New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
Yes we are headed towards spring.
As I predicted over the weekend the hay field across from my house has melted snow free this week, except for the far end shaded by the tall pines. And this was despite most of the week, except yesterday, running a good ten degrees below average. In the low 30's rather than 40's. But the good old sun is in command now. Yes he has the upper hand. So spring is just about on schedule here from my view. All the rivers and brooks are ice free. The Yeaton corn fields over on Short Falls all turned snow free this week as well. Now that sun can get to work warming up the bare ground so that when we do get hit with a few more inches of snow the warm ground will melt it right away. It is amazing to watch as just a small brown spot in a sea of snow will throw its heat out to melt the snow around it very quickly. I'm guessing we still have plenty of ice on our local ponds and lakes. Its just that the shore line melts open so you can't get on to the ice.
I still have plenty of turkeys coming for a multiple day trip for corn. I bought another hundred pounds this week. But I'm not likely to keep feeding them once we have plenty of bare ground. They need to scatter and spread their nests out to diminish the predators from finding numbers. I did watch a big old tom breed one of the hens this week. So egg laying is just around the corner in April. As I sat down to my computer I just saw my first chipmunk of the year. Indeed spring is here. I haven't heard a red winged blackbird here yet. But I keep checking with my listening device.
My son-in-law and I got down to my mother's house this week to burn her brush pile. This has been an annual spring ritual for a long time. Except this years pile was too quick to burn as it was not the usual heap. My sister came up last fall with a helper to cut some saplings and brush around the garden and lawn. So maybe a waist high pile. My mother used to spend all summer piling a huge pile for us to burn. But she has slacked off the last couple of year. Sure she is now 95. But she blames it all on her accident a couple years ago that broke her leg. But I don't know about you but I think she is just carrying it too far. Some lame excuse. Any ways, I hope she has an attitude adjustment over this summer.
With this much bare ground the fields will quickly start to green-up bringing the deer out as well. We sure are on the cusp of rapid changes the next couple of weeks. Pay attention things are happening by the day or even hour now. At least look outside during the day.
Time to "moose" the candidates
Winter still holds on at times. Searching for that ray of sunshine.