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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Tuesday 01/23/2007 The dead of winter sends my mind to far away places.

Although the Good Earth mostly holds sway to my gaze and thoughts, sometimes I enjoy places far beyond. And for the last couple of years it has been so easy to be other places in an instant on my computer. From nearly daily different pictures of Mars to fantastic photos of Saturn and many of her moons. A recent infrared picture of Saturn taken by the Cassini satellite orbiting Saturn has me awe struck. I would love to be able to make a wall poster of the picture. Then there was the comet McNaught that could be seen even during the day a little over a week ago. Except for the days it was visible we had clouds all the time in this part of NH.

But I do find myself wandering the universe some of these long winter nights. There is a whole host of sites where great space photos are available from star and satellite orbits, to the two rovers on Mars and a new Mars orbiting satellite with unbelievable photos of things like the first Viking Landers from 1976. The whole universe is literally at our finger tips today. One can Google any one of these subjects and find amazing results.

Back here on Earth, we seemed to have pretty well settled into a winter look and feel. Even the Suncook and Merrimack Rivers are sporting mostly a coating of ice. This is one error I'm happy to make. A couple of weeks ago I'd never imagined these rivers freezing completely over. And actually the Suncook River hasn't yet. There still is a big stretch of open water just up river from my house. Last winter it didn't freeze over completely and I'm still wondering if it will this winter. But we are in for a bit more BELOW average temperatures. For months we have been averaging above normal. So this is a big change. As far as I have seen in the last couple of days most of the ponds and lakes seem to be frozen over, although no doubt not real thick yet. I'll be on the road much of this week finishing my mid-winter inland waterfowl census. My few checks so far have resulted in small flocks of ducks, and huge flocks of geese scattered all over the place. I'm hoping this freeze has put them back into their usual mid winter haunts.

We have about two inches of a rock hard icy crust covering the ground around here. Although a few south facing slopes seem to be bare ground again. I'll be heading south to Nashua today to count birds there and will have a better sense of snow and ice conditions by days end. I'm always interested in counting any duck and goose concentrations if anyone has some feel free to let me know.


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2007-01-16 And so this is winter, it finally is here.

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2007-01-27 Got Ducks? Looking at the bottom side of zero!

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