New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
A sizzling summer on the way
Although today looks a bit dreary the balance of the week is to warm up with temperatures heading into the 80's by Friday. Where did spring go? Seems like we would never get through the cold damp month of April. By my observations we are running a good week late for the trees to be leaved out. The sun is winning for sure but Old Man Winter seems to be reluctantly giving up this year. Yes there was that "freak" snow storm a week or so ago.
My ostrich ferns have leaped up into the light with anticipation that my pear trees would soon be shading them out. Yes the forest understory is always in a race each spring to capture enough sunlight to thrive bloom and grow before the forest canopy steals most of the sunshine. Always interesting to watch this race. The pained trilliums and such all must leap out of the ground and bloom before getting shaded.
I heard my first tree frog the other day. So their migration from the forest across the road from my house to the wetland meadow down back has begun. They are the later travelers compared to the wood frogs that sprint to the vernal pools chasing the receding snow and ice from these puddles. There are so many races each spring to renew the life that abounds around us that we all take for granted.
Somehow during this pandemic it seems to me that my life has slowed to a crawl. I do get outside for long periods of time each day but because we are all living differently right now our usual pace of life has vanished. So maybe this slow down is a good thing. I know I have had a chance to read way more than I did before. To delve more deeply into topics of interest. Or find a new one.
Over the weekend I figured I spent nine or ten hours outside Saturday and a good eight hours Sunday. I did not see or hear a single commercial jet fly over. The skies are empty of us humans. I do like the quietness of it all. But we sure are witness to a dramatic change of life for many of us. No races in the sky right now. I have an app. on my phone that I can look up to see a jet and check my phone for where it came from, where it is going. What airline it is plus it's altitude and speed. So for the last couple of years I have been paying attention to the races in the sky. My father worked in the airline industry his whole life so I have always cast an eye to the sky. Living in Londonderry in the 60's just south of the airport I learned over a time the sounds of various aircraft so I didn't even need to look up to recognize them. Sounds tell us so much as we pay much attention to them. The air around us has so much to say about who is there and what is going on. Yes pay attention to the sounds around you. It is another whole world of happenings that most folks seem to ignore. Get outside and listen up!
I can practically hear the leaves bursting from the trees.
Black bears are on the move in New Hampshire right now. (VIDEO)