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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 12/19/2012 Where's the ice? It's Christmas and no snow or even any ice. That's not right.

What little skim of ice that formed a couple weeks ago has pretty much now melted. And the skiff of snow we had Sunday is gone with not a flake to be found. I can't believe there is anyone left out there who think that climate change is not occurring. This may be another winter bust. My son and I have been ice fishing on New Years Day for the past number of years as a slide into the season. Last year we had only a couple to three inches of gin clear ice to tip-toe out on for the opener on New Years Day. It sure doesn't look too promising for this year. And not a touch of frost in the ground to boot.

Growing up decades ago we could pretty much count on the beaver ponds in Londonderry to be skimmed with ice by the end of October with good ice for fishing by mid December. My memory has ice covered beaver ponds most years in October lasting into the 1980's.

As a wildlife biologist for NH Fish and Game one of my duties as the regional biologist was to check a couple hundred duck nesting boxes each winter. I liked to get out on the ice as soon as it was safe enough, and many years not snow covered, right after Christmas. Certainly by the first week of January. Now safe ice does not come until at least late January.

Locally here the lawns and fields remain deep green in most places. Today feels more spring like than winter like with the last vestiges of snow disappearing overnight last night. Even the air smells spring-like today. How bazaar.

Brooks and rivers appear to be still low to me continuing the drought like conditions that we had all spring, summer and fall around here. We sure need some moisture to fill our vernal pools by spring as well as restore the groundwater.We definitely are having some weird conditions of lack of moisture more than I can remember in my lifetime.


   

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