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 04/13/2018 Waiting for that April moment.
Well I'm still waiting for that April moment when it actually feels like April. Our temperatures have been running ten to fifteen degrees below average all spring now. Checking back on these dates in my last few diaries proves my memory wrong. I was thinking that by April first most years all the snow was gone. But I find in those pages that my memory fails me as indeed we do have snow some years going into April and the occasional snow storm adding to what we have. BRRR. But my view from my house just shows the remains of the plowed snow along the edge of my driveway and a bit of snow in my back yard where it fell off my metal roof. And a bit of snow in the shaded end of the long field across from my house. Though in fact from my diaries even that is gone most years by the fifteenth.
I expected last night's rain with temps in the 40's to really bring out the spotted salamanders and frogs. I did my three mile driving census up to Hew Rye Hill and out swamp Road expecting to see numbers of both. Nope. Only spotted one toad and one spotted salamander. I'm thinking the salamanders must have already made their dash and I just plain missed it. I'll keep checking. I did hear wood frogs for the first time Wednesday afternoon here in town. In any case it is best to stay off the roads after dark anytime it is raining if we can for the next month or so.
The cold just doesn't want to let go. The small pond out on route 28 by the cemetery thawed open over a week ago. But each morning that I headed up to Concord to swim first thing I noted that the pond was actually skimmed over with ice again. By noon when I headed home it was ice free again. But boy that water has just not warmed up.
Until the ground warms up a lot more there is no sense in putting much in the ground. I tried last spring that seemed to keep on being cold and nothing came up well into May. I think it was in 2012 when we had a real early spring. I even planted some cucumbers in April and they shot out of the ground and I had cucumbers by the 4th that year.
Robins have been moving through a couple weeks now. I had a phoebe arrive here this morning and I can see it checking out the building down back were it has built a nest for years. I put out six new bird houses yesterday. Four here and two down the road at my mothers. I already had a pair of chickadees checking one of mine out this morning. So spring is getting along despite the cold temps. Old sol is moving up there in the sky. Can't wait until April feels and smells like April of my mind.