New Hampshire Wildlife News
by Certified Wildlife Biologist, Eric P. Orff

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Poof. The snow is gone and the peepers are peeping

Thursday 04/18/2019

Well not exactly poof. Spring has been a bit slow to seep into New Hampshire this year. Most of March and the first half of April had the temperatures running way below average for this time of year. Yet the sun has won out. I find myself setting in the sun out of the wind on even the cold days. Oh to soak in the sun this time of year.

The pile of snow on my front lawn left from the plowing of my driveway melted away pretty much on schedule on the 13th. So maybe my memory of earlier springs is all wrong. And not just here in Epsom has the snow gone. But in my thrice weekly drive to Concord for my hour-long swim, all the snow that was piled here and there along my route, is all gone too. I often look back into the last few years of my diaries on any particular day to see what it was like a year or two or three ago on that date. Despite no longer working I have been keeping up my daily diary. Maybe not as exciting as when I was a wildlife biologist for Fish and Game with accounts of catching bears, or deer or moose. But still I am keeping a thump on the pulse of Nature here.

Saturday evening I attended the annual New Hampshire Wildlife Federation banquet in Concord. I have been on the board of directors for the Federation for several decades. So I have rarely missed the annual banquet since they started maybe thirty years ago. Always so nice to be surrounded by conservation minded friends I have known for decades. Some over four decades. It was one of the first real warm days of this spring. So on the way home I pulled into a couple of places I expected to hear spring peepers and wood frogs calling. And YES, there they were. Oh how wonderful it is to soak in the sounds of spring. Especially when it is pouring out from a chorus of frogs. How lucky I am to live where I live and take the time to connect to the wild things all around us. Now I did no doubt miss my annual yellow spotted salamander census. The rains of the last week when I expected them to move have been overnight in the wee hours. Saturday night I had hoped to check them. No rain here at ten. No rain yet at midnight. Fell asleep in my chair waiting and awoke at two am. It was raining. But I was too tired to get dressed and head out. Yes I am getting old. Any ways that's my excuse for this year.

My local cock pheasant has gone missing. Still have a few turkeys lurking about but most have dispersed. No doubt off laying eggs and moving on to their summer range. The local fields have all greened up this week. But what I am not seeing are the deer that usually move out into the fields at dusk to graze. Haven't figured out that one yet. Still it feels so good to know I have survived another winter and warm days lay ahead. Be sure to soak it in.

Previous Note

Winter still holds on at times. Searching for that ray of sunshine.

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Next Note

The color is coming back to New Hampshire!

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