New Hampshire Wildlife News
by Certified Wildlife Biologist, Eric P. Orff

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Old Sol is winning!

Friday 02/20/2009

Another snow storm Wednesday night into the next morning has given us the first real amount of snow since I headed to Cozumel Mexico the last day of January. And I have taken a couple week break from Nature Notes as well. So to catch up.

With three weeks without any new snow and the sun rising higher in the sky we have had some real melting going on. The snow banks at my house are half the height they were when I left. I have noticed some of the smaller brooks have stretches of open water though the Suncook River here from my view is still totally covered and my trips to Concord this week showed me the Merrimack River is still a solid sheet of ice.

While in Cozumel Mexico the first week of February my wife and I did get a chance to get over to the mainland for a day trip to the Tulum Mayan ruins. We had an excellent guide for the day. What a huge walled village it was and remains much as it likely was over 3 thousand years ago. We stayed at the Cozumel Palace and the tanked economy here is so reflected down there. The resort was less than half full. I have been to Cozumel nearly a half dozen times over the last 15 years or more.But this time was so different. The place was empty compared to the last times even with the daily arrivals of cruise ships. Our guide did tell us that the daily pay, minimum wage, for the shop keepers and service folks is $4 for a day at least 8 hours long. We noticed many of our wait staff were around for 12 hours or more each day. These were hard working folks who would run to serve you.

Back here I did manage to get out for a snowshoe hike an evening this week. Just enough crust so with snowshoe I stayed on top most of the time. Pretty peaceful out in the woods. I did get out ice fishing this week as well with my son-in-law and two grand daughters. Little 5 year old Katie is hard to beat to a flag these days. So despite 8 or 9 flags that afternoon we only manage one fish on the ice and back in. I had the treat of having the 2 year old Erin take an hour nap on my chest snuggled into my big "ice fishing" coat. This is a tent like coat that I got in 1976 and fits loosely over any thing I ware. I can sink down into it if the need arises.

Last night I got down to Ricks for an evening fire and talk in his back yard. We haven't had a chance to catch up in several weeks. There was a lightening flash at 8:50 followed by a deep and distant rumble. At 9:22 I could hear a roaring wind approaching that swept by us showering us with the fresh falling snow in the pines surrounding us and the wind instantly changed direction by 180 degrees. I was thinking the next thunder boom may not occur until next July. I don't expect the new skiff of snow we got last night to last too long as the sun is bright and warm today.

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Snow that confines is all about.

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Where's spring???

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