Well at last I got out ice fishing this winter. And I had the best I could hope for with family and friends out on the ice. My son-in-law Derek and I set up a few tip-ups on a nearby pond just before noon as the late February sun took the chill off a cold starting day. Fishing was actually kind of slow with the five tip up we had set out not flagging for over an hour. I did manage to jig up an nice yellow perch with my grand daughter Katie taking a turn "reeling" it in. My life long friend Rick and his daughter Kasey joined us for much of the afternoon as well with other friends and family members stopping in for visits. Mid afternoon Kasey jigged up a bluegill, then shortly after a fat largemouth bass. How she crowed about catching two fish to my one. And she's still got crowing rights.

I have been out for a couple late afternoon hike into Bear Brook with little to show for tracks or critters. Rick and I did venture out mid afternoon Wednesday during the height of the storm for an hour hike into the park. Not a thing moving in the wind driven snow besides us and our equally foolish hounds. But my bird feeder came alive like never before this winter that snowy day. We ended up with only 8 or 9 inches of snow locally so the going is still pretty easy around here. Although my attempts to track down a couple large flocks of turkeys didn't pan out the way I had hoped. At one location where there was a flock of nearly a hundred birds for the last decade, there were none. It's a site I haven't checked in three years or so. Not only were there no turkeys, but the wonderful dairy farm has gone out of business. Nary a cow to be found, hence no turkeys. The farm with all the out buildings lay like a ghost town against a pure white snowy background. Each winter our turkey biologist Ted Walski asks us to try to count any flocks of turkeys in our region. Seen any? Where, how many and when?? In NH that is.

My thermometer actually read 34 degrees yesterday! I'm pretty sure that is the first time it has been above the freezing point in nearly a month. So maybe the sky is really not falling completely this winter directly into a global warming situation. Seems like plenty of us were wondering well into January. Good old Mother Nature has set us straight once more. Not only has it been cold, but very windy too. My wind chimes have been singing a chilly melody day and night now for a while. Frankly I'm hoping for a bit of a spring break any day now. Just enough to settle the snow a little more and give us some sweet smelling earth on the south facing slopes. It won't be long before the male woodcock head back this way expecting to find the bare spots. When I was growing up in Londonderry in the 1960's I would head out across the snowy fields in late February and walked the northern edges of the fields that were laid bare by the late February sun. More often than not I could spot a woodcock the last week of the month. I'm ready for any sign of spring.


   

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2007-02-07 A deep freeze and a disappearing deer.

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2007-02-21 Warming up at last and a turkey, a goose 179 ducks and hopefully more turkeys.

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