New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
On the cusp of a summer slam.
Boy are things changing by the minute this week! And a catalyst is coming by mid-week for what I'm calling a summer slam. Temps may be in the 80's by mid-week through the end. Seems like we are running a few days late for leaf-out here in mid-state. Boy will that change by Friday. Everything green is going to explode this week. No doubt the explosion of color will surge northward too. This is a week that you really, really want to be paying attention to what's going on around you.
And an explosion of sounds is on the wings too. Despite the chilly week of last week, I did hear my first toads trilling by week's end. Now there is a sound you will want to absorb at some point over the next couple of weeks. Get yourself to a wetland where numbers of toads have congregated to hear the "Roar of the Toads.". Their high-pitched calls just can penetrate you and fill you with sound.
This week will see the culmination of the most sounds you will hear for the year. Yes, toads and birds by day and spring peepers by night, along with the toads, as I don't think they will sleep a wink during breeding season. Sounds. Yes sounds. Well really calls and songs of birds and frogs and toads. By weeks end it will be a cacophony like no other time of year. Yes! Even our little warblers will be filling in for those more diminutive creatures. While they are all small, say the size of a chickadee at best, they do have pretty big voices, for those that listen for them. Best at first and last light for them, so the wind does not overpower them. Every inch of space in the woods will have shrapnels of sounds ricocheting off the trees. Beautiful sounds to soak in and enjoy.
If you haven't had that woods walk/hike yet, this is the week to do it. Yes, a few blackflies will be about the warming days. Be prepared for them. So, get out and cock an ear this week. You'll have a blast!
Bursting colors all around us.
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NEW HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME DEPARTMENT Moose Biologist Henry Jones on Moose survival last winter.