New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
A summer blast from a summer past after last summer's overcast.
Wow, what a summer's day today. 80's and likely a record, as will be tomorrow. Finally saw some fresh cut hay this afternoon that I think may actually dry enough to bale. Sad, sad, sad hay summer. And the cow corn crop near me stunted more than it was during a couple real bad drought summers. July rain washed away the fertilizer added when planted. Gone. Swept away by the rains. Rather spindly looking, and now turning ghostly white, and us without a hard frost that normally does that. This corn, though stunted, has no reason to just die. Something weird.
Absolutely glorious colors already. You should be staring at any wetland you drive by to absorb the beauty. Really breath taking especially in the late afternoon sun. As if the wetlands are on fire. Another reason to love duck hunting. Maybe three decades ago I think there was nearly three times the duck hunters of today. Though maybe get some numbers as goose hunting may have drawn in some new hunters. Well, yes well. You launch an ever so small boat and end up dragging it noisily into deeper water to float because you loaded it with so many decoys and ammo. Lots of ammo. Did you know ammo is pretty heavy. There was never a lot of freeboard to spare. It's always foggy at that hour that time of year on the water. The fog always drains to the lowest spot overnight. Our lakes and ponds.
In the dark decoys go out in some mind pictured pattern. That may require some mind shift in daylight. You then watch a very thin sliver of light lick the horizon. Lapping up the fog like cotton candy as the sun, you now see, is the owner of that tongue. Suddenly you find yourself immersed in the walls of color of the wetlands surrounding you as become part of what you see and can now almost feel. You are a duck hunter. No matter the hunter, your senses are now on alert. You study and learn the terrain around you and what is happening.
Something different today as New Hampshire's hunting seasons are just getting underway. Keep an eye out for this duck hunter?
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Seeping into fall a couple degrees at a time.