New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
Finally a break in the heat wave. But not the drought.
Things are really starting to wither in this drought we have had for pretty much all summer. I think it actually started in April. Although the month itself was cold and gloomy. But I don't remember much rain. May, June and July were pretty rainless. I flipped through my diary this morning to check my memory. Just a couple of brief showers in May. Nothing in June and some showers in mid July to green up the field across the road from my house. The local farmers, the Yeatons, corn is withering horribly. It should be eight or nine feet tall by now. I walked into a corn field nearby yesterday and some of it is only five feet tall. And there were no ears forming. This is a total disaster for them. I read that back in April because of the virus and school closing the dairy farmers were loosing money. Upwards of half of the remaining New Hampshire dairy farmers were at risk of closing. Luckily milk prices did finally improve. But this drought could certainly spell the end to some of these dairy farms. We now have fewer than a hundred dairy farms left in the state. I called the Governor's office yesterday to express my concern about the drought impacts on the dairy farmers asking for some relief for them. I would encourage fellow hunters to do the same. Governor's office number is 603-271-2121.
I finally heard some blue jays outside this morning. Seems like they have been gone a couple weeks now. The wren is hard at work feeding the young in the box on my front lawn. I'm wondering if this is their third nest this year. And where are the cicada? I have yet to hear one this summer. My granddaughter did find a dead cicada wasp at my mom's house a week or so ago. She was here for the night so I found a couple very interesting You Tube videos about the wasp. There is just so much going on around us ALL the time that we tend not to be tuned into. Leave it up to Eric to discover something that I was totally unaware of. She has animals eyes for sure. And a keen interest in living things to help out this old wildlife biologist learn wonderful new things. Yes!
Maybe it is my failing hearing, or eyes or some other sense that we seem to be in the summer doldrums. It is so quiet even most mornings and evenings. Well there were the bats flying about as we sat at our neighbor's camp fire the other evening sharing our pizza. I suddenly jumped up (well suddenly sort of jumped up) and said "How would you like to learn something new about wildlife right now right here?". So they nodded their approval. So I picked up a couple small rocks by the fire pit and handed them to Mike. "I said lets watch for the bats and the next time one comes over toss one of those pebbles up as high as you can." So he did and the bat chased the pebble down. So he did it a couple more times in amazement. Yes bats are one of the few wild animals you can interact with. I learned this while playing with them in Northern Maine when I was six years old. It left me with a life long fondness for bats. So I saved thousands from being killed off using DDT when I started my bat proofing business in 1983. As an alternative to the state Pesticide Board issuing a special permit to us DDT to kill off bat colonies, as it had done for decades. And when new rules were developed in the 1990's to regulate Nuisance Wildlife Control operators, I made sure to put into that regulation for those doing bat control that Exclusion ONLY was to be allowed. It is now actually illegal to kill a bat while doing control/ Non-lethal exclusion only. Yes I love bats.
Take Action Now to Help Save Our NH Dairy Farms from this Drought.(VIDEO)
On the verge of some big wild changes here in New Hampshire.