New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
We are going to be cooking the next several days!
Likely to hit 90 degrees this afternoon and almost 100 degrees tomorrow. Everything is still painted lush green around here. The last three weeks of a few storms and rain showers may not have dampened our drought, but they sure have turned New Hampshire green again. This relief was just in time to save our wild berry crops I think. Raspberries, blackberries and now blueberries should be plentiful for our wildlife. I have been watching a cat bird eat the blackberries from right outside my home office window for a couple weeks. Though as i cast my eye right now out the window nearly all the berries are gone. But berries ripen at different time even locally depending on the site. No doubt there still are berries a short distance away.
Years ago when I walked with Ben Kilham, National Geography's Mother Bear Man, I had the up-close views of his then 30 pound 3 cubs picking berries as we hiked. Boy can they pick berries fast. Their lips were like fingers quickly stripping each berry from the stems. They could clean out a patch of berries in no time. What fun it was to walk with the bears.
I'm finally seeing local turkey broods pretty regularly. Though it has been a while since I have seen a deer locally. I now have TWO woodchucks around the house. They hit my wife's flowers pretty hard for a couple weeks but luckily seemed to have backed off on that. I kind of like watching them despite the losses. There may be some disagreement there.
My wife and I headed up to camp mid week this week for three days. It is mid coast Maine. It is far enough from a city or light sources so that the heavens open up to the naked eye. The Milky Way always is so much more intense there. And this trip I made sure to see comet Neo Wise for two nights. Wow what a sight it is in the northwestern sky just after dark. It looked so grand hanging over the lake. Definitely a picture to be hung on my life's memory wall.
My little wren is still singing away here and has set up housekeeping in a bird house on my front lawn. Luckily it is a shady spot. Although I can see birds bouncing about in the shrubs and trees already the summer silence has begun. Although I was a bit freaked out while standing on my dock lakeside at camp Thursday night when a huge flock of swallows swept by. What's up with birds flocking up already. That shouldn't happen until early August.
This heat wave that is expected to last for several days will definitely quiet things down even more. Who wants to move when it is near 100 degrees. Not me!
What's that Smell? (VIDEO) Someone illegally dumped fuel oil on New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Land.
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The heat is on. Everybody is in hiding.