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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

August is Bug Month to me.

Thursday 08/01/2019

Well here we are stepping into August today. I had a prelude to this month the other real warm evening. How the crickets were starting to sound off. Yes indeed August is Bug Month.

A walk through a local hay field will produce a wave of escaping grasshoppers as you move along. Yesterday I saw my first giant grasshopper of the year. Monarch butterflies as well as many others are dancing about the afternoon hot air. Oh for a flap of even their wing to get some moving air. 

Look up, look down and look all around and you will see movement. Yes our bugs, insects of all types, are in a frenzy to mature, mate and lay eggs before the coming frosts. And that could be just days away here in New Hampshire. Yes even here in Central New Hampshire we have had August frosts in years past according to my diaries.

So all the crickets we see and hear and grasshoppers and many of our little friends are just now maturing enough to lay eggs. Last fall mom deposited her dozens of eggs under the soil to lay dormant over the winter. Once they hatch with warming spring temperatures in may take 90 days before they reach maturity. So with our cold late spring we are just now seeing all these insects mature, sounding off to attract mates and the females getting ready to mate and lay her eggs to continue the species. Oh how short this summer is for them. Yes. A race to survive is on right in front of our eyes and ears. Oh how I love to soak in the warm summer nights filled with insect sounds. 

And back to our Monarchs which not long ago just returned from the winter's stay in Mexico. Well these are a couple generations removed from those that set out a couple months or more ago. So I'm pretty sure the ones we are seeing right now will be the last generation of our summer resident Monarchs. These will lay the eggs of the generation that is destined to return to Mexico. Make sure you are not cutting or mowing that milkweed now. Leave it until October so that our Monarchs can feed, grow and go.

Look at any street light that is glowing in the night to see a halo of moths as well. Spider webs will suddenly appear as sails drifting across our fields in the early morning light as the dew turns them visible.Wooly bear caterpillars will soon be on the move as well. By all means brake for our littlest of friends. Yes even now you need to pay attention as to what is crossing the road right in front of you. I drive around wooly bears all the time on our country roads.

So now is the time to refocus on the wildlife around you. First of all tune it in. It is the sounds that erupt the most. Then look up, look down and look all around. Stop. Check out the smaller life that abounds all around you right now. A hard frost in just a few weeks with cause all this life to disappear overnight. Don't miss it. 

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