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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Hot, humid dog days of summer are two weeks early.

Friday 07/16/2010

Gee this really has been a scorcher of a summer. We hit 90 degrees or better for close to a week in a row with really no days to cool off and now another very hot and humid one. And despite all the heat I really have not had hardly thunder storm here at my house and only 6/10ths of an inch of rain in my gauge. This rain came Tuesday night with a big coastal storm dumping three inches of rain on our coast. So we really are still in drought conditions here. And the Suncook River is just a trickle flowing by my house. I have spent several evenings down in the river at my friend Rick's house. There, prior to the avulsion in 2006, there was at least six feet of water to swim in and we could jump into the water from his river side deck. Now the water is some 50 feet away and is just a shallow channel. But he has a beach. A huge beach. The water level is way down and the sand from up river has filled in the river bed creating an endless beach. In fact my son heard an ATV roaring up the river past my house the other day. This is taking place of the outboard motors I would occasionally hear putting down the river. Oh a couple of times over the nearly three decades a jet ski went roaring by, but that was the exception. What a different river we have.

My son has been home for close to a week. We get out about every day fishing. And with this hot weather we have been plunging in too. In fact fishing and snorkeling the other day on a local lake as always I am amazed at just how many fish there are. We putted up to a shoal in this lake casting into the edges and weeds. Not a fish to be caught it seemed. So we donned our masks and fins and jumped in for a look-see. And what fish there were to see. Huge smallmouth and largemouth bass were well positioned around the shoal but wouldn't strike our lures. We collected a few of the numerous crayfish found by lifting rocks and soon found the bass to be very active as they fought over the crayfish as we let them go. Any ways we have had great times fishing and swimming the week away. Yesterday we were over to the coast to try our luck striped bass fishing. We quickly had a live well full of mackerel for bait. But here too be found the fish slow to bite. We did have some hits on our baits but hooked no bass.

I got some hikes in last week before my son arrived. And what a surprise I had one morning as I spotted a baby red bellied snake on my path. This is the smallest snake I have ever found! What a gorgeous snake it was. Maybe 5 inches long and as thin as a worm. I took a few photos and laid it trail side as I left. I can't imagine how a snake this small survives at all. I'm sure every bird, frog, toad, skunk or mouse would gladly devour it. Well it was one of my best finds in a while. And just a couple days before it was the young garter snake on this same trail at the north end. Despite walking this trail, sometimes several times a week, for years I have seldom spotted snakes along it. I guess some would be happy with that. Not me I love snakes. Not that some don't sometimes startle me. But we have no poisonous snakes here in NH so all are safe. The one den of rattle snakes left in NH is some distance away.

My garden is coming in good now. Ten to a dozen cukes a day. I'll be making dill pickles by Monday. I've even had a few ripe tomatoes. My string beans have been slow to form despite nearly daily watering. My potato vines are actually dying so I should be digging them up too. The garden has been such a change from last year at this time. Last year's cold and rainy month of June and first half of July had the garden on hold for 45 days. I am reaping the rewards of my three months of working in my garden by a rich bounty of fresh vegetables. Life is so delicious this time of year. I love to pick some cucumbers, quickly cool them, then enjoy a crisp flavor-filled lunch.

Previous Note

Tiny Tot Toads Trundling along. And color me brown

read the note

Next Note

Pickled-Sweltering in this hot and humid summer's day

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.