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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

My Three O'clock Shadow

Monday 10/04/2010

Wednesday, in my usual hour or so long hike that takes me into a corner of Bear Brook State Park, near where I live, my dark shadow in the brilliant autumn sunlight kind of surprised me. How did this summer slip by and now fall so quickly sneak up on me? I pondered. Though the trees are now brightly colored as I hiked through them it was the contrasting dark long shadow that caught my attention as it flowed in front of me as I hiked north along the trail. Here it was only three in the afternoon, yet my shadow stretched out in front of me like a giant partner in my hike. It was only a few weeks ago that a three o'clock hike wouldn't cast such a partner. So already the sun is low on the horizon by mid afternoon.

And don't the trees know it. Just a week ago my near daily hikes were down a green carpet through the forest. But now, even before today's torrential rain, a carpet of leaves lay before me. Oh the trees are still mostly leaved and the colors are supreme but it was a reminder to me how quickly our seasons can fly by. Bear Brook, as in Bear Brook State Park, was bracketed with brilliant red, chrisom and orange colored trees. While just a few days ago you could spot a branch or two with colored leaves, now whole trees are colored. I hope today's hard rains from the remains of Tropical Storm Nicole don't knock too many colored leaves from their perches. This certainly is welcomed rain as the ground remains bone dry as does nearby Deer Brook. And you can practically jump across the Suncook River. Well at least wade to little more than ankle deep for a ten foot wade.

My rain gauge read near an inch this morning from yesterday's rain and we had quite a drenching rain today. Early this morning my thermometer read close to 80 degrees right up almost as high as when we last had sun on Wednesday. So despite the calendar saying its fall it has been more summer like. And nary a frost here yet! We canned another 7 quarts of dilly beans yesterday and my garden is still providing a bounty for the family, despite the fact it is now October. This has been a year for the garden that I will not soon forget in this never ending summer. Where is fall any ways? It sure doesn't feel like "hunting season".

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The endless summer continues

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Its raining leaves.

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