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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Where oh where is spring?

Friday 03/06/2009

Still locked into winter here in Epsom. Not a note from a red winged blackbird yet. Well I guess there is at least one sign. It's the gray squirrels. The chase (breeding season) is on. I have 6 or 8 gray squirrels at my bird feeders each morning. Now they spend as much time on the chase as wolfing down my black oil sunflower seeds. The hint of spring on the Suncook River with some water on top of the ice and a black sliver of ice up river has now turned back into white ice and snow. It was four below zero here two mornings ago and close to zero yesterday morning. We seemed to be still locked into winter conditions here on the bluff overlooking the river. Even the south facing slopes got a coating of a foot of snow this week and given the cold temperatures the snow has held on.

Our wildlife needs a break from winter, as do I. I have managed a couple afternoon soaks in the warming March sun setting just inside my garage with the big doors open. Still it is right on the edge of warm and even the smallest of clouds send a shudder of cold over me. Still the sun is so much higher in the sky than a month or two ago and the snow seems to be slowly disappearing. It is about now most years that a flock of red wings will be announcing spring along the river's edge in the meadow below my house. I took my parabolic listening device down from its perch in my garage this morning in anticipation of picking up the first sign of spring with a distant red wing call. I can hear the first calls of the wood frogs in the kettle hole bog a half mile away with this device.

I have yet to get a glimpse of the blue comet in the predawn sky. Orion is marching westward each night and it won't be long before he disappears over the western horizon. I haven't seen a deer in a couple weeks and any turkeys in a while. Even on my excursions around the southern sections of the state over the last week or more. Not much seems to be moving about yet. But just a few days of a break in the temperatures will surely get things moving again. Even me I hope.

Previous Note

Downwind and dirty; living in the shadow of a coal fired power plant stack.

read the note

Next Note

The giant awakens! Spring has arrived!!

read the note

If you like this compilation of NH Fish and Game reports, history, and knowledge, please consider donating to keep the website updated and active. Thank You.