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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
nhfishandwildlif@aol.com

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Wednesday 07/18/2007 Settling slowly into summer.

July has been running below average for temperatures. The last heat wave was in June where we hit 90 degrees. A very comfortable summer so far it seems. We did get another deluge Sunday afternoon. A line of thunder storms rolled in just after noon and by night fall my rain gauge read 2.8 inches. Seems like a lot of it managed to get into the ground as the Suncook River here, though very brown, has not risen substantially.

In fact yesterday I got an early morning call from Doctor Barry Wicklow who is conducting a study of the brook floater mussels relocated in the Suncook River from Epsom to Chichester last summer after the river changed course. So up I went to join the mussel team of the day including Mary Fugere from the Friends of the Suncook River. A couple of Fish and Wildlife biologists from the Nashua Hatchery were on hand as well as another professor from St. Anslem Collage. Mussels were collected from the various sections with about a quarter of them tagged from last summer. I helped measure and record the previously tagged ones and added tags to the many new ones. This is a long-term study to see how the relocated ones survive and to see if they influence the resident mussels. Last summer 1,200 mussels were moved to this site and an additional 500 resident mussels were tagged. The collection crew brought bags full of mussels for us to examine record and tag as needed. I probably handled a couple hundred mussels for the day. The Suncook River, according to Dr. Wicklow, has the greatest number of brook floater mussels known in North America. This is a Federally threatened species and apparently quickly diminishing in numbers across it's range. Thus making this site all the more valuable. What is amazing is the life span of the non-descript creatures. Many are 40, 50 or even 80 years old. How they survived this April's record flood is beyond me.

For me the last week or so has been fairly wildlife free. The air is absolutely still. Not an insect call or a bird call to be heard except for an occasional crow call here at my house and the restless wren. I did have a couple of tiny tot toads trundling across my lawn the other day. Not the thousands that sweep across most years. A gentle rain is messaging Mother Earth this morning muffling any distant sounds. All is quiet and very peaceful here in Epsom this morning. I'm just soaking it all in.


   

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2007-07-12 A stalled weather front has given us spectacular lightening.

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2007-08-27 The summer doldrums are upon us.

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