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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Bumble Bee Me

Thursday 05/06/2010

Bumble bee me on a bumble bee day. I feel like a bumble bee these last few days. Poking my probiscus (nose) into every manner of flower here at home and on my weekly walks. My sweet plum tree is being overtaken by my lilacs. But apple blossoms all get a sniff and the wild cherries, and the flowers .....................

Did you know you can catch bumble bees? Sure you can. I learned as a six year old in the endless fields of clover while living in northern Maine that I could cup my hands and capture bumble bees and hold them briefly before releasing them, and not get stung. I always have been a catcher of things. Not so good with other bees I must warn. But I have captured and released thousands of ducks and geese as a wildlife biologist; Lots of bears and deer and turkeys and moose too. And fish. I tagged dozens of bass on Wentworth Lake the summer of 78'. And you know I still just can't help catching things.

And the toads. How they are trilling these warm evenings. I set on my deck into sunset watching the Suncook River ripple below and fill my senses with trilling toads and peeping peepers while watching bats probe the sky for insects. The tree frogs are sounding off too amongst the trees. Just a few but I will soon hear more as they sweep through the trees around my house on their way to the meadow below. Soon I will be surrounded by tree frogs. The rose-breasted grosbeak sounded off last evening announcing his arrival. This week is typically warbler week for me with numbers arriving by the day.

My garden is showing peas, radishes, cabbage and Swiss chard poking through the chocolate brown soil. I got some potatoes in the ground this week as well. And I tried some real early cucumbers as well. It's a gamble so early in May for them, but these summer-like days have me fooled that we are past frost season. If this luck holds I'll be eating crisp cukes by the 4th. And I can hardly wait to make batches of bread and butter pickles. But that's a summer thing and real wishful thinking would have me put this time of year on hold for much longer. Life just doesn't get much better than this.

Yes there are a few black flies about and a mosquito or two to swat. But my hour plus long walks have really not been that buggy yet. My hikes into the woods are filled with flowers along my zig-zagging course through the woods. White, yellow, purple and red flowers dot the forest floor. Color galore. All these flowers trying to steal some sunshine before the leafy canopy shades them for the rest of the summer. Life is such a struggle for so many. Hurry up and live for today as tomorrow the sun may be gone. So many rush through life. I hope you aren't.

Previous Note

Of turkeys, DUK boats and lilacs in blooming.

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Reflections of wild trout and passing on traditions.

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