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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Sweet spring -great days outside.

Friday 04/16/2010

Where does time go? The tempo of life so picks up these lengthening spring days. I have been outside every day if not off on a hike working around the house and getting the garden ready for planting.

Monday I led a group of students on a hike into the Suncook River avulsion site. It has been a couple years since I last led a group on "the river tour". It takes about 3 hours for this tour. We start at the now dry dam at the Old Mill in Epsom. How the waterless river bed has turned into a green growing basin. Some willow trees are now taller then me. In just a few years the river bed will vanish into a forested landscape. A mile and a half of the Suncook River bed was de-watered during the Great Mother's Day Flood of 2006. Mother Nature is quickly claiming this now dry turf. The new river through the old Cutter Pit continues to meander and eat at the rivers edge along the East side. Thought this year changes were not as dramatic as some of my past hikes from year to year. Still the river continues to change the landscape and the view of "Epsom's Grand Canyon" is still awe inspiring. Much of the huge trench was dug by the river in hours the first day of the event. Water has such great power!

Thursday I took a hike to the top of Oak Hill in Concord with my daughter, her husband and two girls. It's a couple hour hike up and back at a pace right for a 60 and 3 year old. The fire tower was manned on this high fire danger day. We were greeted with a big smile at the tower's top by Fred Hast. Six year old Katie was quick to sign in on the guest list. I paused a while just below the top in a wide open area to take in the breeze and view. How easily my mind rewound to years past in my gaze north toward snow covered Mount Washington. On the west side of the mountain not far from the Cog Railway I could recall digging a 2 year old male bear from his den to change his radio collar. Looking west was Concord and northwest Kearsarge Mountain. In the early 1980's I tranquilized my first moose on an island in the Merrimack River just north of Bridge Street. The cow moose was near the highway and we drove her away and attempted to dart her. She headed for the river. I borrowed a boat from the fisheries folks and headed up river from Bridge Street. Just as I rounded a bend in the river I could see her standing on the island's edge. Standing in the boat I shot the dart which in a few minutes had her down. I blindfolded and tied her up and we were able to roll her into the boat and back down the river we went. We loaded her still in the boat on to a trailer at the Everett arena and took off north fearing she could wake soon. And that is where Kearsarge Mountain, just a gaze away, comes to mind. I let her go in a meadow near the mountain sporting two ear tags. That cow seemed to love her new place and I had reports over the next couple of years of her near the mountain, usually with a calf or two at her side.

So many thoughts from my perch on Oak Hill and so much of where I have lived and worked lay in my view. By far the most precious sight was my view of my two granddaughters.

Previous Note

Spring has sprung and is on the run.

read the note

Next Note

The toads are coming. The toads are coming (and trilling).

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.