New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
The greening of New Hampshire has begun.
Oh, to watch the day-by-day changes in April as New Hampshire is swathed in greens. Soon to the hillsides will be dabbed in every shade of green. For me this month into the first week of May is by far the most beautiful time of year. Yes, fall is more bold with colors. But I like the shades of greens draped over one another as I scan the hillside and mountains. Green is such a refreshing color. All the better to dab away brush by brush all the cold grays and browns of winter. Yes, spring is so refreshing in so many ways.
And you can watch the march of spring both locally and into the distance. Locally it is the sunny field that first reveal the lush green laying just below that last vestige of snow as the strengthening sun casts back the winter blanket. The local farmer here in town started planting winter rye a few years ago on to his cut corn fields. They are the first tease of spring around here now. Even beating out the old reliable south facing slopes road sides. Then the color begins to silently slide up from the river valley floor onto the surrounding hillsides. Yes, NOW is the time to start paying extra attention to what is happening about. In plain view yet it escapes most who fail to grasp how quickly things are changing right before our eyes. So pay attention the next several weeks to fully enjoy the explosion of life happening all around you.
And as I have mentioned before. Stop. look. Listen. Yes it's the sounds growing in cadence day by day. I try to step out on to my back deck overlooking the Suncook River and farm meadow below most mornings to glean what I can. Sometimes using my parabolic listen device to pick out more distant birds and sounds. Trouble is the local robins seem to be holding sway over much of the outdoor sounds here. Yes, I can pick out the distant oakalee of a Redwing first thing in the morning. Then my local robins just seem to own the air around here. How I remember as a very young man camping out brookside to Watts Brook in Londonderry with my best friend Rick. It was the robins who called me out of my sleeping bag those cold late April mornings when trout season started the fourth Saturday in April even in the brooks in the 60's. Sounds are percolating up from the Earth by day and night right now.
I should remind you once more to get that gallon of milk on the way home any time rain is predicted or happening after dark. Frogs, toads and salamanders are in full rush to get into their birthing place and lay some eggs as well. And lets not forget that April is kind of beaver month too. Beavers young stay in the lodge they were born in until age two, when mom and dad suggest other living arrangements as mom has a new litter to occupy the lodge. Time for junior to move out. That means crossing or road at night. Be extra careful if driving after dark especially along or around wetlands streams and rivers. Two year old beavers are now on the move too. Best to stay off the roads these dark rainy nights if you possibly can.
Brrr. Back in the cooler today.
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