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The Monadnock Nature Almanac
is a monthly bulletin board of natural history activity in the
Monadnock region, a mixed
transitional forest upland of gentle hills, rivers, streams, and lakes located
Hillsborough counties. Covering approximately 800 square miles, it ranges in general elevation from 400 to 1200 feet
above sea level. Numerous peaks exceed 1400 feet, the highest of which, Mount Monadnock, rises to 3165 feet.
" I thought of my friends who never take walks..... for there "was nothing to see" ......
I was amazed at grieved at their blindness. I longed to open their eyes to the wonders
around them; to persuade people to love and cherish nature" ... Margaret Morse Nice
MONADNOCK NATURE NOTES........ April 2013
Subscribers are encouraged to submit their sightings, observations, and comments for inclusion
in the Monadnock Nature Almanac's Nature Notes. Submit to email@example.com.
Please include name and town.
April, ......... "There is a certainty about beginnings that is inescapable. We see them around us now, as always
when Spring creeps across the land, beginnings and continuances that build the substance of faith
and belief. Who can long have doubts when he stands besides a greening meadow, or walks through
a woodland stirring with the slow vigor of Spring, or even when he sees the complex beginnings of a
daffodil thrusting up from a hidden bulb. There is not only certainty but purpose in these matters. The
maple never puts forth oak leaves, nor does the bulb which last year bore a daffodil ever send up an
Iris bud. We know these things as certainly as we know that rain falls and brooks flow downhill.
There countless ways of phrasing it, in the language of the preacher, the philosopher, the scientist.
But whoever speaks, he must come at last to the point where the one certainty is the beginning, and
beyond that he must call on the understanding that is faith itself " ..... Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons
April 1, ......... Some MNA readers may not be aware of the recent interesting press release from the Society for the
Protection of New Hampshire's Forests. ....The Society announced today the successful development
of a pellet bush that will allow homeowners to grow their own pellets for use in popular pellet stove
devices. Many NH residents have turned to pellet stoves to heat their homes. They appreciate the
renewable energy source, as well as the convenience of handling pellets instead of heavy firewood for
a woodstove. However, many would also rather not buy pellets by the bag from their local woodstove
shop or hardware store, but make them from their own land. To that end, the Forest Society announced
recently that after careful grafting and experimental cultivation, they have developed the world's first
"pellet bush". This remarkable plant is a cross between a coffee plant and a beech tree. The combination
of the coffee bean and the beech nut have the right density and size to run through the augers of the
pellet stoves that are out there on the market now. At this point the harvesting is pretty primitive. You
put a tarp on the ground under the bush and shake the bush to let the pellets fall on the tarp. The typical
plant grows to 25-30 feet, so harvesting works best if you prune the plant once before it flowers. There
are still issues to be resolved with the pellet bushes, and the Society says they are expecting a less-
than-friendly reception from the existing pellet industry. The pellet bush does not propagate on its own
at this point, and so one must buy grafted seedlings. Based on the experimental growth, it takes at
least an acre to grow a ton of pellets. Depending on one's usage, it would take up to four or five acres
to get through a typical NH winter. The grafted seedlings are expected to be available in the very near
future. ........ Lola Priof, Troy
You can access the entire Forest Society press release and read more details on this fascinating
accomplishment at: (http://www.forestsociety.org/news/press-release.asp?id=502) ...... CS
April 1, ............. Regarding the observation in the March MNA about starving owls, at least one individual may have
figured out how to beat the winter hungry time. This afternoon a barred owl perched in the apple tree
next to my bird feeders. That might explain why I have seen so few birds there lately. .....Terry McMahon,
April 1, ............. A Big Night for Frogs in Keene - last night was a big night for frogs on North Lincoln Street in Keene,
where 25 Crossing Brigade volunteers moved 352 wood frogs, 452 spring peepers, and three spotted
salamanders across the road in less than four hours. It's likely the frog migration continued in the
heavy post-midnight rains , after we were all tucked snugly in our beds. Other sites were quieter, due
to snow ground or colder temperatures: the temperature at Jordan Road in Keene dipped down to 40
early in the evening, so only a handful of wood frogs were seen there. The Swanzey Lake Road crew
in Swanzey reported 8 spotted salamanders , 2 wood frogs, 2 spring peepers, 1 redbacked salamander,
and 1 four-toed salamander (a diverse crossing) over the course of two hours. Folks at Glebe Road in
Westmoreland reported just a handful of wood frogs and spotties. Eastern Avenue in Keene is a place
to watch for future migrations - many dozens of dead wood frogs were reported there with intrepid
amphibian crossers moving nearly 35 live wood frogs amidst the carnage at this mostly un-manned
site. One volunteer also reported a notable migration across the river from Charlestown on Rt. 5 in
Springfield, Vt: in the span of 20 minutes, she and her husband moved 26 wood frogs, 11 spotted
salamanders, and 2 spring peepers ! Many other crossing sites were still completely snowbound or
simply too cold for any amphibian movement at all. All in all, our Salamander Crossing Brigade
volunteers saved over 900 amphibians last night , and there is certainly more migration to come.
..... Brett Amy Thelen, Keene
April 1, ............. A question about Dave Anderson's depiction of coyote behavior (in the March MNA "Musings" section).
I have seen them hunting deer in packs. I was almost run over by them once as I was hiking through
Quabbin in the fall, and three coyotes were in hot pursuit of two deer. Another time in the Quabbin, as
dusk was falling, I found myself in October surrounded on three sides by a pack of coyotes in what
was clearly a deer hunting foray. And I have sat outside my house at night and listened numerous times
to packs of coyotes yipping and howling in a bloodcurdling frenzy, hunting deer at night. Twice was
able to echo locate the hunting pack's location , and find the half-eaten deer carcass the next morning.
I have often come across tracks of 3 to 4 coyotes, traveling as a pack, through the snow. And I have
found coyote scat full of deer hair and bone. at all times of the year. There is much evidence that the
eastern coyote is more wolf-like than its western cousin. Rather than a solitary rodent hunter, the
eastern coyote regularly hunts deer in packs. ...... John Ranta, Hancock
I responded to John's comments, indicating that Dave's "The Dog's of March" in last month's MNA
was a very short item written for a one or two minute radio NHPR spot and that Dave wasn't writing
an expansive piece on coyote behavior. A lot of the coyote literature does characterize coyotes as
"generally solitary" hunters. With John's permission I forwarded his comments to Dave. Here is
his reply ....... CS
I agree with John Ranta. I am never offended by anyone who dissents with any "wildlife expert "
biologist opinions. I am not a wildlife biologist, I am a woodsman and a naturalist.... I actually agree
that coyotes hunt collectively and cooperatively. I mentioned in print in other venues their practice
of driving deer toward shorelines or our onto the ice of lakes or up into steep ravines onto talus
slopes where they have been killed by other individuals who I assume have been waiting in ambush.
That is the evidence I see and find in the woods. However, the literature states - and this is likely
what I had written - that the eastern coyote is a solitary hunter, And yes, even the study of genetics -
western vs eastern and even the possibility of wolf-coyote hybrid (some biologists insist this is
"impossible" as wolves will kill and eat coyotes) - all is suggesting the coyotes among us today are
different from their original predecessors in NH more than a century ago. Here is a link to a related
topic "primal fear" of coyotes (http://info.nhpr.org/node/29071) from a Something Wild I recorded
two winters ago. Again - coyotes sneaking up on me in the night woods while sitting alone ..... I am
careful to use the literature - accepted biological facts fro the expert wildlife biologists ex - "Coyotes
are reported to be solitary hunters" but that doesn't prevent me from sharing my personal
observations even if they seem to be in contrast to what the literature suggests ..... We are learning
with each decade as adaptation and natural selection brings wildlife into new and changed habitats
and even human cities. Before you know it, coyotes will be ordering take-out to be delivered to
where they've been sighted in Central Park NYC or on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston where they
also have been sighted ! ..... Dave Anderson, SPNHF
April 1, ............. This is an area of, well perhaps not controversy, but at least lively discussion. The eastern coyote
seems to be a wolf-coyote hybrid. The eastern coyote is twice the size of its western cousin, and DNA
tests show wolf DNA (I forget if its red wolf or grey wolf) in eastern coyotes. Sometimes scientists
report evidence of wolf behavior (more "pack-like" than more solitary western coyotes). And various
reports suggest that deer make up 1/6 to 1/4 of the eastern coyote's diet. I'd be interested in what Dave
has to say. Sometimes I'm surprised at the controversy that issues like eastern coyotes behavior, or
the existence of mountain lions can raise. Experts tend to be very cautious, I guess because of the
high emotions that such topics raise. For example, it seems from my reading that experts are down-
playing the possibilities of eastern coyotes taking deer. I think that's because of the backlash from
deer hunters, many of whom blame the coyote for a poor hunting year, and want to initiate a bounty.
I don't know for sure, I'm just speculating. It surprises me that coyotes hunting deer is controversial.
..... John Ranta, Hancock
April 1, ............. Critters with lunch. In just the course of lunch, first a pair of turkey jakes walked past the dining room
window (http://flic.kr/p/e7TpXx) followed a few minutes later by the overflight of the first great blue heron,
though there is precious little open water on the pond for it except an occasional strip next to a south-
facing bank. We were just remarking how nice it is to see things stirring gain when an otter popped up
through the rotten ice out another window. (They disappeared after those last big snows blanketed the
ice) (http://flic.kr/p/e7Tp3M) A half hour later the first mallard pair paddled the edge near the otter hole.
(http://flic.kr/p/e7TnKp) No April Fooling, this is a bonanza way to start a new month. .....John Patterson,
April 2, ............. Art the Osprey Heading Home - Art the osprey safely crossed the Caribbean Sea this weekend and is
more than halfway home to his nest - and his mate - in Bridgewater, NH according to the latest data
from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. Art, an adult male who has successfully migrated from
NH to his winter getaway deep in South America eight times, is the sole survivor of a trio of ospreys
outfitted with miniature solar powered transmitters last year. News of Art's steady and swift progress
delighted researchers. The latest data from this weekend indicates Art made a safe overnight crossing
of the Caribbean in clear moonlit conditions, and landed in Haiti before flying over to Cuba. He flew 452
miles in 19.5 hours. The straight line distance from his location to his starting point is 2,555 miles. The
remaining distance to his nest in Bridgewater is 1,641 miles. so he is well past the halfway point.
He left his winter home on March 15. A link with more Information on Art and the Osprey Migration `
Project: ( http://www.nhnature.org/programs/project_ospreytrack/ ) ..... Larissa Mulkern, Union
April 2, ............. Yesterday I snow-shoed in to the marsh just north of Half Moon Pond. I wanted to see if the Great Blue
herons had returned. Sure enough, three or four of them were there staking out nest sites. This made
me wonder, what do these early arrivals eat ? The marsh is still covered with 6 inches of ice, enough for
me to walk out to get close-up photos. There are no fish or frogs available for dinner. And, I also wonder
what is the advantage of arriving so early ? Do these guys get the best nest sites ? They're risking
hunger and cold, especially in a spring like this one. Tough old birds for sure. I wonder if others have
noticed the lack of fisher cat sign this winter. In past years I regularly found their tracks in the woods
behind my house, refreshed after every snowfall. This year I have found exactly one set of tracks, which
were long since covered over. Is it a down year for fisher ? ..... John Ranta, Hancock
John's comments regarding the Great Blue Herons at Half Moon Pond in Hancock reminded me to
take a quick look at the Cornell live camera shots of an active Great Blue nest in Sapsucker Woods over
in New York state. The live shots (from two camera angles) are fascinating to watch in real time. The
live microphones add to the experience. During my view, mom was on the nest quietly sitting on 5 eggs,
the wind ruffling her feathers. Viewer comments make for interesting reading, chronicling observed
activity. (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx%3Fpid%3D2433) Check it out. ...... CS
April 3, ............. "The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still.
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes of a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
.... Robert Frost, from Two Tramps in Mud Time,
submitted by Dave Anderson, SPNHF
April 5, ............. I spent an interesting two hours or so attending a Cottrell-Baldwin Environmental Lecture at Fox Forest
in Hillsborough the other night. The program was Mountain Lions in the Northeast presented by Bill
Betty a well known advocate for the existence of an eastern US cougar breeding population. Needless
to say, the lecture was very well attended, with over 150 people crowding the Henry Baldwin Classroom
at the Forest. Betty's program consisted of a PowerPoint presentation interspersed with commentary
on the behavior, reproduction, predation, lifespan, etc. of mountain lions in general, and what he feels is
strong evidence for the existence of a small but growing breeding population in the eastern US, including
NH. He readily admits that he is not a "scientist" but seems to be very well informed regarding cougar
characteristics and behavior. He stresses that his "evidence" is based only on the thousands of credible
sightings made by extremely reliable observers, and readily admitted that probably 90% of sightings
made by non-professionals can be discounted as simple misidentifications. He presented three possible
explanations for the existence of the animal in the region; a native "relic" population that survived in
remote areas, ones that travel east from the western part of the country, and those kept as pets that
escaped or were released into the wild. His main arguments included; a) the accepted,confirmed cougar
occurrences (Quabbin, Connecticut road kill last summer, DNA testing, etc..) b) the overwhelming number
of highly reliable sightings made by credible observers over the years c) the number of deer kills that
exhibit the specific characteristics of cougar kills (...bite locations, bite fang spacing measurements,
evisceration characteristics, dragging characteristics, high tree carcass placement, etc..) His evidence
seemed to make a fairly strong case for at the very least an honest consideration of a small breeding
population here in NE. One point that stuck with me personally as much as any other.... He presented
several eastern state maps (Me, NH, Vt, NY, RI, Ct, MA, as well as others) each showing hundreds of the
more "reliable" cougar sightings over the years. I was struck by the distribution patterns. They seemed
to be almost counterintuitive. A New York map, for instance, showed the preponderance of sightings
out in the western tier of the state. My initial reaction was, why not in the more rural Adirondacks ?
The same for NH, with the vast majority of the sightings in the southern portion of the state not up in
the more rural North Woods or White Mountains where one would expect. Thinking about that for a
minute, I assumed that it was simply a function of human habitation and the increased chances of
making sightings ....... but then he superimposed deer population density maps over each of the state
cougar sighting maps, and the correlation was striking...... His point being the cougars were where the
prey was. ....... Interesting. ...... Chuck Schmidt, Hancock
April 5, ............. Maple sap - This has been a perplexing season. The sap run has shut down three times for days on end
due to day-and-night sub-freezing weather. The first run was already medium amber, the second was
dark amber, then it lightened up again. Yesterday morning and the day before the run had slowed to a
trickle. I went out this morning to pull the taps. Two buckets were overflowing and three more were
nearly so. Several others had stopped, or nearly so, including a tap on the same tree that had the two
overflowing buckets. I don't rely on the adage that the season progresses from light syrup to medium to
cooking grade. I have had a season where it was dark from start to finish, and one where it was light all
the way through. I rarely get light amber even at the beginning of a season, but I once did have a season
that was medium to dark right up until the last batch, which was light amber. For me, a batch is about a
gallon of syrup, by the way, which usually means about 35 gallons of sap. This year it has averaged
about 28 gallons. ..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard
April 8, ............. The March 28th discovery in Concord, NH of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), an invasive
beetle that has decimated ash trees in the midwest, promoted the NH to issue an emergency quarantine
on the movement of ash materials - including firewood, woodchips and nursery stock - originating in
Merrimack County. Insect specimens from the area were collected and sent to scientists at the US Dept.
of Agriculture. Officials note that the arrival of the emerald ash borer was "not unexpected" as it has
spread eastward from where it was first discovered near Detroit in 2002. The pest harms true ash trees
and when left unchecked can cause the death of all trees in an area within 5 to 10 years. Ash makes up
about 6% of the trees in NH's northern hardwood forests, or about 25 million trees. Official will try to
locate the extent of the beetle's occurrence within Merrimack County. A four square mile area around the
tree where the borer was found will be surveyed by cutting or delimbing sample trees. While there is
currently no known way to eradicate the emerald ash borer, officials stressed that we are learning more
about it and that slowing its spread through quarantines can buy some time until a possible solution
can be found. ..... Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
April 8, ............. Saturday afternoon, coming home from Keene, I saw a half-dozen vultures sitting by the roadside along
the Munsonville bypass. They all had black heads that looked as though they were feathered. There
was also a small spot of red somewhere, maybe at the base of the beak. I was almost ready to conclude
that I had come across some seriously lost black vultures, except that a moment earlier I had seen two
turkey vultures soaring overhead, as verified by their light -tinted underwings. Back home, I learned
from my field guide that immature turkey vultures do have dark heads, but it describes them as gray,
not black. So, what did I see ? .... Terry McMahon, Stoddard
April 9, ............. While on a hike on Franklin Mountain in the wilds of Swanzey we spotted an adult osprey that seemed
intoxicated by the blue sky and 63 degree day. Also spotted a juvenile sharp shinned hawk, more white
underneath. It remained on a low tree limb even as we approached as it was basking in the sun.
.... Michael Buffum, West Swanzey
April 11, ........... Art the Osprey is Back After a 5,000 Mile Flight from Brazil - Art the osprey arrived home to his mate
and his pole-top nest at the Bridgewater Power Plant at 9:53 AM on Wednesday. Signaling his arrival
with a sky dance and several calls to the female osprey, Art swooped into his nest for a well deserved
respite after his 5,000-mile, 21-day migration from his winter home in Brazil. Art is one of three birds
outfitted last year with high-tech solar powered transmitters. Art made good time on the last day of his
trip, traveling 270 miles. He appeared in the sky and dipped and swooped in a sky dance, a movement
to show off to his female and mark his territory. Within 30 minutes, the pair had mated, not in the nest,
but in a nearby tree. Art's transmitter allowed researchers to track his migration routes, winter habitat
and fishing patterns. Over the coming days and weeks, Art will get back into the routine of providing
fish for himself, his mate, and soon, the chicks that may hatch in a few weeks. Once born (the female
usually lays three eggs and the male will assist with the incubation) -Art will catch seven to eight fish
per day to feed the growing family. Art was trapped in his nest using a noose trap on May 29, 2012,
and then fitted with a transmitter. Researchers have been tracking his movements since 2007 and
reported that he helped raise single chicks in 2008 and 2009, and two chicks in 2010. For more Info.
visit (www.psnh.com/Environment/Osprey-Online.aspx) ..... Larissa Mulkern, Union Leader
April 12, ........... By all accounts, April 10 was a Big Night ! Warm evening showers triggered amphibian migrations.
and Salamander Crossing Brigade volunteers collectively saved nearly 1,500 amphibians from the crush
of a tire at road crossings throughout the Monadnock Region, bringing our season total up to almost
2,500 critters. Examples: the Jordan Road crew moved 120. At North Lincoln Street 364 were crossed.
More rain is forecast for tonight. However, unlike last night, tonight's rain will turn cold quick, so it's
possible we'll see a small migration early, right after sundown, but amphibian activity will slow when
the temperatures dip below the low 40s. ..... Brett Amy Thelen, Keene
April 12, ........... After weeks of seeing only a few chickadees at the feeders, today during the sleet storm the feeders
were simultaneously visited by chickadees, redpolls, both varieties of nuthatch, juncos, a downy
woodpecker and a chipping sparrow. ....... Terry McMahon, Stoddard
April 12, ........... April is here and things are hopping. On April 1st we saw our first yellow-bellied sapsucker in Wilton.
On April 3rd, we found skunk cabbage "flowers" up in a local swamp (also in Wilton). We had seen the
spot last summer when the skunk cabbage leaves were prominent. The spathes shielding the "flower"
this time of year being a speckled brown that blends in. On April 6th, we saw two male hooded
mergansers in breeding plumage at Batchelder Pond in Wilton. Beautiful ! On April 8th, my husband
pulled the first tick of the season off his skin. We also found 5 great blue herons on 4 nests in Wilton
even though the pond was almost totally covered with ice still. On April 10th, we went out road cruising
in Temple and Wilton at 10 PM. It was 47 degrees and rainy. We found 17 spotted salamanders over
about 9 miles of road along with wood frogs, spring peepers, two four toed salamanders, American
toads, red-backed salamanders, and one red eft. We passed two pools with wood frog choruses. This
is the first year we have fed the wild turkeys. We have been entertained by general turkey society and,
more recently, rewarded with incredible displays of tom turkeys strutting right outside our windows.
This morning (April 12) we saw a hen laying on the ground when a displaying tom stepped right up
onto her back. He stood there for several minutes and on occasion would step from foot to foot as if
massaging her back. She just lay there unaffected. It looked ridiculous. The tom lowered himself
down on her for a brief second and then they both jumped up. We could see that the female had her
tail raised, confirming our suspicion that copulation had just taken place. We also noticed that the
tom's carbuncles were very blue this morning as opposed to their usual brilliant red. Is that an
indication of their breeding status - that they were beyond displaying for other males and were
ready for mating ? ....... Tricia Saenger, Temple
April 12, ........... "Spring starlings
settle to earth
pepper a salad
season a field."
..... Larry Kimmel 1996, Bumper Haiku
submitted by Peggy Emerson, Hancock
April 14, ........... As a new MNA subscriber ....I had a visiting bobcat in March, but that's old news. Today, finally a
small wood frog chorus, but short lived when the clouds overtook the sun. Often they start "quacking"
here on April 12, so they are just a few days late. Phoebes are back and checking their usual nesting
site. Also saw a flicker this week (south end of Francestown) ....... Pat Nelson, Francestown
April 15, ........... Four bald eagles were wheeling over the pond around 3:30. They didn't come too low, but some of the
ducks that have been hanging around on the pond seemed to take the opportunity to bail. About 7 PM
one of the eagles came back, this time going after the ducks. Being hooded mergansers, they didn't
seem to panic, just dove deeply at the last moment, with admirable timing. The eagle, maybe sensing
the futility, after only a couple of sorties, skimmed over the house and was gone. An immature was
back this morning. ..... John Patterson, Peterborough
April 15, ........... A pair of mallards have been visiting the pond for the past few days. This morning there were two
drakes swimming around side by side. When the hen flew in, one drake swimming around with her
while the other stayed off to one side, displaying. He eventually swam toward the pair and was chased
away. That was about it. Now the hen is gone and the drakes are swimming around together. A few
years ago there were also two drakes and a hen on the pond one day. The hen would swim over and
try to get a fight going. The drakes would scuffle for a minute or so and then climb out on the grass
and sit down beside one another. The hen would come over and badger them until they would go
into the water and spar for a minute or two, then repeat the process. .... Terry McMahon, Stoddard
April 17, ........... With the snow finally gone, while raking the back yard I saw the first snake of the season. A red-bellied,
about 10 inches long, slate gray with two black lines running the length of its back. First of its kind I
have happened to see here, although the NH wildlife web site says it is common throughout the state.
..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard
April 17, .......... Powder Mill Pond Hancock/Greenfield - The last few days I have seen an immature bald eagle on the
pond. Not close enough to be sure of age, but definitely 3 or younger. It has been spending a lot of
time in a perch that was a favorite of the adult pair on the pond last year. I'm pretty sure the pair from
last year was not successful at breeding, so perhaps it's a carpetbagger. In past years we've had
eagles that seemed to be biding their time waiting for the ice to leave Nubanusit, but didn't stay the
summer. ..... John Haley, Greenfield.
April 18, .......... The two drakes were back this morning , paddling around together. Then the hen flew in and herded
one aside. The other then took off. The one was back in the afternoon, but his buddy disn't show up.
I wonder if what I am witnessing is not a romantic rivalry but a case of the wife not thinking much of
her husband's cronies. Reminds me of a time years ago when my father was remodeling an old house.
He was hammering on a board and heard some hammering behind him. He turned and found a
woodpecker hammering on his sawhorse. The two of them did a rendition of the Anvil Chorus for a
while. Same thing happened the next day . On the third day the woodpecker brought his mate . The
two stayed for only a few minutes and then were gone and were seen no more. ..... Terry McMahon,
April 19, .......... Wood frog, Jefferson salamander, and spotted salamander egg masses made their first appearance
throughout the Monadnock region this week, a sure sign that many amphibians have successfully
migrated. However, any stragglers could make their move tonight ! We may also see critters migrating
away from their breeding wetlands - heading back into the woods, their vernal pooling complete - in
tonight's scheduled rains. This could well be the last Big Night for the season. The rains seem certain,
but the timing does not. It's possible that the rain will come through in the late-night hours - a boon for
road crossing amphibians, since traffic will hopefully have slowed by then. .... Brett Amy Thelen, Keene
April 21, .......... A New Young Birders Club for New Hampshire - There's a new ripple in NH birding circles, and one
that I hope you will let yourselves get caught up in. It's a statewide club for young birders called The
Harriers. Membership in the club is open to all kids ages 10-18. The goal is twofold: both to create
friendships and connections between kids that have long been interested in New Hampshire's birds
and wildlife, and also to get binoculars into the hands of kids who would otherwise never given a
thought to their natural surroundings. A fantastic schedule is already in place for spring and summer,
with weekend excursions planned to some of the best birding spots in the region. The outings are
open to all members of The Harriers, as well as the parents who drive them there. They are led by
volunteers, passionate birders, naturalists and teachers. Many of you have already graciously
offered your services to lead or co-lead some of thes Young Birders Club events. Please don't hesitate
to contact us if you are interested in getting involved. Most importantly, please spread the word.
Mention the club to your children's teachers: we're visiting schools all over the state to talk to the kids
about birds, migration, conservation, and to drum up interest in the club. Membership for The Harriers
costs $25 a year - all trips thereafter are free. For new members before the end of the 2013 school year,
membership comes with a copy of the "hot-off-the press Stokes Field Guide to Birds (Eastern Region).
For more information about The Harriers, their plans and the structure of the organization, please
visit the club's website at (http://nhyoungbirders.org/) or contact Henry Walters at (603) 525-3572 or
firstname.lastname@example.org ...... Henry Walters, Hancock
April 24, .......... The lone drake has appropriated the (0.2 acre) pond. When the pair flew in, he chased them off. This
morning I saw him do something I have seldom seen in a dipper duck. He dove for his food, staying
down for about 10 seconds. The turkey flocks seem to be breaking up. Yesterday evening a lone hen
scurried through the yard at about roosting time, heading in the opposite direction from where the
flock generally goes in the evening. This morning there was a lone hen browsing in the back yard.
All of a sudden she dropped to the ground and lay still in the damp grass where she had been feeding.
After about a minute 5 birds (a tom, a jake, and 3 hens) came out of the woods and across the swale.
They gave the lone bird a seemingly disapproving once-over and ambled on their way, with the lone
bird tagging after them. This was the first time this spring I have seen a group of 5. There have
generally have been either 15 or 3. ..... Terry McMahon. Stoddard
April 24, .......... Cute little visitor outside the dining room this afternoon (http://youtu.be/2xZuDRtTOXM) .... John
April 27, .......... As I reported earlier, the first run of sap yielded a gallon of syrup for less than 30 gallons of sap. The
end of the run yielded a gallon of syrup for over 45 gallons of sap. Day before yesterday while the lone
mallard drake was guarding the pond, the pair flew in. They scuffled for about 10 minutes, then
retreated to opposite sides of the pond. For the past two days the pair has had the pond and the lone
drake has been absent. .... Terry McMahon, Stoddard
April 29, .......... So many great article to read....so little time ...... Check out the interesting and informative articles that
are currently available: "Bald Eagles Reclaim the Connecticut River", Chris Martin in the current
issue of the Audubon newsletter Afield . Download at (http://www.nhaudubon.org/programs/afield) .
"The Bird That Broke the Sound Barrier", Lilian Shen, Northern Woodlands Magazine, access at:
(http://northernwoodlands.org/outside_story/article/bird-sound-barrier) and a favorite author,
Mary Holland, also in Northern Woodlands Magazine, The Early Buzz on Honey Bees, Mary Holland.
April 30, .......... A bit out of the region, but still a wonderful link. The red-tailed hawk chicks hatched over in New York
state last week. Birders all over the northeast have the live cam web site on their computer desktops
and have been following the daily progress of the chicks in real time. You can watch mom and dad
feeding the chicks and other nesting activities at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's web site, including
real time posts by other observers at (http://cams.allaboutbirds.org) Click on the Bird Cams tab.
Frogs: Hibernation, Debauchery and Breathing, John Bates
"In the northwoods, amphibian emergence from hibernation usually happens in the first two
weeks of April triggered by a spring rain that occurs at the same time as frost-out. Emergence
results in a migration after dark by early breeding frogs like wood frogs and spring peepers; and
salamanders. Often this migration occurs in just one night. You can observe the nocturnal
migration by driving the back roads adjacent to ponds, especially ponds that are across the road
from an undisturbed woods out of which these species will be emerging.
If you step out outside near a woodland in mid April, you will likely become aware that wood
frogs are calling, quacking softly all around you. They are the first frogs to call in the spring; in two
weeks they will be silent again. Using temporary flooded areas for breeding, thereby reducing
competition with other frogs that breed later in permanent waters, the wood frogs engage in a
few days of "wild debauch", in which males clasp just about anything. males have been found
clasping other males, egg masses, female spring peepers, even lumps of mud and dead toads.
Wood frogs haven't studied at the Julliard School of Music. Their song is like a bunch of mallards
talking at low volume. The quacking doesn't travel far, unlike the choruses of spring peepers
that start soon after the wood frogs commence their crooning. But loud is seldom better. The
wood frog chorus signal spring as surely as the return of any robin, and as beautifully as any
"V" of geese.
Frogs amaze me. They breathe in more ways during their short life span than any other
northwoods animals. Eggs exchange oxygen and waste with the surrounding water through
simple diffusion. Tadpoles use feathery gills to absorb oxygen. In frog "adolescence," the gills
are reabsorbed and lungs develop to gulp air directly. Finally, in winter, adults can breathe
directly through their skin while buried in soil or in mud at the bottom of a lake. A frog can
even absorb oxygen directly through membranes in its mouth while panting in the heart of
the summer." ..... John bates, excerpted, with permission, from "A Northwoods Companion: Spring and
MONADNOCK SKIES - May 2013
May, ......... The Planets This Month - During the early part of May, Jupiter, shining at magnitude -2.0, continues
to be the most prominent "evening star" well above the western horizon just after sunset. Venus, just
peeking above the western horizon at sunset, will very slowly rise higher and higher each night and by
the end of the month will set about an hour after sunset. Saturn, the most distant planet that we can see
with the naked eye, remains easily visible in the constellation Virgo throughout the month. The planet
remains near the bright star Spica and shines with just a slightly brighter magnitude. Located in the
southeast throughout the early and middle part of may, Saturn can be easily found by using the
instruction taught to school children ...... Find the Big Dipper, follow the curve of the handle and make
an arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica. ..... The brighter starlike object nearby will be Saturn. The
ringed planet takes some 29 1/2 years to travel once around the sun in its orbit. So the earth periodically
"catches up to and passes" the planet. This is happening right now and so the planet appears to move
backward against the background of the much more distant stars. This is called "retrograde motion"
by astronomers and was one of the planetary motions that confused early astronomers until Copernicus
finally figured it out centuries ago.
May , ....... Spring Skies - As the earth moves about the sun, we enter a period where the bright stars and
vivid constellations of winter move off the stage to the west. For a couple of months we will be viewing
a portion of the sky with fewer bright stars. Each night the Big Dipper moves higher and higher in the
eastern sky. By mid-May it will be at its highest altitude to the north around 8 - 9PM. The constellation
Leo the Lion is becoming more and more prominent in the southeastern sky and can be found on the
Meridian between 8 and 9 PM early in the month. Its bright star Regulus is found at the bottom of one
of our more well known "asterisms" the Sickle (or the backward question mark). Leo is one of those
rare stellar constellation groupings that actually resemble the mythological figure they are meant
to represent. Regulus, the brightest star in this part of the sky, is easy to locate. Just above it is the
semi-circle of stars that represent the head of the lion. Looking to the east you will find a distinctive
triangle of stars that form the lion's hindquarters. Early in the month the bright star Arcturus, in the
constellation Bootes, will be visible high in the eastern sky at around 8 to 9 PM. Arcturus is the first
star of the "Summer Triangle" to put in an appearance. Vega, the second "Summer Triangle" star,
in the constellation Lyra, becomes visible above the eastern horizon by the end of the month.
May 2, ....... Last Quarter Moon
May 5, ........ Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower - This minor shower usually produces about 10 - 15 meteors per
hour, but the radiant is low in the sky for us here in the northern hemisphere. The shower is much
more productive in the southern hemisphere. The meteors are usually swift and yellow in color, often
leaving persistent dust trails after their passage. The waning crescent moon should not interfere too
much with viewing. Best viewing in the very early hours before sunrise on May 5th. If you are up
early and the skies are clear, worth a look.
May 9, ....... New Moon
May 17, ........ First Quarter Moon
May 19, ........ Mercury, Venus, Jupiter Grouping in the Western Sky - For the next few days, until the end of the
month, these three planets may be seen near the horizon just after sunset. Jupiter and Venus are about
9 degrees apart on the 19th and slowly close, till they pass about 1 degree apart on the 28th. Mercury,
much fainter, is visible just above them. A great sight for binoculars during the several days as they
remain close together. A good view of the western horizon and clear skies are a must.
May 24, ........ Full Moon - "The Full Flower Moon" - In most areas of the country flowers are fully in bloom and
abundant by this time in late spring. Other names that have been used regionally are The Full Corn
Planting Moon and The Full Milk Moon. The Milk Moon name refers to the time when cattle are moved
to richer summer pastures positively affecting the quality of their milk.
May 31, ...... Last Quarter Moon
MONADNOCK REGION NATURAL HISTORY EVENTS CALENDAR - May 2013
The Natural History Events Calendar lists activities, walks, classes, and programs in, and within
reasonable driving distance of, the Monadnock region. Organizations are encouraged to list their
events that are open to members and non-members alike. Events must be submitted before the
end of the month preceding the one in which the events are scheduled.
May 1, ....... Birds of the World - May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5 (Wednesdays) Harris Center Environmental Studies
Institute Course - This six week evening class will introduce the science behind the amazing new world
of avian classification and taxonomy, including why seemingly arcane discussions of evolutionary
relationships are central to many conservation initiatives. Using the most current taxonomic framework,
we'll take a whirlwind photo tour through the major groups of living birds, looking at their distributions,
behavior, and general characteristics. Taught by Jon Atwood, Environmental Studies Department,
Antioch University New England. 6:3- - 8:30 PM in the Keene State College Science Center. Harris
Center members $75. Non-members $100. For more information or to register, contact Sara LeFebvre
at 525-3394 or email@example.com
May 2, ........ The History, Culture and nature of Mount Monadnock - May 2, 9, 16, 30, June 6 (Thursdays) Harris
Center Environmental Studies Institute Course - Discover how this iconic mountain has come to define
and describe our community's character. This is your chance to learn how the mountain has been viewed
through history, culture, and as home to many of NH's wildlife species. Find out how Monadnock has
come to literally mean The Mountain That Stands Alone. Each week a different local expert will highlight
an aspect of the mountain. Speakers will include Howard Mansfield, Steve Hooper, Charlie Kerwin, Edie
Clark, Eric Masterson, and Jeff Littleton. The course will conclude with an optional guided hike up Mount
Monadnock, or an opportunity to view the mountain from the parking area of Pack Monadnock. Program
cosponsored with Keene State College, Cheshire Academy of Lifelong Learning (CALL) program and
RiverMead. 1:30 - 2:30 PM in the RiverMead Auditorium, Peterborough. Cost for RiverMead affiliated
participants $45. Non-affiliated $50. For more information contact Kim Mansfield (924-0031 x201) or
Susie Spikol Faber (525-3394), firstname.lastname@example.org
May 3, ......... Birding the Supersanctuary by Boat - May 3, 10, 17, 24 (Fridays). Harris Center Environmental
Studies Institute Course - May is an ideal time to observe the spring migration of raptors, waterbirds, and
songbirds - more than 150 different species pass through our region each spring. Join naturalist Phil
Brown in search of birds as we take in some of the Monadnock regions finest landscapes - By Water -
The Harris Center's land protection legacy spans 40 years, and its vast land resources are often best
experienced on the tranquil waters of the Supersanctuary. This is also an exceptional way to experience
the return of songbirds to the Monadnock Region. Class meets at 7:30 to 10:30 AM at various locations
and is BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat). Harris Center members $40/nonmembers $60. For more information
and to register, contact Sara LeFebvre at 525-3394 or email@example.com
May 3, ........... Senior Hike to Royalston Falls - Lee Baker and Ollie Mutch will lead a moderately easy 4 mile round
trip to Royalston Falls in Richmond. The fall should be roaring with spring runoff. Bring water and lunch,
and meet outside of Ocean State Job Lot (at the intersection of Routes 101 and 202 in Peterborough.
Back about 3 PM.
May 4, .......... Trail Clearing on the Channing Trail - Harris Center Trail Chief Jim Orr will lead a volunteer crew to
clear brush along the Channing Trail, which meanders along Hadley Brook . All ages are welcome to
participate in this moderately easy work morning. Tools will be provided, but bring gloves, a bow saw'
and loppers if you have them. Bring water and lunch and meet at the Harris Center at 9 AM. Done by
May 5, ........... Birding Mount Auburn Cemetery - Tom Warren will lead a morning of birding in one of America's
most renowned sites for spring migrants. Many species of migrant warblers and thrushes are possible,
and this Cambridge, Massachusetts cemetery boasts interesting residents like Great Horned and
Eastern Screech Owls. Expect an easy and leisurely walk through beautiful parkland in one of the
country's most renowned cemeteries. Harris Center program. Preregistration is required. Meet at 9:30
AM just inside the cemetery front gate (parking available) Ends by noon. Call Tom at 563-7194 to
register and to arrange carpooling.
May 5, ........... Spring Migrant Walk in Keene - The fields and trails at Krif Road in Keene are always a hot spot for
migrant activity. Join trip leader Chris Newton for a leisurely walk along these level, easily accessible
roads and trails. Brown Thrasher, Cape May and Tennessee Warblers are among the migrants seen here
most years and there is the potential for lingering shorebirds and waterfowl. Bring binoculars, a snack
and a drink. 8 AM to noon. For more information, contact Chris Newton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monadnock Audubon program.
May 5, ........... Pillsbury Paddle and Portage - Ben and Robin Haubrich will lead a strenuous paddle through the
ponds of Pillsbury State Park, visiting Butterfield Pond, May Pond, Mill Pond, and North Pond. Total
paddling distance of approximately 4.5 miles, with several portages totaling 0.7 miles. Bring kayak or
canoe, PDF (required), water, and lunch. Meet at 10 AM at the Butterfield Pond outlet off Route 31,
approximately 5 miles north of Washington Village. Back by 3 PM. Harris Center program.
May 7, ........... Babies in backpacks and Toddlers in Tow - Harris Center Program for Families - Wake up your
senses with a spring ramble in McCabe Forest. Scavenger hunts and collections will guide us through
the woods as we search for natures gifts. Meet at the Grapevine in Antrim at 9:30 AM for a brief indoor
introduction. We'll then drive a short distance to McCabe for a hike. Back by 11:30 AM. Contact Susie
Spikol Faber at 525-3394 or email@example.com for more information. Cosponsored with the
Grapevine Family Center.
May 5, ............ Putney Wildflowers and Birds - A Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society field trip. Pat Shields
will lead a walk through Putney School Forest and the wetlands along Sand Hill Road in Putney, Vt.
where wildflowers extravagantly celebrate spring, and where migrating songbirds come to rest, and
some to nest. Meet at the School Forest kiosk by the Putney Pool (the driveway right before Putney
Central School) Starts at 1 PM
May 11, ......... Warbler Walk - Join local birder Richard Foye as he searches for Spring songbirds along the trails
of the Brattleboro Retreat and other "migrant traps" along the Connecticut River. Meet at the pullover
opposite the intersection of Cedar Street with Route 30. 7 AM. Southeastern Vermont Audubon Field
May 11, ......... Searching for Salamanders Along the Bailey Brook Trail - Vernal Pool enthusiast Kathy
Schillemat will lead a "hunt" for salamanders along the Bailey Brook Trail in Nelson. We'll search in
the stream bed, under fallen logs, and in the beaver pond for various species of salamanders , with
hopes of finding Redback, Two-lined, Dusky, and Spotted Salamanders, as well as Red Efts or Eastern
Newts. All ages are welcome to join this moderately easy morning of exploration. Bring water and
lunch for a picnic at the bailey Brook Mill waterfall. Meet at 10 AM at the Bailey Brook trailhead on
Bailey Brook/Old Stoddard Road in Nelson, approximately 1.5 miles from Route 123. back by 2 PM.
Harris Center program.
May 12, ........ Honey Hill Hike - Donny Wheeler and Brian Bishoff will lead a moderately easy 3 mile round trip hike
up Honey Hill in Swanzey. The trail runs through conservation land, and offers good views from the
summit. Bring water and lunch. Meet at 10 AM at the Golden Rod Grange on Route 32 in Swanzey
Center. Ends by 2 PM. Harris Center program.
May 12, .......... Spring Warbler Walk in Hinsdale - Join trip leader Cliff Seifer for a walk along the Connecticut River
in search of warblers and other spring migrants. The walk will start at the Hinsdale Setbacks where
breeding marsh wrens keep company with migrating warbles, gnatcatchers, flycatchers, possible
rails and maybe even a least bittern. The walk will continue along the causeway and out to the bluffs
overlooking Lake Wantastiquet where possible birds include orchard oriole, bald eagle and bank
swallow. Meet at Hinsdale High School at 7 AM. Bring along water, bug spray and a snack. For more
Info. contact Cliff at (firstname.lastname@example.org) Audubon program.
May 15, .......... In Bloom: Promising Practice in Nature-Based Early Childhood Workshop - David Sobel,
senior faculty in the Department of Education at Antioch University New England, will lead the list of
distinguished presenters. Participants will learn about new practices in nature-based early childhood
education, and meet with colleagues and pioneer practitioners of nature preschools and forest
kindergartens. Rain or shine, everyone will head outdoors to explore the landscape. The workshop will
be held from 9 AM to 4 PM at AUNE in Keene. This day-long workshop is cosponsored by the Harris
Center, AUNE, and Sophia's Hearth Family Center. $125 for general registration, $100/person for a team
of four. $75 for AUNE alumni, and $50 for current AUNE matriculated students. To register, contact Peg
Smetz at (603) 283-2301 or email@example.com
May 16, ......... Bag It - Documentary Film Showing in Keene - Across the country, Americans use 60,000 plastic
bags every 5 minutes - single use disposable plastic bags that we mindlessly throw away. But where is
"away" ? ..... and at what cost to wildlife and human health ? Bag It follows "everyman" Jen Barrier as he
tries to make sense of our dependence on plastic bags. His journey in this feature-length, award winning
documentary starts with simple questions: Are plastic bags really necessary ? What are they made from ?
What happens to them after they are discarded ? When Jeb's exploration takes a personal twist, we see
how our crazy-for-plastic world has finally caught up with us and what we can do about it starting now.
7 to 8:30 PM in the Putnam Theater at Keene State College. For more information, contact Brett Amy
and the Monadnock Conservancy.
May 16, ......... Managing for Native Pollinators - What is happening to honey bee populations and hives in the
United States ? In recent years, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has decimated honey bee hives in the
US. Don Keirstead, a Landscape Ecologist with the USDA Natural resource Conservation Services, will
present information, possible causes of CCD and discuss the effects on farmers who rent bees.
Because wild bumble bees are more effective at pollinating crops in the cold wet springs of New England,
managing wild bumble bee habitat is increasingly popular among farmers and backyard gardeners. This
session will include some of the basics in managing for wild bumble bees as a method of improving food
security and reducing costs to local farmers and food growers. 7 - 8:30 PM at the McLane Center in
Concord. No preregistration required. NH Audubon program.
May 18, ......... Birdathon - As part of a statewide Birdathon, join Meade Cadot and Francie Von Mertens to see and/or
hear as many bird species as possible. We'll explore NH Audubon's largest sanctuary with a focus on
Goodhue Hill habitat-improvement timber cut. Per-bird species donation to support the Sanctuary
highly appreciated. Meet at 8 AM in the Sanctuary parking area at the end of Willard Pond Road, off Rt.
123 in Hancock. A slow climb up Goodhue Hill (steep at times) The round trip is approximately 2 miles.
Ends with a lull in bird activity about noon. Harris Center program.
May 18, .......... Annual Surry Birdathon - Join local birder Dave Hoitt and wildflower enthusiast Wendy Ward on this
easy walk looking for birds and wildflowers of the open field and wetland habitat. Meet at the Surry Town
Hall parking lot at 7 AM. Bring field guides, drink, snack and bug repellent. For more Info. contact Wendy
at 313-0197 or firstname.lastname@example.org Audubon Society program.
May 18, .......... Birding on Star Island - Join Eric Masterson and Polly Pattison's Birdathon Team, The Island Stars,
on Star Island of the coast of Rye. The island is a migrant trap, with little tree cover for birds to hide in.
In addition, most birds are tired and focused on feeding, allowing stunning views of many breeding
birds of the Monadnock Region that are difficult to see once they've arrived here. The boat departs
from Rye Harbor Marina (a two-hour drive from Hancock) at 8 AM, with a return to the dock at 1 PM.
Bring warm clothing (sea surface temperatures are still cool in late May), binoculars, camera, lunch,
and water. Cost for Harris Center members is $60/nonmembers $75. Preregistration is required and
carpooling can be arranged. For more information or to register, contact Eric Masterson at 525-3394
May 19, .......... Birding and Photography - The Best of Both Worlds - Don and Lillian Stokes, Hancock residents
and best selling authors, will teach you how to better identify birds and how to improve your bird
photography, no matter what your experience level. This lively and informative talk, illustrated with
Lillian's bird photos, will be followed by a book signing of their newest pair of books, The New Stokes
Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region and Western Region. These portable new guides are based on their
best-selling book, The Stokes Field Guide to Birds of North America. 3 PM to 4:30 PM at the Harris Center.
For more information, contact Eric Masterson at 525-3394 o4 email@example.com
May 21, ......... The Eagles at Hinsdale - last year the eagles nesting near the Vernon Dam successfully fledged
one chick. William Dean monitored this nest and in the process obtained stunning photographs and video
of the eagles. He also monitored several nests in Massachusetts. He will present a program at the monthly
meeting of the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society at the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro. The
meeting is scheduled for 7 PM.
May 24, ......... The Story and Science of Social Insects - May 24, 31, June 7, 14 (Fridays) Harris Center ESI
Course. Join entomologist Jenna Spear O'Mara and Harris Center naturalist Susie Spikol Farber for an
exploration of the lives and times of social insects. Field trips, combined with readings and videos.will
reveal the complex lives of ants, bees, and wasps. 10 AM to noon at the Harris Center. Cost to Harris
Center members $40/ nonmembers $60. For more information or to register, contact Sara LeFebvre at
525-3394 or firstname.lastname@example.org
May 25, .......... Phyllis Marsh - Join Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society birders for a walk through a private
reserve with mixed edge, forest, and wetland habitats and a potential for a wide variety of species on
the cusp of their breeding season. Meet in Hannaford's parking lot in Brattleboro. 7:30 AM
May 28, .......... Project Nighthawk Volunteer Training - To assist in the status of Keene's breeding nighthawk
population, the Harris Center and NH Audubon are once again coordinating volunteer nighthawk
surveys on summer evenings in Keene. On the heels of last year's exciting confirmation of a successful
nighthawk nest on a rooftop at Keene State College, this summer's monitoring may also include an
opportunity to observe nesting behavior. Join us for a training from 7 to 8:30 PM to become a Project
Nighthawk volunteer, or simply to learn more about this charismatic endangered species. We'll begin
indoors at the Keene State College Science Center (Room 126), then venture outside to look and listen
for nighthawks in the twilight sky. For more information, contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603)358-2065 or
email@example.com Cosponsored by the Harris Center, Keene State College and NH Audubon.
May 30, .......... Counting Bats for Conservation - Attics, barns and church steeples often serve as summer homes
for female bats and their young. In the face of white-nose syndrome, which is decimating bat populations
throughout the northeast, monitoring these "maternity colonies" is more important than ever. NH
Fish and Game is looking for volunteers to help keep track of New Hampshire's bats by conducting
"emergence counts" at bat roosts throughout the state. Join NHFG biologist Emily Preston Brunkhurst
for a night of bat counting at a location near the Harris Center in Hancock to learn how you can
participate in this important citizen science project. Be prepared for biting insects, and bring your head-
lamp or flashlight. This training is free, but space is limited and registration is required. For specific
location, and to register, contact Brett Amy Thelen at 358-2065 or firstname.lastname@example.org 7:30 to
9 PM. Cosponsored by the Harris Center, NH Fish and game, and NH Audubon.
REGIONAL NATURAL HISTORY , RECREATIONAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS
....... Harris Center for Conservation Education. Education, school programs, land
and wildlife preservation, programs, hiking, weekend events. Open year round.
Mon.-Fri. 83 Kings Highway, Hancock, NH 03449. www.Harris.org
....... New Hampshire Audubon Society. A statewide organization, dedicated to
the conservation of wildlife habitat . Programs in wildlife conservation,
land protection, environmental policy, and environmental education.
84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, NH. www.nhaudubon.org
....... The Nature Conservancy. A leading conservation organization working to protect
ecologically important lands and waters in New Hampshire. 22 Bridge St., Concord,
NH 03301 www.nature.org
....... Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. A leading statewide
land conservation organization dedicated to protecting the state's most important
landscapes while promoting wise use of its renewable natural resources. www.spnhf.org
........ Monadnock Conservancy. The Monadnock Conservancy's mission is to work with
communities and landowners to conserve the natural resources, wild and working lands,
rural character and scenic beauty of the Monadnock region. Visit their website:
........ New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Conserves, manages and protects
New Hampshire's fish, wildlife, and marine resources. www.WildNH.com
....... Friends of Pisgah - A volunteer organization dedicated to assisting in the preservation
of Pisgah State Park located in southwestern Cheshire County. The organization has been
involved in the development and maintenance of the park's trail system for many years.
........Friends of the Wapack - an independent, non-profit organization composed of hikers,
volunteers, and landowners dedicated to the preservation of the 21 mile long trail from Mt.
Watatic in northern mass. to North Pack here in New Hampshire.
........ Brattleboro Outing Club - The BOC offers an opportunity to participate in year-round
outdoor activities including kayaking, canoe trips and cross country skiing. For additional
........ Keene Mineral Club - Founded in 1948 the Keene Mineral Club is an active group of
collectors of 100 or so members whose interests cover the full spectrum of mineral related
topics: crystals, minerals, gems, lapidary, micromounts, fossils and more. The club holds
regular monthly meetings, publishes an award winning newsletter and sponsors frequent
local and regional field trips. Membership is encouraged for all ages and levels of interest.
....... Keene Amateur Astronomers Club - Founded in 1957, the club has a goal of enhancement
of Amateur Astronomy through fellowship, sharing knowledge and enjoyment of the hobby. The
KAA holds monthly meetings, provides outreach programs, and holds regular viewing sessions
at their own observatory. Membership is open to students, parents, beginners, backyard
amateurs and experienced professionals. Meetings and observing sessions are open to all.
MONADNOCK NATURAL HISTORY RESOURCES
.......... Birdwatching in New Hampshire - Eric Masterson , 2013. Designed to appeal to expert and
backyard birders alike, this comprehensive guide reveals where, when and how to watch and enjoy
birds in New Hampshire. It not only offers the latest information about the seasonal status and
distribution of birds in New Hampshire but also features a thorough introduction to the art and
practice of birdwatching, including equipment, ethics, migration, conservation, and most of all
finding that "good bird". The heart of the book is the detailed descriptions and maps that outline
more than 120 birding sites across the state. the author has divided the state into six regions, each
with a rich diversity of birdwatching destinations. The guide also features informative accounts of
more than 300 bird species regularly seen in the Granite State, including their preferred habitats and
graphs illustrating when each is most likely to be encountered. A new essential guide to birdwatching
in New Hampshire for beginners and experienced regional birders. I just picked up my copy about a
week ago and can attest to its required place on every regional naturalist's reference shelf. A truly
wonderful addition.....and don't forget, there are only about 238 days till Christmas. Copies are
available at the Toadstool. ..... CS
........ Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season with the Wild Turkey - Joe Hutto, 2006. This little
gem was brought to our attention back in January by Tricia Saenger (Temple). First published in 1995,
this work is the unforgettable story of one of the most elusive of our game birds, the wild turkey. Joe
Hutto comes into possession of two dozen orphaned wild turkey eggs. Hutto incubates the eggs
with the intention of human-imprinting and raising them. But the relationship that develops between
the author and the birds changes his life so that he wonders who has imprinted whom. A great read.
Available at the toadstool bookstores in Peterborough and Keene.
......... A Field Guide to the Ants of New England - Aaron M. Ellison, Nicholas J. Gotell, Elizabeth J.
Farnsworth, and Gary D. Alpert. (2012) One of the first user friendly guide to ants - "The little things
that run the world." Well illustrated with more than 500 line drawings, 300 + photographs, and regional
distribution maps, this guide will introduce naturalists, biologists, teachers, and students to over 140
of the common species found in the northeast and Canada. A recommended addition to the reference
shelf of all serious naturalists.
.......... Northern Woodlands Magazine - A quarterly magazine devoted to advancing forest
stewardship in the northeast, and to increase the understanding of, and appreciation for,
the natural wonders, economic productivity, and ecological integrity of the region's forests.
It always contain excellent natural history articles by prominent regional and national authors.
Worth the subscription price alone for Virginia Barlow's Seasonal Natural History Calendar
and her frequent articles. John Harrigan, NH's iconic north country author, speaker, weekly
columnist for the Union Leader and numerous regional publications, once said "If I had to dump
all but one of my periodical subscriptions, and that's plenty, the survivor would be Northern
Woodlands. I'd put Northern Woodlands on the must-read list for anyone who lives, works in,
cares about, or just visits New England. It has become the magazine I can simply cannot do
........ New Hampshire Wildlife Journal - Published bi-monthly by the New Hampshire Fish and
Game Department. Dedicated to creating an awareness and appreciation for the state's fish and
wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend. Always contains interesting and informative
articles on regional flora and fauna and environmental issues. (www.WildNH.com)
......... Forest Notes - The quarterly magazine of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire
Forests. The magazine includes selections dealing with Society properties, events, land
acquisition projects and frequently features articles on regional natural history. Subscription is
available with Society membership. Regularly features Dave Anderson's Natures View column.
Dave, SPNHF's Director of Education and Volunteer Services, is a long time forest and wildlife
naturalist, group field leader and is known for his prominence in regional land conservation and
forest stewardship initiatives. Worth the price of membership for his essays alone. Information
........ Afield - New Hampshire Audubon's quarterly program and events guide. The publication
features articles, programs, and activities offered at all of New Hampshire Audubon's centers
and regional chapters throughout the state. The current issue and back issues are available at:
.......... NOAA National Weather Service Website - The NOAA Weather service website is by far the
most detailed and informative source of local and regional weather information. Almost all of the
other online weather websites and media outlets get their basic information from this source. See
the January 2011 MNA for a more detailed description of some of the features of this useful
.......... Latitude and Longitude - To determine the exact Latitude and Longitude of a specific location,
visit the website (http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html). For a more detailed description of the
information available on this website, see the January 2011 MNA.
.......... Topographic Maps - Free, New Hampshire topographic maps are available for viewing or
download by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. (www.wildnh.com/maps)
......... The New Hampshire Birding List - A website providing daily reports of sightings and
comments from birdwatchers all over the state, with regular posts from the Monadnock regions
top birders. (http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/NHBD.html)
......... Rare Bird Alert - New Hampshire - A weekly listing of rare bird sightings throughout the
state. Compiled each week by Mark Suomala. The RBA is available in each Friday's edition of
the Union Leader newspaper, as a phone recording (603) 224-9909, or from the New Hampshire
Audubon's website: (http://www.nhaudubon.org/birding/rare-bird-alerts)
......... New Hampshire Lightning Detection/Tracking System - This site provides a real-time
radar map of lightning strikes occurring in the northeastern states. The map is refreshed every
5 minutes. The site also provides a wealth of other useful and interesting meteorological
......... Heavens Above - A treasure trove of observational astronomy information. After registering
and inputting your latitude and longitude, the site provides you with exact times, locations, and
magnitudes of various satellites visible at your location. (http://www.heavens-above.com/)
.......... Google Earth - a free program which allows the viewer to travel anywhere on earth and view
aerial and satellite imagery from great elevations to street level. Many locations provide three
dimensional, 360 degree opportunities for viewing. A must for the regional naturalist to view
natural areas and to preview hiking trails, etc. (http://www.google.com/earth/index.html)
........... Spaceweather.com - A worthwhile site for all sorts of astronomy related information,
including auroral displays and alerts, solar activity (sunspots, flares, etc), planetary Info.,
meteor showers. The site provides a sign-up option for a free e-mail Spaceweather Alert
when something significant is occurring. (http://www.spaceweather.com/)
...........The Old Farmer's Almanac - Another general reference site for regional weather, birding,
fishing, astronomy and outdoor information. Provides an excellent table for the rising and setting
times for the sun, moon and planets which may be selected for your particular town or village.
.......... Naturally Curious with Mary Holland - Follow the regional natural history scene throughout
the year through the comments, images and insights of one of New England's premier naturalists.
Mary's blog site should be a shortcut on the computer desktop of anyone interested in our natural
listing of 293
over 1100 images on the site are thumbnail and micromount sized specimen images were taken by
Monadnock Nature Almanac is compiled and edited by Chuck Schmidt,
observations or subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the free e-mail, contact email@example.com . Please
note, the MNA is formatted to display on a full screen computer e-mail window. All e-mail addresses are secured
and held completely confidential. Past issues of the Monadnock Nature Almanac (from September 2010) are
available upon request.