Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally
ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer -
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff
Wednesday 06/27/2012 Plenty of rain, streams are up and fish and frogs are happy.
Despite last week's record and near record temperatures things seemed to have fared well. My garden is lush green, well the weeds any ways, and the vegs are doing well. I did get things in rather late this year but with just enough rain and plenty of sunshine of late things have really taken off.
The local farmer got much of his hay ion last week as well. I remember well my days on the farm haying in northern Maine in the late 50's and early 60's. I remember the sweet smell of the fresh hay but a hot sweaty body would be covered in hay chaff by days end. Itchy hay chaff. That was some half century ago now. How can that be?
Speaking of Maine, we had a great weekend last weekend with our grandaughters at camp in Downeast Maine last weekend. My wife and I took the girls on the three hour long derive up Friday mid day arriving to our sunny warm lake side camp about 4 PM. All is well at camp. Even the road across the swamp was dry, not like two years ago when the lake and swamp was up a couple of feet leaving a mote to cross to get to the high ground where our camp is perched. Since it is just the lake backing up overflowing the swamp there is really no current so driving through the pretty deep water is not much of a risk. That is if you don't slip off the edge into the bottomless swamp on either side of the narrow road. I know the road is solid as back in my early teens days I helped lay the bed of stones for this road. My father remembered driving cattle out this path as a young boy in the 1920's to get them to the high ground and forage at lakes edge.
But the swamp is a magical place now. It is teaming with frogs and this weekend it was young 2 to 3 inch round painted turtles that were sunning themselves on the lily pads near the road. It didn't take long for the granddaughters, Katie 8 and Erin 6, to grab the hand nets and head out back of camp frogging. Now imagine they could have been swinging on the rope swing, swimming, fishing, playing in the boat, or even in the near by tree house. Nope they choose the swamp. How my DNA runs deep in these girls for in my youth I spent much of my time in any swamp I could find. And swamps are so full of life to explore and maybe even catch.
It wasn't long before Erin came running back with a plump bullfrog in her grasp say "This is the first frog I caught all alone without Katie's help". How proud she was of her frog. We did manage to scoop of a dozen or more frogs over the three day stay as well as a couple baby turtles. All were quickly released back at the catch spot. We also grabbed a small garter snake slithering by the camp. Although I caught it Erin was quick to take it and release it after a good study of it. She also spotted a luna moth on the side of a gas station in town Saturday morning after breakfast at Moodys. She has such sharp eyes for things.
Later Saturday evening as she was laying in the hammock she noticed a blood sucker on her foot and pulled it off. We were all trying to stem the blood flow from the bottom of her foot. Not Erin. She was worried about the poor blood sucker that fell to the ground and she wanted to return it to the swamp. These girls have already learned how to respect life, even a blood sucker.
Back here in Epsom the local cow corn seems to be leaping out of the ground. Everything is lush green. I was down at the edge of the Suncook River last evening. We have a pretty good flow going for summer. The water was crystal clear despite a good flow. I am seeing turkeys at a distance nearly every day in my travels. Not so much right around the house, but in the fields while traveling. Though my deer sightings seem to be sparse lately.
We are expecting another heat wave with temps in the mid 90's the next several days. I need to get down to the garden and have a word with those weeds.
2012-06-20 NH Heat Wave Too Hot for New Mother Moose
2012-07-18 Sand dunes in the Suncook River. Heat wave and drought continue.
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