New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
The heat is on. Everybody is in hiding.
Well maybe my front yard wren still has something to say and flitter about, but in the third day of oppressing humidity and heat not much else is moving. There are the butterflies about. And there are the early morning and late evening bird calls. But that is about it.
Just two nights ago I heard crickets here for the first time this summer in Central New Hampshire. When I make note of this to my soon to be 97 year old mother, she is quick to announce when we might get our first frost. Hard to think about frost when today finds me sweating typing this. I'd say humidity is near 80 percent and the thermometer is into the 90's.
It is now that our poor moose are most stressed. And no doubt our deer are finding cool shade somewhere. In fact the moose move to what are called "thermal refuges". Yup a fancy name for a nice shady forest or cool pond. As Climate Change continues to warm New Hampshire these thermal refuges become all that more important if we are to keep any moose on our landscape. So think of larger blocks of forest covers in your town well away from the local high ways. Give our moose a chance. Yes give them some shade.
The other night I stopped to check a local field that the farmer had just mowed. Boom. Out there was a beautiful coyote catching one mouse after another that were hiding in the raked up windrows of hay. How lucky I was to watch it for a little while. Our nights are still filled with fireflies darting about.
It is days like this when we hardly want to move that life itself seems to stop. As if the pandemic wasn't doing that enough already. It is this time of year that I become way more of a night person. I love to walk or hike on these nights. Or at least try to end the day in the darkness.
We did get a half hour of rain mid morning. Shortly followed by full sun which set the thermometer to steam clean. Yes I think I'm sweating even if I think hard. So this one is short today. I don't want to end up as a puddle on my home office floor.
We are going to be cooking the next several days!
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department bear biologist looks back at July 1981. (VIDEO)