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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Friday 11/11/2011 Interesting date and so much to cover

Well, seems like I have been very busy. Too busy to get my Nature Notes out it seems. But let's start with this week and work backwards three weeks to catch up and put things into perspective.

First of all what a three week period it has been. Two days ago I got to hunt in the opening day of the NH rifle deer season. Best of all I shared the day with other men I am so fortunate to be in company of. First my son Adam. For most of his life and many years he hunted the opening day of the deer season with his best friend Derek C. I always worked the opening day as part of my duties as a NH Fish and Game wildlife biologist; and did for three decades. But when I retired five years ago I finally got to hunt with my son and his life-long friend Derek opening day. But wait there's more. Also along was my son-in-law Derek M. and his brother Rob. How lucky I am to have close family ties to hunt and share special times with.

Hunting through the woods a sunny and very warm, lets talk the 60's for opening days here, afternoon I couldn't help but notice my other partner, my shadow. Yes the sun's angle even at mid day gave a long shadow of a partner as I stalked through a sweet smelling autumn day. We had a grand day and most unusual was that not a one of us saw nary a deer's tail for the day. But we had a grand day afield in NH I must say.

Back up a few days and it was Deer Camp Maine time. My son-in-law and I just had a couple of days at week's end to head to Maine this year. It is the time we must also put the camp to bed for the winter as well. Camp is a mile or more in a narrow unplowed forested path and accessed by snow machine come winter. I gave my snow machines away a number of years ago. Nada for deer there too I should mention. But like here at home we had two very warm days up there for deer hunting as well.

This takes me back some three weeks now to the weird wacky last week of October. Well the first six days of the week weren't bad at all as I was away fishing at Cabo San Lucas Mexico on the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Oh my wife and I and three other couples shared a wonderful week of sunny summer like days with a couple of days of great fishing. Two mornings I began my day with friend Jean, the lobsterman, on the Sea of Cortez and 6 am still dark leaving the harbor under brilliant stars. We trolled westward along the tip of the peninsula and turned back east just as the Pacific Ocean opened up in front of us. We caught mostly mahi-mahi. In fact two nights we brought our catch to restaurants to be cooked and shared with the eight of us. What a spectacular view it was to have the waves crashing against the shore to the north of us as the sun rose out of the Sea of Cortez behind us. It was a great week of friends and good times.

Then came the trip home Saturday afternoon and evening. By the time we landed in Phoenix in the mid afternoon we had calls wait on our cell phones to warn us of the pending snow storm in NH. Two couples had volunteered to be bumped from the overbooked flight and as it turns out got three extra days in Mexico. Not me. "Hey this is October. How bad could it really be?" Stupid me.

Well we arrived in Boston a little after 11pm after what seemed like and endless decent into Logan, bumpy as all hell. I looked out at the red light at the wing tip only to see a blizzard of snow going by. But once we were on the ground and the applause had subsided it didn't look that bad at Logan. However the next three hours driving through two feet of unplowed snow on I-93 in NH sure seemed like hell. To my surprise the roads in Massachusetts were actually plowed. I-93 not so bad there at 1am. I figured once I hit the NH line it would be smooth sailing. NH always does I great job plowing I thought. Not so this time. There was a line of traffic trying to maneuver down up the center of I-93 with trees bent over forming just a narrow tunnel down the center of the highway in places Not a plow in sight until I was in Hooksett.So much for the legislative cuts to the budget this year. Routes three and twenty-eight from Hooksett though Allenstown and on home were actually better plowed than I-93. It was nearly three before I was able to crash the car through the snow bank at home and come to a stop inside my driveway, just yards from my garage door. But here our luck changed. The lights were still on and stayed on until we headed upstairs to bed. But we only lost them until early Sunday afternoon unlike many in NH. For that I am grateful. Always good to be home no matter what.

And now except for a touch of snow in a shadow or the remains of a plowed banking the snow is gone. And we have had temperatures more like summer than fall the last several days. Life is just a riddle around here.


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