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
Friday 05/25/2007 It's a wrap! My career that is.
Oh, what a career it has been. A job I dreamed of as a kid and lived as a dream for over three decades. I leave with some trepidation, but with a sense in my heart and mind that I am really ready to move on to a different part of my life. For me Fish and Game was not just a career but a way of living every day and practically every waking minute. And sleep for that matter, as I dreamed of work things several times a week. In fact I have kept a flashlight, pencil and paper by my bed for years to jot down ideas from the better dreams. Fish and Game thoughts consumed me. Really from the time when I joined the Londonderry Fish and Game Club at age 14 when Fish and Game was always a hot topic from which my mind hardly has ever swayed. But I am ready to think and dream of different things.
Oh what changes and things I have experienced, seen, been part of, initiated and been the part of an exceptional force of professionals that will have fore ever made an impact on New Hampshire. For example:
- When I started in 1976 just 25 wild turkeys had been released in SW NH the previous year. So perhaps by fall of 76 there was 100 to 125 turkeys. There now are 35,000.
- There was an estimated 40 -something thousand deer. We now have 85,000
- There was an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 bears. We now have 5,500.
- There was at most a couple hundred moose. We now have 5,000.
- There were no falcons. We now have over a dozen nesting pairs.
- No bald eagles, now a dozen nesting pairs.
- No piping plovers at Hampton Beach, no terns out at the Isle of Shoals. We now have over 2,000 nesting pairs.
I helped transport American shad eggs from the Conn. River to the Merrimack River in the early years. I have stocked hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon fry, helped relocate river herring from the coast to Bow and Northwood Lakes and on and on. There was always just so much to do and always so little time to get it all done. And I loved every minute of it!
And I have at least played some small part in all these restoration efforts. I leave with a very big smile on my face and a full heart and mind of fond memories of both people and critters. Every day was exciting to go to work and I brought work home so many times. From bears to deer, to moose, to dozens of fishers, otter, mink, opossums, pheasants and more. All have found refuge at my home for some part of time.
I still will play a part in conservation through some local conservation groups I belong to.
Today was a record hot day topping off at 93 degrees in Concord. Even the top of Mount Washington set a record at 61 degrees. The heat the last couple of days has the tree frogs in migration through the trees near my hose. The toads are back at full trill down back after a couple weeks off, now overshadowing the peeper calls. A pickerel frog occasionally throws in a snore call. I saw some snapping turtles on the move last week and a couple dead painted turtles along the roads today. The leaves are completely out on the trees and the lilacs that just started blossoming last week are browning in this heat. It has been more like summer than spring these last few days. Life does always seem to be zipping by. It sure seems like 31 years did. My next task is to tug on the fabric of time and try to slow a little corner down for me for a while. I want to study a branch dancing in a morning breeze and not have to be somewhere else. I will.
2007-05-16 Of toads, peepers and birds galore. The sky, the trees and the earth is full of life, plump full.
2007-05-31 A very eventful birthday, and frogs fill the night with sounds.
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