New Hampshire Wildlife News
by Certified Wildlife Biologist, Eric P. Orff

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

My New Rain Gauge was Nearly Full This Week. Twice

Monday 10/19/2020

Yes we are still in an extreme drought here according to the statistics. However we did get much needed rain this past week. By Wednesday morning I had about two inches of rain in my new gauge that I had put up just a couple days before. Then to my surprise Saturday morning the empty gauge had refilled to nearly four inches of rain. We have not had that much measurable rain all summer to my memory. I cast my eyes out back to the Suncook River Saturday morning. While it was flowing pretty well it remained well within its banks. You'd have thought that nearly four inches of rain would have at least filled it to full banking. Nope. Not even close. I'm thinking that much of the rain simply was absorbed by the sponge like earth. Every beaver pond and depression in our forests were completely dry. So it took lots of rain just to fill them up. This is a great thing as this will hold the water and let it get down into the water table. So many wells have gone dry from the local news that drifts around. And don't we need even more rain before the ground freezes to help build up some ground water to get these wells through the winter when for the most part the frozen ground prohibits rain from getting into the ground. 
Despite the wind and rains of this past week I was surprised in a drive with my wife up to her brothers camp in Alexandria yesterday how much color remains on the hills and mountains. We did see our first snow as Cardigan Mountain was sporting a fresh white cap. The great view from his camp showed lots of color still on the lower elevations but as you scanned up slope the trees turned gray and leafless. Despite a pretty strong breeze the sun had us down to short sleeves by mid day as we stayed outside to enjoy the view and sun drenched deck. We are well past peak color but there is still lots of color and I would encourage you to get out and enjoy our wonderful fall season.
Locally our fields are still nice and green. I am seeing plenty of acorns around here as well. I am hearing this year that abundance is spotty. At least around here the wildlife should go into winter in good shape with plenty of feed and will keep eating the acorns over the winter if the snow is not too deep or hard packed. 
According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department bear biologist Andy Timmins the bear kill shot up considerably in October. As of October 13th 945 bears have been killed. Andy says we may very well break the old record kill of 1053 set just two years ago. With over 6,000 bears now estimated to be in New Hampshire that new record should be well within the number that can be taken. In fact the current Bear Management Plan calls for reducing bear numbers in parts of the state. This could move the numbers to where folks would like to see bear numbers. 
We did get a real killing frost here Saturday night. And of coarse I forgot to bring in the few potted flowers still blooming. Hey it's late October and you just know you can only hang on to summer colors for only so long. Although now it looks like another warm up for the next ten days so if I HAD brought them in I could have milked another week of summer colors.

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