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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

The giant awakens! Spring has arrived!!

Monday 03/16/2009

Oh how quickly the earth is awakening. I heard my first red winged black bird here on Sunday. My daughter heard them a week ago near the Merrimack River in Concord. I have been straining the morning air each morning from my back deck with my parabolic listening device for a sound of spring. The Suncook River remained frozen in the view from my house until this weekend. Boom over a two day period Saturday and Sunday the Suncook River opened wide open from my view. The Merrimack River in Concord has also opened up over the last few days.

Though the snow remains over most of the ground here in Epsom, except for south facing slopes, my travels took me to Bedford yesterday and just 10 short miles south of here the fields were bare. True spring is just a hop away and no doubt all the things that bare ground and open water brings will be upon us here in just a few days, baring any setbacks from another snow storm that is.

From woodcock to ducks and birds galore spring is right at my doorstep at this point. Life will literally explode over the next couple of weeks. Wood frogs and spring peepers will be close at hand. We are at the very peak of the roller coaster ride into summer. Yee ha we are in for the big ride and spring will be flying by before you know it.

I have been able to get back out into the nearby state park for some afternoon hikes lately. One of my routes takes me up under a set of power lines where the north edge has been melted for the most part free of snow. I hiked to the top of a big hill over the weekend and took a break to soak up the mid day sun on a bare and very warm strip of earth. I quickly had a small fire going and roasted a hot dog while soaking up the heat of the fire on one side and the sun on the other. Then I sprawled on the warm bed of leaves nearby and just took in all that the good warm earth had to offer. I lay still and just listened and warmed myself in the sun. I could hear a distant breeze sweep my way through the pines then into the bare oaks around me which set the few leaves still attached to the branches above my head rattling. Sometimes a distant twig or branch would get loose and drop to the ground with a thud. I gleaned every bit of sound and tested the air for the smell of spring. While not strong there was a sense of spring in the air. I love the smell of the sun warmed earth. Spring is at hand. Get outside and soak it in!

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Where oh where is spring?

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NH the sleeping giant awakens. Life rains from the sky this week!

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