New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
Snow that confines is all about.
I'm starting to feel like a deer now. The snow has gotten so deep that I can't simply walk where ever I want. A nice shinny new set of snowshoes sit in the corner of my garage, a Christmas gift from my son, but I haven't donned them yet. I often can trek into Bear Brook State Park on the well packed snowmachine trail all winter long. But it is not a place to bring my dog as the snowmachines hardly if ever let off the throttle when going by and I fear for my dogs life, let alone mine, especially at night. So my weekly hikes have been curtailed this winter. No doubt the snow is just about deep enough to curtail deer movements as well. I did see three walking across a field late one afternoon last week. But tracks have been kind of sparse as of late.
I find myself more cat-like this winter. Several afternoons I have slid my recliner into a sun shaft streaming into my living room and soak in all the rays I can with my dog curled in my lap. Even she has become cat-like.
I've been out ice fishing a couple times this past week. My granddaughter Katie and her Dad and I hit a local pond one afternoon. How the flags were flying. One right after another as soon as we got them set up. Fat bass and a huge pickerel were soon on the ice and returned quickly to the holes. Quick action and lots of fun. My foray a few days later to a local trout lake was at the opposite end of my luck. Not a flag, even a wind flag, was to be seen.
This is the depths of winter for cold and snow conditions. You would be surprised at just how many animals actually survive this time by going under the snow. Called subnivian living. From weasels, including fisher at times, to rabbits and grouse by night many animals get out of the worst of weather by going deep into the snow.
Zeroing it out! Shivering chickadees.
Old Sol is winning!