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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Bone dry brooks and a sliver of the Suncook River slides past my house.

Friday 08/06/2010

The Concord Monitor reports record temps for two of the last three months and above average for nine months now. A glance out my window or a walk down the road certainly supports these NOAA data. Deer Brook a half miles south of me on my road is bone dry right now. You can literally walk right up the brook bed without so much as damp feet, except the few deep holes remaining, the brook bed it is bone dry. And the Suncook River is but a sliver of itself as it slices through the sandy river bed from my sweeping view. We are in a terrible drought right here in Epsom. Thunder storms have rolled across the state several times in the last few weeks, but nearly all have been twenty miles to the north or ten miles to the south of my house. I can hear them in the distance but the water starved streams here are not quenched by the distant sounds. It is maybe once in ten years that I see Deer Brook this dry. And the birch trees along my walk into Bear Brook State Park are starved for moisture too with half the leaves turning yellow and will soon die. As our climate continues to change it is predicted that this may very well be the norm. I hope not.

The crickets sure do appreciate this weather though. Our nights are now filled with their chorus of chatter in every direction these warm summer nights. Days are very quiet though as the birds have ceased to call and sing here save for a few stray blue jay, or crow, calls. To my surprise, and I think way too early, a sign of the changing season has been a few flocks of birds whiling past my view over the Suncook River. Surely fall must be way, way, away.

Morning dew on the grass and leaves is already thick. No doubt we are just a week or two away from a quickening pace into fall. By months end the swamp maples will first show signs of orange and maybe even earlier this year with this stressful summer. I'm betting that despite all the sunshine this year's tree ring will be a sliver as the lack of rain, an early leaf out followed by a hard frost and just weird weather will stunt their growth this year. No such luck for me though. I had a wonderful day lobstering with my friend Jean this past week and brought home a half dozen freshly caught lobsters to enjoy. And it was not just the freshly caught lobsters, but local corn on the cob, and fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and beans from my garden. Life is absolutely delicious right now! And I canned another eleven quarts of dill pickles one evening. Oh, life is sooo good right now.

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

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A little welcomed rain this way at last.

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