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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Don't let this cool damp day fool you.

Friday 06/03/2022

Seems like we have had a cool damp, sometimes dreary day or two, this spring. Let's just say we are not out of the woods yet drought wise. And we may be in for a very warm to hot and dry summer. My rain gauges have not been lying to me. Since early spring, even though many days have seemed to be cool and wet that wetness has not shown itself in my rain gauges. I have three. Yesterday I had one of the most abundant readings this spring at about a half inch. Nearly all others have been less than that since early April by my memory. Yes, a tenth here and two tenths there week upon week with really no big rainfalls. 
The Suncook River out my back windows never reach its typical Spring Flood condition. Never even a full banking of water here in town. A check on this past winter's snow fall amounts was likely the reason. There just wasn't much snow to melt and run into the streams and rivers, let alone percolate into the ground.  Seems like just enough to fill most of the vernal pools I often check. A quick check of this past winter's snowfall amounts supports my thoughts about a lack of run off. Concord usually gets 68 inches of snow each winter. Down by 25 inches this year. Manchester 19 inches off average. Berlin down 25 inches and the worse yet, Keene, down 30 inches from the average. So, we have gone into spring and summer with a water deficit. 
According to today's Concord Monitor article on our drought it looked like by early May the drought had subsided for the first time "in a few years." but within a week drought conditions were back. According to UNH climate scientist Cameron Plank New Hampshire may be facing fewer heavier rain events each spring and far hotter and dryer summers. Plank says "Climate change is already here. It's already affecting you. It's already affecting our economy. It's already affecting our ecosystems." It's just something as an fisherman, hunter and wildlife observer I think we need to take more action to reduce the affects of climate change and to be better prepared for these droughts. 
Luckily a look out my home office window today shows a lush green bowl I am emersed in. Yes everything is still green and lush. Just enough rain to keep things green and growing and the waters flowing even at a lower flow. In my eyes I don't see a big impact right now with the several year drought we have been in. Definitely something to keep an eye on and pay attention to. 
Last Sunday evening as I sat out on my deck after dark I was a bit surprised to hear some numbers of tree frogs still in the trees around my house. Seems like this was the fourth pulse of tree frogs migrating through the trees around my house. Was it three or four weeks ago now I was immersed in the migrations as they were migrating to the wetland down back? So there is still a lot of wildlife on the move. Yes June for sure is Turtle Crossing Month. The females are setting out to lay their eggs in some sunny sandy spot. So watch out for them and help them cross our roads if you safely can.  Wood frogs, which were the first to lay their eggs, will have hatched out by now and it won't be long before the young with newly sprouted legs will be off and hopping. A woods walk may reveal a carpet of juvenile frogs in places. Literally the whole forest floor can seem to be moving in places.
 June is also FOX Month. And Coyote as well. Mom and dad fox and coyote will be out hunting and visible  by night and day in June. These are NOT rabid animals just because they are out in the daylight. They are simply looking to feed their young who mom is now weaning. It won't be long until some of the young from all sorts of wildlife from foxes, coyotes, ducks, geese and deer will be on the move too. Some of these inexperienced critters will wind up in some strange places. Keep an eye out for them please. Be sure to leave them alone if possible. Let them be wild. In most cases the worse thing you can do is pick them up to "save" them. You will be putting them in more danger. Nature knows best. 

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