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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

It's ICE OUT on the Suncook River

Sunday 02/21/2010

Spring came to Epsom last night. All the ice went out of the Suncook River from my view. Just three days ago the river's surface appeared all white from my view as it was covered in ice. Then a small patch of darkness could be see way up river close to a half mile away. By Friday afternoon patches of open water appeared right at the river's 90 degree below my house. And by Saturday afternoon a huge swath of open water lay mid river with the only ice patch left at the apex of the corner. Last night that ice disappeared leaving a steel blue-gray surface for my eyes to behold. Spring has come early to the Suncook River this year. Last week's half a foot of snow has vanished as well for the most part. Though red breasted robins hang here about all winter the last decade it seems, it has been the last few days that I have seen them in abundance casting about and bobbing across the still brown but snowless surfaces everywhere. Probably false hope on my part to expect spring so soon. But I do. This week sap buckets began to sprout from the local rock maples as well. Another sure sign that spring is at hand

Oh sure we may get some more snow storms and cold temperatures, but we have had bare ground for close to a month now. I think even this last snow that so quickly melted was because the bare ground has already absorbed so much sunlight that it has warmed. It was this warm runoff from the melting snow that so quickly dissolved the Suncook's ice. Thank you old sol.

I am always amazed at how the local wildlife watches our actions. I noticed yesterday afternoon that my bird feeders out front were empty and not a birds was to be seen. I was headed out and didn't have time to refill them. When I fetched the paper this morning it hit me that they were still empty. Again not a bird in sight or hearing as I picked up the paper. I filled a bucket with seed and proceeded to fill them. Almost instantly chickadees began to fill the lilac as I re-hung the feeders. I stood for a couple of minutes to watch a dozen chickadees appear out of nowhere. Then a couple of white breasted nut hatches and a titmouse suddenly appeared as well. Perhaps it was the sound of the seeds filling the feeders like a dinner bell that brought them. But the sweet sound of chickadees filled the air all about me. I was in heaven.

Yesterday my whole family got out ice fishing. They have been out a couple other times this winter, but it was much colder then. Yesterday was in the mid 40's with a bright sun drenching us and even the wind seemed warm. We had a wonderful fire going on the ice and dinned like royalty on hot dogs and marsh mellows. What a wonderful day to enjoy nature. A woodpecker's drumming nearby only added to the glory of the day. My three year old granddaughter Erin was quick to grab the fish that were caught and slide them back into the hole. She loves ice fishing. We had close to two feet of ice. Perfect for a safe and enjoyable day on the remote pond. Life is so, so good. Winter to ice fish is just a short drive away, but back here on River Road it is spring. Wonderful spring!

Previous Note

The Sun is winning. The sun is winning

read the note

Next Note

The sun has won! Yet another flood on the Suncook River

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.