Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally
ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer -
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff
Tuesday 01/16/2007 And so this is winter, it finally is here.
Oh what a difference a couple of days can make here in good old New Hampshire. Winter has arrived at last so it would seem. We've had numerous false starts this year, and maybe this is one. The ground is now coated with an inch and a half of a very icy crust and a gale is blowing out my office window tonight as the thermometer is taking a dive. Those are pretty good signs that a real winter is setting in as I type.
And what a couple of days has done to my bird feeder visits. My bird feeders have hung very quietly since I first put them out in late November or maybe even in December. Way later than usual. Even over the weekend there were few visitors. Yesterday morning there were none, probably the storm had the birds in hiding. But today I had at least a few visitors including a flock of starlings that spend much of their time in my neighbors barn. Mid day a hawk flashed by and I'm pretty sure I saw a white rump patch. Could there still be a marsh hawk meandering in this open winter. They should have all long since migrated. With ice covering the trees, shrubs and natural feeds our bird feeders will be an important source of food for the wild critters until the sun removes some of this ice.
I'm a little worried this icy crust is going to be hard on the local deer. Simply they may be falling down it is so slick. No doubt these are conditions where a dog or coyote can have the upper hand easily. I haven't ventured into the woods much yet except for a walk yesterday afternoon with my dog. It wasn't too bad going. By late this afternoon the sun came out with great strength and went right to work melting some of the ice clinging to every tree branch and pine needle. The woods were gorgeous yesterday with the icy limbs bending down into the wooded path.
Still no ice on the Suncook River, but it is supposed to be getting close to zero tonight with not much of a thaw over the next week. At least the smaller ponds and lakes should catch with some good ice over the next week. I doubt with this wind any ice is forming on Winni. My mind does wonder how any living thing can survive out there tonight with this bitter cold wind and food locked in an icy coating. It gives me all that much more respect for things wild.
2007-01-09 It's spring, it's spring!
2007-01-23 The dead of winter sends my mind to far away places.
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