New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
We are cooling down day by day it seems.
A kind of cool rainy day today. The rain sure is welcomed. So far none of the hurricanes have tossed any rain our way, Sure could use a hurricane remnant here. Not the wind, just the rain, thank you. Even our local ponds seem to be shrinking in size this late summer due to our drought. I am already seeing more and more splashes of color from our now stressed trees. I think we are approaching 30 days of 90 degree temperatures. If we hit over 30 days, which I think is still possible, we would set a new record. Yes a very long hot and dry summer. Looking back at my diary and NH Nature Notes the drought most likely started last winter. We started with a snow drought in February. The lack of snow melt started us into spring and summer at a deficit. And we went downhill from there water wise.
I have seen a few more Monarch butterflies drifting south this past week. That pace will soon pick up as more and more hatch and head southwest. I have seen several flocks of geese bouncing about lately too. The hawk migration is about to get into full swing peaking in ten days or so. Hawks are our early arrivers in the spring so they have already been here a while and are itching to start south. But not all hawks will migrate. Our redtails often don't go far.
We have had enough rain to color up our fields to green again. My garden has struggled to produce well all summer despite the daily watering. No corn or beans despite three plantings. Only one zucchini plant produced. My tomatoes were very late despite my mom claiming she started "an early variety". .So for several weeks I've had enough to eat weekly, but I don't think I'll be freezing any this year. I do have enough cucumbers for maybe one more small batch of b&b pickles. It sure was a lot of hot sweaty work this summer for what little return I am having. I have to keep telling myself "I really enjoy this garden" in years like this. I do love the smell of freshly turned soil. I'll be digging potatoes for another couple months so I'll have lots more time to grovel in the dirt.
Here's to hoping we do get some much needed rain whether from the tail end of a hurricane or from some other benevolent source. I'm seeing on line where numbers of local wells have dried up. We certainly need a lot more rain before winter freeze up and the percolation stops. We sure could use a little more help from Mother Nature. Can you hear me Mother?
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