New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
Color and life seems to be draining from here right now.
How quickly fall heads toward winter. Life and color is quickly draining before my very eyes it seems. Gone are the spectacular colors of just a week ago. And this week it is the robins that I have been watching quickly drain from the landscape. The robins seems to be flowing like liquid across the landscape. Pouring southward with each hop or brief flight from shrub to ground then flowing back up into or over the shrubs and to the earth beyond. More subtle are the sparrows and such. Rather non de-script birds flushing from the brush around my legs as I walk through the cover woodcock hunting. All headed in one direction as if they were metal objects being drawn in that direction by a magnet. Indeed they are being drawn by mother earths magnet. And the last two days it has been the crows, murders of crows they are called, flocking nervously about the now earth colored corn fields and browning grasses. Gone are the gluttonous scores of grasshoppers and crickets that fed them just a couple weeks ago before the hard frosts had killed them off.
The horizon to a distance is quickly graying as the year moves into old age. Soon no doubt to be white haired. Distant hills take on a more monotone color this time of year. Browns, just brownish browns, grays and deep greens cover the hills around here. Gone are the pastels from green of spring and summer and the glorious splendor of fall.
And it seems like life is starting to come indoors as well. I came home the other afternoon to find our living room had an encampment by my two granddaughters. The cool lowery day had brought the girls inside and they had made a tent in our living room. How the mind travels when you are camping indoors or out. It was fun to watch them in their giddy play as they camped out.
I noticed the last week or so that the Suncook River from my view is up. No doubt then that the dams on Northwood and Suncook lakes have been opened for the annual draw down. How the mood of the river can change with just a foot or two more water. The brown sandbar has been exchanged for the browns reflected from the river's surface mimicking the brown leaves of the oak trees along the banking.
Fall flying by as the leaves are already raining down in the rain showers.
Subtle changes this week.