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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Prepare to bake this week.

Monday 07/18/2022

Whoa. Another pretty how day out there. I went outside for a while this morning, just around the house, to soak in what the air had to offer. Hot air for sure and the red-eyed vireo in full throttle calling into mid-day. Kind of like the race cars up in Loudon today. Yes, full throttle.  I prefer the vireo.
And what's with the long hot summer days? Days best remembered by our youth no doubt. Less impressive with age I find. 
But not so the ever-shorter nights. It is the nights that seem to impress me more with time. 
I love watching summer filled hot days turn into summer nights. I frequently just set outside just as the sun has dipped below the treetops in my back yard. Oh, I'll glance over my shoulder at the tall pines across the road from my house to see if they have yet to lose the last of the direct day's sunlight. Long before the first star appears. And by late June the sun has now strode off to the northwest of my view. I guess that means our Mother Earth was at Full Tilt for the summer. It'll hang up there a few days before swaggering back south at some point gathering up the Snowbirds to sweep them south for the winter. 
And a summer's eve has so much to offer. First of all, as the sun goes down the volume of the forest's sounds go up. Yes. The wall somehow insulating us from what had been unheard begins to give way to the sounds deeper within the forests. Hey there are birds in there. A steady stare may bring to view a flicker of movement. But the sounds of who has been there all along begin to filter out as the sun loses its grip on the day. Well, as the sun dies out so does the wind most evenings. That alone turns up the volume. And here in Central New Hampshire most summer nights begin to immediately cool as the sun dives off the edge of the planet into some other deeper pool for the night. 
My eyes often hover at the horizon to catch the very moment the hand of night smothers the last of the day's light. And the frogs, summer frogs, begin to bellow or strum, whether bull frogs or green frogs More sounds flow from the forest and more distant wetland. And the cooling night reveals more sounds with the cooler denser air. There is so much to absorb on a summer's night. 
While I do live in the country, you do not need to live way out to hear and see these changes. Most of us here in New Hampshire can experience this even if in the suburbs. Turn you focus to that undeveloped lots nearby. It's happening there too. Or take a late day into the night hike. My best friend and I, who built a house a mile from me 35 years ago, often took a hike, we just called it a walk, many a summer night. Though we did have a flashlight in our pockets we seldom used them. Your night vision soon adapts to the darkness. And more importantly so do all your other senses. You can kind of feel your way through the forest or trail. You just quickly gain a sense of what is around you. Imagine your connection to the forest as you "feel" your way through it in a pitch-black night. My whole life I have been comfortable in those conditions. Try it. You too will soon learn to love the nights and so much they have to offer.   

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