New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
Sizzling Summer is here.
The next five days are forecast to hit the 90's here in Central New Hampshire. Already I noticed today as it has heated up that nearly all the birds have become silent. Yes even the birds kick back into the cooler shade it seems. Although mom and dad robin and a house wren nesting out in front of my house must endure the heat to keep feeding those heads that gape out of the nest when they are near. They are just going about it in stealth mode today. Hardly even a cackle from the robin. Well the exception is old man wren who keeps bubbling away all day.
There was some kind of ruckus going on outside mid morning today. The blue jays were screaming for a while and the squirrels barked and barked at something around the yard. I kept looking and walking outside hoping I would see what was causing such panic. To no avail. But I am thinking it may be our local barred owl. Two nights ago on my way home from dropping off my mom's dinner her to her down the road about 7 pm as luck would have it there was a couple of juvenile owls on the lines right near my house. I have been hearing a barred owl calling for weeks now. Often even during the day. I had never seen baby owls before so to see the pair sitting on a cable nearly right across from my house was pretty exciting for me. Last evening I heard a muted barred owl call from the tall pines down back. So maybe the owls are hanging out right around my house and may be the cause for this morning disturbance. That's my guess. Though I was hoping to see maybe a bobcat sprint out of the brush. Wishful thinking on my part.
Moose across the state will be seeking what are called thermal refuges over the coming hot days. Yes studies have found that maintaining some pretty good sized tracts of evergreens sure helps the moose survive in this warming world. Of coarse they also might choose a dip in a lake or pond especially if it is secluded a bit. So a beaver pond in some woodlands nearby will suffice. Just remember thermal refuges are important in your community for wildlife. I can well imagine that lots of critters will be doing the same things as our moose in seeking shade over the next several days. I know I will.
Last evening I saw a number of fireflies for the first time this year. It sure was good to see several moving about. I have only heard/seen two June bugs so far this year. Growing up in the 60's a June evening with the lights on inside the house would call in numbers of June bugs to be buzzing on our screens. World-wide insect numbers have been plummeting the last few decades. The lack of June bugs this last decade has sure brought that decline to my eyes. We all need to use fewer pesticides. We certainly all need to do way more to nurture our environment.
Our long days are bringing so much life to New Hampshire.
The summer heat is on!