New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
Green shoots and daffodils. Just when we need them most.
As I cast my eyes out my office window this morning I can see my clumps of daffodils have shot up significantly this past week despite being smothered a few days by about four inches of snow here in Epsom. In the flower bed in front of my garage one sole flower has already bloomed. How life is bursting from the soil, pouring in on south blowing winds on wings and coming out of winter hibernation and their winter hiding places by the hour. We are on the cusp of a wildlife and plant explosion this week. The aspens have already blossomed and my red maples have huge swollen buds right now.
Though I have not heard a wood frog or spring peeper yet, I'm sure that frogs, toads and salamanders will be on the move the next rainy night. As we hunker down during this time of crisis I can't help but think how much it will benefit our frogs, toads and salamanders with the great reduction in cars on our country roads. So hopefully no huge slaughter of these littlest creatures over the next four or five weeks. If you need to go out please do so during daylight and especially avoid driving any rainy night for the next six weeks at least.
The snow we got early in the week has mostly melted off . Todays sun and strong winds will most likely sweep away most that remains. The dry air actually whisks the snow away from its solid state to gas by sublimation. So it is actually NOT melting today. It's simply disappearing before our eyes. But the lack of snow this winter means we are headed into a dryer than normal spring. Hopefully we've had enough snow and rain to fill our vernal pools. And the snow of this week was probably a good thing to give the ground enough moisture for things to grow and green up.
Two days ago my resident woodchuck came out of hibernation. While he/she does eat a few of the flowers, I so enjoy knowing that she has made the winter. And so did I! Oh yes, these time with the virus at our door, the signs of spring life and renewal are so much more valued this spring, at least to me. I can spot a turkey in the farm field across the road most any day. How the toms are displaying. As I sat outside to soak up some sunshine and read yesterday the local ravens were letting me know they are very busy a distance away to the east from my house. I've had a pair nesting close to ear shot for five or six years now. My local robin has returned and is in full song all this week. And the local resident cardinal has made his presence known this week as well. Yes things are returning to normal around my house. I sure hope my life returns to normal soon too.
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