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      The Monadnock Nature Almanac is a monthly bulletin board of natural history activity in the southern New Hampshire

      Monadnock region, a mixed transitional forest upland of gentle hills, rivers, streams, and lakes located in Cheshire and

      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. 

 

 

                                    

                                                                        " The earth laughs in flowers."  ......   Ralph Waldo Emerson                                           

                                     

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                

  MONADNOCK NATURE NOTES........ April 2015

 

                                        Subscribers are encouraged to submit their sightings, observations, and comments for inclusion

                                        in the Monadnock Nature Almanac's Nature Notes.  Submit to  brimstone108@myfairpoint.net. 

                                        Please include name and town.

 

  

      April, ............           "Ever since the first Spring that ever was, man has stood at this season with awe in his eyes and

                                     wonder in his heart, seeing the magnificence of life returning and life renewed. And something deep

                                     within him has responded, whatever his religion or spiritual belief.  It is inevitable as sunrise that man

                                     should see the substance of faith and hope in the tangible world so obviously responding to forces

                                     beyond himself or his accumulated knowledge. Spring is a result not a cause. The cause lies beyond,

                                     still beyond, and it is the instinctive knowledge of this which inspires our festivals of faith and life

                                     and belief renewed. Beyond the substance of Spring, of a greening and revivifying earth, of nesting

                                     and mating and birth, of life renewed. Thus we come to festivals of faith, celebrating life and hope and

                                     the ultimate substance of belief, reaching like the leaf itself for something beyond, ever beyond."

                                          ..... Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons

                                                                          

      April 1, ............    Mea Culpa...... The last item in the March MNA was a reference to the migratory progress of the

                                    hummingbirds.  Since I received the item at the last minute, I was in a rush and careless in re-typing 

                                    the website link address,  so the site didn't come up when clicked upon.  A comma instead of a period. 

                                    So,  I'm relisting the item. The hummingbirds are much closer to us now than a month ago, but it's still

                                    a neat site which updates their northward progress on a daily basis, and is worth adding to your

                                    "natural history links" folder.   (www.hummingbirds.net/map.html..... submitted by Frank Margiotta

 

      April 1, ...........     And so it begins,..... so much happening outdoors even with snow still on the ground.  Maybe you

                                    could mention something about watching out for turtles in May as the females head out to nesting

                                    sites. In Mass.,  Linking Landscapes documents high mortality sites to consider trying to fence or

                                    improve underpasses for wildlife. The group. Groton Turtle Conservation, in Groton, Mass. has teamed

                                    up with the Girl Scouts and their highway department to raise money for turtle crossing road signs

                                    throughout the town. In most cases they put the signs up in the spring and remove them in the fall.

                                    They also now have a simple template that one can copy on yellow paper, place it in a plastic book

                                    sleeve,  and put it up in an area that someone may know about.  I am loving the hand made turtle

                                    crossing signs that I see appearing as I travel throughout eastern Mass.  Numerous groups and

                                    individuals are making significant contributions to this growing area of concern ... So much is

                                    happening with nest protection (what I do), head starting Blanding's turtles and other species, and 

                                    incubating eggs from road killed turtles in homemade Coleman coolers. The evidence is that we have                                   

                                    adult turtles of breeding age but there seems to be a lack of younger turtles due to road kill, nest

                                    predation and loss of nesting habitat.  Last year 700-1,000 hatchlings from incubated road kill eggs,    

                                    As a landscaper, I am trying to promote turtle gardens in areas where housing may have disrupted

                                    nesting sites. I hope that others in the NE may consider turtle protection in their own communities

                                    as it is something where everyone can really make a difference in the survival of these species,

                                    some of the most endangered on earth.   ......  Jennifer  Pettit. Mass.

                                        Sounds like some wonderful work in assisting turtle reproduction going on in Jennifer's region in

                                    northern Mass.  Reminds me of the efforts in the Monadnock Region to assist the amphibians on

                                    "Big Nights" in the spring.  A timely and meaningful reminder to be on the lookout for turtles crossing

                                    our roadways and possibly lending a helping hand, when traffic and safety permit.  I have to confess to

                                    occasionally holding up traffic on Rt. 202 to help a female turtle across from time to time. I even know

                                    of one thoughtful resident of our area who carries a snow shovel in his car to use when picking up a

                                    larger female "snapper" with one's hands might not be such a good idea.  ..... CS 

 

      April 3, ...........     Dangers of Deer Feeding -  I read recently of a dozen deer that were inadvertently killed by well

                                    meaning people trying to help them through a severe winter. The article described how the abrupt

                                    change in diet from their normal browse to the protein rich pellets or other food that people tend to

                                    provide for the animals as the cause of death. The deer were found recently within a few hundred 

                                    feet of each other. Eight of the dead deer were in good physical condition with so signs of any

                                    trauma,  except for the "supplemental food" in their stomachs and evidence of bloody diarrhea which

                                    suggested they all died from being fed by people.  The University of NH Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.,

                                    which examined two of the deer, concluded that they died of "enterotoxemia", a condition caused

                                    by rapid change in diet often associated with winter feeding. NH Fish and Game said that because

                                    deer are cud-chewing mammals whose stomachs have four chambers, they process foods very

                                    differently from other animals and depend upon microorganisms in their stomachs to aid in digestion.

                                    Fish and Game also said that another deer found in February in Dover also is believed to have

                                    died from being fed.    ......  Larry Kennedy, Keene

 

      April 6, ...........     Two days ago marked the annual arrival of a woodcock in my backyard. It never seems to stay more 

                                    than a day.  A month ago I tapped my maples , the day before the sap started to flow. It flowed for a

                                    day and then shut down for a week and froze solid. When it thawed and I collected it, it was a deeper 

                                    yellow than I have ever seen at the end of a run.  The sap ran about one day a week, usually for just 

                                    a few hours. The result has been dark amber at best. Now after three days of steady running (i.e., day

                                    and night) it is shutting down again. Not the best of seasons. but one of the oddest.                                       

                                         ..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard

 

      April 7, ...........     A few days late ! ....-I'll have to move the date up on my calendar for next year. Even though I had the

                                    calendar marked for April 1.  I procrastinated and didn't get to taking down the feeders this week.

                                    Last night a bear came through and made a mess of the feeders, tearing down two which hang

                                    from a tree about 50 feet from the house. He (she) also tore my suet feeder completely off the trunk

                                    of the same tree. The feeders were scattered about the yard, but the suet feeder was nowhere to be

                                    found. Lesson learned !   ..... Ellen Davis, Brattleboro

 

      April 8, ............    Mourning Cloaks have emerged recently from under loose bark where they hibernated all winter. These

                                    early flyers, along with a few other species such as commas and tortoiseshells, have a jump start in the

                                    spring due to their not having to go through metamorphosis like most butterflies. Born last summer,

                                    Mourning Cloaks live for roughly ten moths (longer than most butterflies), overwintering, breeding and

                                    laying eggs soon after appearing in the spring. This summer their larvae will feed on willows and poplars 

                                    before pupating and emerging as adults in time to seek shelter for the winter.  With snow still on the

                                    ground, nectar is still quite scarce, leaving butterflies that are active this time of year dependent upon

                                    tree sap where branches have broken for much of their sustenance.  ....... Mary Holland, Naturally Curious.

                                         Mary's nature observations and beautiful accompanying photography - available on her website at:

                                     https://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

 

      April 9, ..............  The wild turkeys that frequent our backyard have become much more active and noisy of late. The 

                                    females seem to be much more aggressive towards one another, frequently chasing each other back

                                    and forth across the yard. The males are displaying their usual courtship behavior, fanning their tails

                                    out, dragging their wings, and generally strutting near the females to attract attention. While feeding, 

                                    the heads of the males are their normal grayish red color but when they are displaying, they become

                                    deep red, blue, and sometimes almost completely white.  .......  Ellen Davis, Brattleboro        

                                         Scientists generally attribute the color change in male turkey heads to excitement or emotional

                                    changes in behavior such as in breeding display.  They explain the color changes and engorgement 

                                    in regions of  the head area to changes in the relative amounts of venous and arterial blood flow to

                                    this area. The normal gray-red head color is due to visible blood vessels directly under the skin. They

                                    tell us that these vessels are surrounded by long bands of a connective tissue called collagen. When

                                    the turkey gets excited, the blood vessels contract exposing more of these collagen bands. This

                                    changes the way that light scatters and reflects off the turkey's skin causing it to appear blue or white,

                                    the same scattering effect that makes human blood vessels under the skin appear blue even though

                                    the blood inside them is red.  Watching "my own" group of males displaying this spring, I have noted

                                    some specific patterns in their head coloration changes. While calm the male heads are a pale grayish

                                    red. When excited and displaying,  the top of the head and the "snood" over the beak turns white. The

                                    wattle becomes engorged and turns a bright red. The area around the eyes turns a bluish-white, and

                                    the flesh in the back of the head and upper neck forms horizontal alternating red and white bands.

                                    Why these variations in the head coloration occur is a mystery to me. ..... CS

            

      April 10, .........     As usual, I miss most of the things that happen in my own back yard. When I visited the post office

                                    this afternoon I was told that a bear had just been seen in my yard. Turned out that wasn't quite 

                                    accurate. From the tracks there were three. A sow; and two yearlings. They had investigated a couple 

                                    of the trees I am tapping but hadn't disturbed anything. They also pawed around under the apple trees,

                                    but I had raked up all the drops last fall. The other tracks in the yard were those of the meter man.

                                    Thankfully, they weren't both there at the same time. ..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard

 

       April 10, ...........  I continue to read newspaper articles and letters to the editor regarding the possibility of instituting a

                                    hunting season on New Hampshire's bobcat population.  I also continue to have a problem agreeing

                                    with or accepting any of the arguments in favor of this proposal.  Regardless of your position on this

                                    matter, I would strongly suggest that Monadnock Nature Almanac readers voice their opinions by

                                    contacting the NH Fish and Game department whose offices are located at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord.

                                    Their phone number is (603) 271- 3421.    ..... Mike Walsh, Hillsborough

                                      

      April 11, .........     Today the pussy willows are in bloom. The sap is still running strong from half of my taps, while the

                                    others have shut down. If the brook through my back yard is any indication, there won't be much of

                                    a spring run-off this year. Most of the snow is gone, and even with the rain the brook is well within

                                    its banks. Most of the snow seemed to evaporate (sublime technically) during the dry, sub-freezing

                                    days.   ..... Terry McMahon. Stoddard

 

      April 13, .........     Many parts of our region were still snow covered on Friday, but bare ground in Keene and Swanzey,

                                    paired with warm. early evening rain, set the stage for the first pulse of the amphibian migration.

                                    The rain ended an hour before sunset, but the first frogs and salamanders of the year - eager

                                    after such a long, cold start to spring - made their move on wet roads in just a light mist - and so it

                                    begins.  North Lincoln Road in Keene, was in the words of one young Crossing Brigadier, a "peeper

                                    party !" In three hours, the North Street Lincoln crew moved  249 live spring peepers (and counted

                                    more than 79 dead). 63 wood frogs (8 dead), 5 spotted salamanders (1 dead) across the road for a

                                    total of 319 live critters.   ..... Brett Amy Thelen, Keene

 

      April 15, .........     Taking advantage of a nice day earlier this week, my husband and I were walking on a dirt road near

                                     our home. The sun was out but the temperature was still in the mid-forties so it was still pretty cool.

                                     I was pleasantly surprised to spot a Mourning Cloak butterfly. My first of the year. It never ceases to

                                     amaze me how these delicate little organisms can survive over the course of a typical New Hampshire

                                     winter, particularly one which was characterized by the severe cold of February.  We had several days

                                     during that month when the temperature fell to near 10 below. Why don't these little creature freeze

                                     solid and die ?  Amazing !   ..... Judith Cohen, Jaffrey

 

     April 15, ...........     While driving into Hancock village the last couple of weeks, I have noticed some changes in the color

                                     configuration of several bluebird nesting boxes in the field just south of the Town Transfer Station.

                                     The arrival of the Harris Center e-mail newsletter, The Bobcat, explained the situation. For the second

                                      year in a row, Katie Richardson's third grade class at the Hancock Elementary School has been working

                                      with the Harris Center to study Eastern Bluebirds in Kepner Meadow, a town owned conservation

                                      property just a short walk from the school. The budding scientists are hoping to discover if the bluebirds

                                      exhibit a color preference when it comes to nesting boxes. Last years experiment seemed to indicate

                                      that the birds preferred red boxes over a variety of other colors. With the help of Harris Center's Pete

                                      Carroll, this years students have set up five red boxes and five natural wood boxes and are excitingly

                                      waiting to see who moves in where.  ...... from The Bobcat, Harris Center ..... Chuck Schmidt, Hancock

 

     April 17, ...........     Some frogs and salamanders likely migrated in the pre-dawn showers this morning, but the rest of the 

                                     rain is expected to clear out by early afternoon - with dry ground by nightfall - so there won't be much

                                     amphibian movement tonight.  keep close watch on Monday though. Right now the forecast is calling

                                     for an 80% chance of rain starting in the late afternoon on Monday and continuing all the way through

                                     Tuesday afternoon. If that actually happens we could be in for a Big Night to start off Earth Week. And,

                                     some exciting news from North Lincoln Street.  After examining photographs of the five spotted

                                     salamanders who were moved across North Lincoln Street in Keene, we were able to identify two

                                     individual salamanders who were moved across the road at that site in 2014 and 2015, as verified by

                                     their unique spot patterns.   ..... Bret Amy Thelen, Keene

 

     April 21, ..........     Although the link to the hummingbird migration map in last months MNA wasn't working, we were able

                                     find it by GOOGling "hummingbird migration map".  It was interesting to follow the progress of these

                                     birds as they moved northward over the next couple of weeks. I did have one question. I noticed that the

                                     first arrivals in New Hampshire were listed as 4/12, 4/13 and 4/14, and even one in Canada on 4/19. The

                                     4/12-4/14 arrival dates seemed very early. We usually don't see hummingbirds at our feeder until the

                                     first or second week in May.  .....  Steve Harris , Hillsborough 

                                           My only thought to Steve's question is that these early recorded arrival dates were the "first"

                                     sightings and as such  were  "outliers" in the data.  I don't see hummingbirds here at my feeder in

                                     Hancock until early May.  I'm sure, however, that these are some blooming flowers in the southern

                                     part of the state to sustain the early arrivals. Many villages,    towns and cities have "microclimates"

                                     due to the concentration of buildings, concrete, pavement, etc. that produce a slightly higher average

                                     daily temperatures.  I always note that significant numbers of flowers are blooming in Peterborough

                                     and Keene, way before I start to see the same flowers here on my property in Hancock.  As far as the

                                     Canadian data point, who knows ?   ..... CS 

    

      April 22, .........      Two phoebes were chasing each other above the pond behind our house. I don't know whether they

                                      were courting of scrapping.  One of them crashed on the pond and struggled for about five minutes

                                      before it got airborne again.   ..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard

 

      April 22, ..........      A Big Night Indeed -  Monday was a bona fide Big Night in the Monadnock Region. More than 90

                                      Crossing Brigade volunteers took to the streets shuttling nearly 3,000 amphibians across the roads

                                      and bringing our season total up near 3,500. North Lincoln Street in Keene was again a "peeper party"

                                      Thirty enthusiastic volunteers shuttled 865 live amphibians across the road and counted nearly 200

                                      dead from sundown until after midnight., including a record 834 spring peepers, 21 wood frogs,  7

                                      spotted salamanders, and 2 red-backed salamanders. A bevy of volunteers at Jordan Road in Keene

                                      moved 68 spotted salamanders, 15 Jefferson salamanders, 67 red-backed salamanders, 21 wood

                                      frogs and 108 spring peepers for a total of 279 amphibians.  ..... Brett Amy Thelen, Keene

 

      April 23, ..........     The temperature is 40 degrees and there has been a snow flurry throughout the day.  Is the snow

                                      adapting to global warming ?  The flakes are hard frozen pellets that take a long time to melt after they

                                      land, even on the tin surface of the evaporator pan I was scouting. Two deer browsed along the edge

                                      of the swale in the back of the house this evening. They were fairly big animals (one noticeably bigger

                                      than the other) and looked to be in prime condition despite a long winter of deep snow and cold.

                                       ..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard

 

      April 23, .........       Imagine sharing dark, damp, cramped living quarters under pond ice with at least three other

                                      individuals for four to five months. Then imagine an increasing amount of light filtering through ice

                                      that is getting thinner and thinner. Then the day comes when you are able to break through the ice

                                      and crawl out of the water onto land. The sudden brightness and heat provided by the sun, the

                                      availability of fresh vegetation to eat and the opportunity to thoroughly groom oneself in the open

                                      air must make an unimaginable sensory impact on a beaver in early spring.  ...... Mary Holland 

                                              Please check out all of Mary's blog entries and her exquisite photography at her website:

                                        (https://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com)

 

      April 23, .........      With the weather warming up a touch and the ground drying out a bit, we have been able to begin to get

                                      outdoors around our home and begin our annual spring cleanup. I was surprised to see how badly our

                                      large evergreen shrubs around the house were damaged by the deer browsing on them over the winter

                                      months. The worst we have ever seen here.  I'm guessing that the deep snow and extreme cold of January

                                      and February  made our shrubs an easier access that the normal food sources.  ..... Steve Harris, Hillsborough

 

      April 24, .........       A pair of wood ducks on the pond this morning. That happens most years. to date, they have ignored

                                      the nest box that I set out about five years ago.  ..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard.

 

      April 25, .........       I'm interested in both botany and history and they come together in the Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas).

                                      This under used shrub is in the dogwood family  and is our earliest blooming member of that family.

                                      often blooming at just about the same time as forsythia do. The small yellow flowers will produce fruit

                                      that resembles a red olive which will mature in the fall. It is very sour but high in vitamin C and has been

                                      used for 7,000 years for both food and medicine. In northern Greece early Neolithic people left behind

                                      remains of meals that included cornelian cherry and the Persians and early Romans also knew it well.

                                      As you look at its flowers it's amazing to think that Homer, Rum, and Marcus Aurelius most likely did the

                                      same. .... The shoots of false hellebore (Veratrum viride)rise straight out of the damp ground and look like

                                      a rocket for a short time before opening into a sheaf of deeply pleated leaves. I can't think of another

                                      plant that false hellebore really resembles but people occasionally poison themselves by eating it. When

                                      it comes to poisonous plants, false hellebore is the real deal and can kill, and its not a good way to go. 

                                      In 2010 five people who had been hiking the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska had to be evacuated by helicopter

                                      for emergency medical treatment after they ate false hellebore roots. Luckily they all survived. Native 

                                      Americans used the plant medicinally but only if they knew it well and dug the roots in the winter when 

                                      the toxicity was at its lowest level. There is a legend that says the plant was used in the selection of new

                                      chiefs, and by the sound of it, anyone who lived through the experience was thought of a chief material. 

                                                .... Allen Norcross, excerpted with permission from New Hampshire Garden Solutions.

                                           Please access Allen's site at https://nhgardensolutions.wordpress.com/2015/04/ for the rest of this

                                      and other posts, and his beautiful accompanying photography.

 

      April 25, .........       This morning an eagle circled over the quarter acre pond in my back yard, apparently trying to gain

                                       altitude from a thermal.  Years ago on a sunny day in mid-summer, and eagle gained several hundred

                                       feet that way. With the temperature at 40 degrees, and a slanting April morning sun, this time it didn't

                                       work out quite so well.   ..... Terry McMahon,  Stoddard

 

      April 28, ..........       I arose from the dinner table last evening, took a look out the front door and noticed that we had a

                                       suppertime visitor. This "fellow" was rooting around for supper in the leaves on the inside of the stone

                                       wall down by the road.  I am unsure as to what it is eating.  Of course, I took the camera and headed out

                                       the door. Porcupines are pretty easy to photograph. Their sight is not particularly keen so if one moves

                                       slowly one can get pretty close. I stopped and set up the camera/tripod about 20-30 feet away. I made

                                       eleven exposures before I was noticed. At this point the critter ambled down across the road and into

                                       the woods. I do not believe the concept of "hurry" exists in the porcupine universe. The good folks

                                       at the Harris Center are hosting a showing of my exhibit "The life Cycle of Dragonflies and Damselflies"

                                       in their Babbitt Room. I also have other wildlife photos (a combination of odes and birds) hanging in their

                                       lobby. One can view both sets of photos whenever the Center is open. In conjunction with the exhibit, I

                                       will be giving a presentation on the natural history of dragonflies from 2-4 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2015.

                                       We will start inside with a slide presentation and then head outside to hunt odes on the Harris Center

                                       grounds.   ..... Frank Gorga, Antrim

                                              Make sure to put Frank's presentation on your calendar (See MNA Natural History Events Calendar)

                                       Anyone who has taken my frequent advice and viewed Frank's images on his blog will attest to the

                                       beauty of his work.  (http://gorga.org/blog/)

 

      April 29, ..........       Some Recommended Reading - Here is just a sample of some recent  interesting articles from NH Fish &

                                       Game's NH Wildlife Journal magazine and Northern Woodlands Spring magazine and e-mail newsletter.

    

                                            - From Winter to Spring in a Bear Cub Den -  Barbara Mackay

                                                 (www.northernwoodlands.org/outside_story/article/winter-spring-bear-cubs)

                                            - Salamanders of New Hampshire - Allison Keating  (nicely illustrated)

                                                 (www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife_Journal/WJ_sample_stories/wj-b15-salamanders.pdf)

                                            - Declining Moose Populations: What Does The Future Hold ?

                                                  (www.northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/moose-decline)

 

        April 30, ..........      Although not in our immediate region, here is a wonderful opportunity to watch in real time,  the progress

                                        in raising two youngsters in a Bald Eagle nest in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Provided by the Pennsylvania

                                        game Commission. (www.hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/bald-eagle-live-cam)

                                            For some reason today's images have been "blurry". The link is OK and yesterday's images were

                                         crisp and clear. A few time it took a few minutes for the images to sharpen. Please be patient, the wait

                                         till the images stabilize is well worth it. Or try again later.   .... CS

 

        April 30, ...........     San Andreas East or Nepal West ?  -  Reports of two regional earthquakes have just come in. The first,

                                        occurred around 4:11 AM on Wednesday morning, 4/29 just about 6 miles WSW of Laconia and 19 miles

                                        north of Concord.  Registering only 2.3 on the Richter Scale, it was felt by nearby residents. The second

                                        occurred at 5:59 AM this morning, centered in the same general area, near Warner and Contoocook, not

                                        too far from Exit 7 on Interstate 89.  Interestingly, in recent years, there have been other very small tremors

                                        in the same area, a 2.0 quake near Concord in October of last year, and another, the year before.

                                             ..... Chuck Schmidt, Hancock

       

 

 

         MONADNOCK MUSINGS                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                       

                                                        Complete, Partial, or Irruptive Migration  - John Bates                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                        

                                         Migration is a way that birds exploit seasonally abundant resources and avoid seasonally difficult

                                  times.  There are three migration patterns that birds may follow. Complete migrants leave their breeding

                                  range entirely during their non-breeding season. An example is the Eastern wood pewee which breeds

                                  from southern Canada down to the Gulf Coast of the U.S., then winters in Central and South America.

                                  Complete migration is mostly a North American phenomenon. South American birds don't migrate north

                                  to our hemisphere to get away from their winter. The reason for our migrational monopoly is that there is

                                  very little land south of 55 degrees in the Southern hemisphere; therefore most birds below the equator 

                                  don't need to fly far to escape their winter.

                                         Partial migrants, which participate in the second migratory pattern, have overlapping breeding and

                                   winter ranges, resulting in a middle, year round range. Red-tailed hawks and song sparrows are good

                                   examples of this group. Some members of these species migrate while others don't. 

                                          Irruptive migrants are the third group, and these are the birds we often see during the Northwood's

                                   winter. They are not seasonally or geographically predictable. They may migrate one year but not the

                                   next; the distances they fly and the number of migrators will vary from year to year. Great gray owls and

                                   northern finches are good examples. Their movements are adaptive,  just like partial and complete 

                                   migrants,  but their motivation is not always clear.  Food shortages often cause movements of irruptive

                                   migrants, Northern finches eat the seeds of only a few trees, while northern shrikes are dependent upon

                                   the lemming population. If either  of these food sources fail. the birds have to move.

                                          As in the case of most processes within the natural world, there are many exceptions to the three

                                   migrational categories. Some birds, like the white-winged scooter, migrate along a route that is more

                                   east and west than north and south. They breed in Alaska and western Ontario, but they migrate to the

                                   eastern coast of the U.S, flying nearly due east.

                                         Some birds leapfrog their compatriots. Northernmost breeders may go farther south than the same

                                   species of birds that breed in southern areas. Peregrine falcons that breed in the tundra migrate to the

                                   neo-tropics, while temperate breeding peregrines don't migrate at all, or travel only a short distance.

                                          Then there is the matter of differential migration. Members of a species may exhibit different migratory

                                   behaviors,  based on their age and sex. For example, female dark-eyed juncos migrate farther south than

                                   males. Immature herring gulls migrate farther south than adults - first year birds may fly to Florida,

                                   while a four year old winters in the Carolinas. Immature male snowy owls migrate farther south than

                                   adult females.

                                           There's a hot debate about why differential migration occurs. Social domination apparently plays

                                   a role. Bigger and older birds dominate the resources nearby, forcing smaller, immature birds to travel

                                   farther away. Female bids of prey are often larger than males, possibly explaining why immature snowy

                                   owls are usually found farther south in winter than the females.

                                            Another hypothesis says that males of some species stay north of the females in order to acquire

                                    the best breeding sites in the spring. Neither explanation works for all species, but each may apply to

                                    some species.

                                            Food availability appears to be the driving force behind all migration. A number of songbirds no

                                    longer migrate as far as they once did, because many people feed birds throughout the winter. Thus

                                    migration is a flexible behavior - inherited and instinctual, but plastic and moldable.

                                          

                                          John Bates, excerpted with permission from "A Northwoods Companion: Spring and Summer".

                                    Please check out all of John's "Northwoods Series." A Northwoods Companion: Spring and Summer

                                    and Fall and Winter .... and .... Graced by the Seasons: Spring and Summer in the Northwoods and

                                    Fall and Winter in the Northwoods.  All available at Amazon or obtainable by your local bookstore.

                       

                                         

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

    MONADNOCK SKIES -  For May 2015 

 

           

        May, .......           May  - Late Spring Skies -  As the earth moves in its orbit about the sun, we move into a period

                                       where the bright stars and vivid constellations of winter have moved off the stage to the west.  Although

                                       a few are still visible low in the western sky in the very early evening,  they no longer dominate the night

                                       night.  The Big Dipper moves higher and higher each night in the northeast. By early in the month it will

                                       be high in the northern  sky.  The constellation Leo the Lion is  prominent in the eastern sky. Its

                                       bright star Regulus, is found at the bottom of one of our better known asterisms, The Sickle (or the

                                       Backwards Question Mark).  Leo is one of those relatively rare constellations that actually resembles

                                       the mythological figure it is supposed to represent.  Regulus, the brightest star in this part of the sky,  

                                       representing the heart of the lion, is easy to locate.   Just above it is the semi-circle of stars that form

                                       the head of the lion. Looking to the east, you will find a distinctive triangle of stars that represent the 

                                       Lion's hindquarters.  By month's end, the bright star Arcturus, in the constellation Bootes, will be

                                       visible in near the Meridian at around 9 PM.  At this same time of the month, the two brightest

                                       summer stars of the "Summer Triangle", Vega and Deneb are visible moving higher and higher in

                                       the eastern sky. The third member, Altair, in the constellation Aquilla is still fairly close to the horizon

                                       in the east.  At month's end, all three of these stars are easily visible later in the evening in the eastern

                                       sky.

 

        May, .......           The Planets This Month  -  The planet Jupiter shines brightly in the evening sky all month. Early

                                       in May it can be found just west of the star Regulus and the constellation Leo the Lion. This month,

                                       Jupiter  presents Monadnock observers with an opportunity to view four of its brightest satellites 

                                       (Io, Callisto, Europa and Ganymede) with a small telescope.  Named the "Galilean satellites" since they

                                       were first discovered by Galileo during his early observations with his rudimentary telescopes. 

                                       Venus  dominates the western sky after sunset with a magnitude of - 4,  making it the brightest 

                                       object in the night sky other than the moon. Throughout the month  Venus sets about 2 1/2 to 3 hours

                                       after  the sun.  By month's end Jupiter moves into the western sky nearing Venus and approaches

                                       within 25 degrees of Venus on the 27th. The planet Mercury,  always a bit of an elusive observing

                                       object, reaches its greatest eastern elongation from the sun (21 degrees) on May 6th and presents

                                       the best chance of catching a glimpse of it for Monadnock observers with a clear view of the western

                                       horizon. On this date it can be seen, weather permitting, to the lower right of Venus, just to the right of

                                       the star Aldeberan and just above the star cluster the PleiadesSaturn remains a morning object                    

                                       with its ring system  tilted about  25 degrees from the horizontal, making them visible in a small telescope.                                        

 

        May 5, ........          Bright Iridium Flare - Keene-  Tonight, weather permitting, Monadnock skywatchers in the Keene

                                       area will have an opportunity to observe a bright Iridium Satellite "flare".  To observe the flare, face the

                                       east a couple of minutes before the scheduled 8:27:41 PM flare.  Observe the area about 2/3 of the way 

                                       up from the horizon (Approx. 70 degrees)  The flare will occur above  the star Arcturus and just above

                                       the Big Dipper. The flare is predicted to reach a magnitude of -8.5 about a bright a these Iridium Flares

                                       ever get and making it brighter by far that the two bright planets Venus and Jupiter. This particular flare  

                                       is caused by the reflection of sunlight off the Iridium 81 satellite.                                   

 

        May 3, ..........        Full Moon -

                  

        May 11, ........       Last Quarter Moon

 .                                     

       May 17 , .........    New Moon

  .

       May 25, ..........     First Quarter Moon

 

 

 

 

   MONADNOCK REGION NATURAL HISTORY EVENTS CALENDAR -  May 2015                  

 

 

                                          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, ..........   Easygoing Hike in Harvard Forest - A moderately easy three mile hike in Harvard Forest, followed by 

                                visit to the Fisher Museum (no charge). Bring water and lunch, and meet at 10 AM in the parking area beside

                                Ocean State Job Lot in Peterborough (at the intersection of Routes 101 and 202) to carpool. Back by 3 PM.

                                For more information contact Ollie Mutch (978) 386-5318 or Lee Baker (603) 525-5262, trip leaders.  Harris

                                Center program.

 

     May 1, ............  Vernal Pool Workshop for Landowners, Foresters, and Conservation Commissioners -  Join

                                Jeremy Wilson, Steve Roberge, and Brett Amy Thelen for a workshop on forest management with vernal

                                pools in mind. We'll begin indoors with an illustrated talk on vernal pool ecology and best forestry practices

                                for vernal pool protection, then head outside for a loser look at a vernal pool in spring bloom. 1 to 4 PM at

                                the Harris Center and a local field site. For more information contact Brett Amt Thelen (603) 358-2065. Co-

                                sponsored by the Harris Center, UNH Cooperative Extension and the NH Association of Conservation               

                                Commissions.

 

     May 1, ............  Session One - Nature of Gardens Afterschool Club - Join the Harris Center and the Cornucopia

                                 Project for a four session program of afterschool adventures at Brook's Side Farm in Hancock. We'll

                                 discover treasures from around the garden, while planting, growing, harvesting and eating our own farm-

                                 fresh treats.  Hancock Elementary School students may take the bus from Hancock Elementary School to

                                 Brooks' Side Farm.  Programs - May 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 3:30 to 5 PM for kids from grades 2 through 4. $40

                                 for Harris Center members, $60 non-members.  Pre-registration required. Contact Sara LeFebvre at (603)

                                 25-3394 or  lefebvre@harriscenter.org for more information or to register.

           

     May 2, ............ Trail Maintenance on the Cadot Trail -  Join trail chief Jim Orr for a morning of easy trail work, clearing

                                 branches and leaf litter from the historic stone culverts along the Cadot Trail. All ages and abilities are

                                 welcome. Bring gloves and a rake or hoe, or user the Harris Center's tools. Bring water and meet at 9 AM

                                 at the Cadot Trail gate on Old Dublin Road in Hancock. back by noon. For more information contact Jim

                                 at (603) 924-6934.

 

      May 2, ............  Distant Hill Gardens - Vernal Pool Walk -  Join us to explore our many vernal pools. The walk will be

                                 led by Jeff Littleton of Moosewood Ecological and an adjunct professor at Antioch University. You will learn

                                 how to tell salamander eggs from Wood Frog eggs and with any luck we will see some Fairy Shrimp. 10 AM

                                 to noon at Distant Hill Gardens, 507 March Hill Road in Walpole. Suggested donation for all programs $5 per

                                 adult. Distant Hill Gardens program.  

 

      May 3, ............  Willard Pond in the Footsteps of John Kulish -  Join Stan Smith and Vic Starzynski for one of John

                                  Kulish's favorite hikes. The strenuous route will take us up Willard Mountain to Robb Mountain to Bald

                                  Mountain before descending to Willard Pond, for a total distance of 6.5 miles and 750 feet of elevation                                   

                                  gain.  Bring water and lunch and meet at 8:30 AM in the Willard Pond parking lot. Back by 4 PM. For

                                  more information contact Stan at (978) 827-5185.

 

     May 5, ............   NH Fish and Game - Update - NH Wildlife Action Plan - NH Fish and game in collaboration with 

                                  other agencies and organizations, is updating the NH Wildlife Action Plan. Biologists, land use experts,   

                           land protection advocates, state agency staff, conservation commissioners, foresters, local planning

                                  board members , educators - all who impact habitat and wildlife as professionals or volunteers - are

                                  invited to weigh in on the plan that will guide state and local action for the next decade. Two input

                                  sessions are being held in our region in May to gather actions from people who are closely connected

                                  with, and concerned about protecting wildlife and habitats. The May 5 session will be held from 1 -

                                  3:30 PM at the Keene Parks and Recreation Center A May 6 session will be held from 2 -  4:30 PM in

                                  Concord at the NH Fish and Game Headquarters. We invite you to come and hear about updated species

                                  and habitats of concern. Share your views and suggest actions that will make the revised Wildlife Action

                                  Plan an even more useful and informative guide for 2015-2025. Preregistration for these sessions is

                                  required.  More information and registration: (www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/action-plan.html).

                                       These sessions would seem to be appropriate venues for the expression of views regarding the

                                  recently proposed hunting season on bobcats in New Hampshire.....CS                                     

 

     May 6, .............  Nature on Top - Tales From the Hancock Carcass Cam - For the past six years Eric Aldrich has

                                  been setting up his game cameras all over Hancock to capture images of animals that trigger the motion

                                  sensors as they walk by. While only a few photos have actually been taken with the help of a carcass to

                                  attract critters, the name itself is bait, attracting scores of folks who like to see pictures of our fascinating

                                  local wildlife. Eric will share a few stories about using game cameras for fun and research. Drinks on you.

                                  Conversation on us. 5:30 to 6:30 PM at the Hancock Inn, 33 main Street Hancock. Reservations are 

                                   required, as space is limited. To reserve a seat, contact Sara Lefebvre at (603) 525-3394.                               

 

     May 7, .............  Session One - The History and Future of Weather in New Hampshire - ESE Course - Spend six

                                  Thursday afternoons hearing stories of Hurricanes, floods, blizzards, ice storms, and other true tales of

                                   wild weather in New Hampshire. Learn about weather mythology and old wives' tales from The Old

                                   Farmer's Almanac, and hear about weather prediction from the top of Mount Washington. Cosponsored

                                   by the Harris Center, RiverMead and Keene State College's Cheshire Academy for Lifelong Learning

                                   (CALL) Program.  Thursdays, May 7, 14,21, and 28, June 4 and 11, from 1:30 to 2:30 PM in the RiverMead

                            Auditorium, 150 RiverMead Road, Peterborough. $55 RiverMead residents, $65 General Public.  Required

                                   Pre-registration - Contact Kim Mansfield at (603)924-0033, Ext 201 or the Keene State College Office of

                                   Continuing Education at (603) 358-2290.

 

     May 9, .............   Spring Warbler Walk in Hinsdale - May 9 is International Migratory Bird Day. Why not celebrate with

                                   a trip to a perennial migratory hot spot, along the Connecticut River in Hinsdale ? The walk will start at

                                   the Hinsdale setbacks where breeding marsh wrens keep company with migrating warblers, 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 Prospect Street boat ramp parking area in Hinsdale at 7 AM.  For more

                                   information, contact Cliff Seizer at clifdisc@gmail.com  Back around noon.  NH Audubon, Monadnock

                                   Chapter.

 

     May 12, ............  Shallot River Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer Training - Join the Shallot River Local

                                   Advisory Committee (ARLES) for their fifteenth season of water quality monitoring. Volunteers conduct

                                   monthly physical and chemical water quality monitoring along the length of the Shallot River from

                                   Washington to Hinsdale. The results are then used by NH DES, the EPA, and local conservation

                                   commissions. participants in this training will gain hands-on experience in sampling techniques and

                                   use of monitoring equipment. 6:30 to 8 PM, in the Keene State College Science Center. Preregistration

                                   is required. For more information or to register, contact Barbara Sulky (603) 352-098. Cosponsored by

                                   the Harris Center, ARLES and Keene State College.

     

      May 13, ...........   The Soul of an Octopus - In researching her two newest books, Sy Montgomery established such

                                    close friendships with giant pacific octopuses that the animals would rise from their aquarium tanks

                                    to greet her, embracing her with thousands of powerful white suckers - all while looking her directly in

                                    the eye. In this illustrated talk, See will share details of these extraordinary relationships, as well as

                                    surprising scholarly research on the remarkable intellectual abilities of the octopus. 7 - 9 PM at the

                                    Harris Center. For more information, contact Eric Masterson (603) 525-3394.  Cosponsored by  the

                                    Harris Center and the Hancock Town Library.

 

     May 13, .............  Paddling the Connecticut River Setbacks Hinsdale - Lake Wantastiquet - Connecticut River

                                    Birding trail, southern section.  Meet at 10:30 AM in the Hinsdale, NH, Wall-mart parking lot. Route 119.

                                    We will drive a few miles east to the put-in, for a peaceful paddle and picnic lunch, off the main river in

                                    the marshes. This often overlooked wildlife area is home to spring birds, big fish and white swans. Be

                                    sure to bring something warm to drink and  waterproof to sit on. We were snowed out in our last trip to

                                    this spot.  The water will still be cold. Canoes, kayaks.  Sponsored by the Brattleboro Outing Club.

 

      May 14, .............  Session One - Bats of New Hampshire - ESE Course - Come learn about bats and the contributions

                                     they make to our everyday lives. In this series, we'll hear from the experts about bat natural history,

                                     what they're doing in their work to help bats, and what you can do to help, too.  Instructor Cynthia Nichols

                                     is the Coordinator for the Summer Bat Colony  Monitoring program, a joint project of new Hampshire Fish

                                     and Game and New Hampshire Audubon. Harris Center program.  Thursdays, May 14, 21 and 28, from 7 to

                                     8:30 PM at the Harris Center, plus a local field trip location. $30 Harris Center members, $50 nonmembers.

                                     Pre-registration is required. For additional information or to register - contact Sara Lefebvre at (603) 525-

                                     3394. Harris Center program.

 

       May 16, .............  New Hampshire Audubon Birdathon - Join Francie Von Martens and Meade Cadott for this annual

                                     event - a friendly competition to see or hear as many bird species as possible. We'll focus on agricultural

                                     land in east Peterborough, hoping to add one or two specialty birds such as towhees or meadowlarks.

                                     Expect to walk about two easy miles. A per-bird species donation in support of the Pack Monadnock

                                     Raptor Observatory is welcome. Meet at 7:30 AM at Happy Valley School, 132 Gulf Road,  Peterborough.

                                     Back by noon. For more information, contact Frankie (603) 924-6550 or Meade (603) 525-3394.

 

       May 16, ............   Annual Surry Birdathon-Bloomathon -  Ponemah Bog - Bog plants and their adaptations.

                                     Join local birder Dave Hoist 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. The

                                     trip should end by noon. Bring field guides, binoculars, drink, snack and be prepared for bugs. For more 

                                     information,  call Dave at (603) 352- 0987.  Sponsored by the Monadnock Chapter of NH Audubon.                     

 

       May 16, .............  James Currie's "When Eagles Roar" - What's it like to a game ranger in Africa ? Join internationally

                                     acclaimed wildlife expert James Currie for a fascinating glimpse into wildlife conservation in Africa

                                     James is the host of Nikon's Birding Adventures TV, and has starred in specials for National Geographic.

                                     His recent book "When Eagles Roar" was named "one of the Best Nature Books of 2014" by the

                                     Guardian.  James will be signing books after his talk. 12 noon to 1 Pm at the Harris Center. For more                                     

                                     information, contact Bonnie Fading (603) 867-1908. Harris Center program.

 

       May 17, ............   Paddling Herrick's Cove - Connecticut River -  Herrick's Cove offers a pleasant day of paddling

                                     through extraordinary marshes and coves, favorite areas for bird watchers, particularly during spring

                                     and fall migration seasons. Expected sightings include muskrat, beaver, kingfisher, osprey, bald eagle,

                                     and songbirds filling the alder, dogwood and willow trees. Meet at 9:30 AM in the Hannaford's parking lot

                                     on Putney Road in Brattleboro, to car/boat pool.  Paddlers coming from the north are welcome to meet

                                     us at the Herrick's Cove ramp/picnic area (off Rt. 5) at 10 AM.  Canoes, kayaks.  River water will still be

                                     cold, dress accordingly. Bring something warm to drink.  Brattleboro Outing Club activity.

 

       May 17,.............   New England - Why We Live Here and What Might have Been Done About It -  with Willem

                                     Lange, storyteller, author of nine books, and host of HDTV's "Windows to the Wild" and a commentator

                                     on Vermont Public Radio. Program starts at 2 Pm.  Fund Raising event for The Little Nature Museum.

                                     Admission to the event - Non-members $20, members $15. Warner Town Hall, Warner, NH.

 

       May 23, .............  Birding the Hiroshi Land -  Lend your eyes and ears to help establish a checklist of birds for the 109

                                     acre Hiroshi land, conserved last year by the Harris Center. The mix of field edge, wetland, forest and

                                     river corridor should give us a good start on a list that can be added to by others. Meet at 8 AM at the                                     

                                     Hiroshi Land, 2.1 miles north of Carr's Store on the east side of Route 137. back by noon. For more                

                                     information, contact Francie Von Mertens. Harris Center program.

 

       May 24, .............  Birds and Blooms Scavenger Hunt -  Late May ... the New Hampshire landscape is coming alive in 

                                     more ways than one. Join us for our first annual Birds and Blooms Scavenger Hunt, to be held at the

                                     Beaver Brook Association in Hollis. Armed with a checklist and your own pamphlet of the flowers and 

                                     animals we may encounter, we'll do a lickety split survey of one of the most beautiful tracts of land in

                                     our state, learning a lot as we go.  All are welcome to join in the hunt, which is far from cut-throat 

                                     competition. There will be prizes for all participants. If you've always wanted to put names to some of

                                     our state's flora, this is a great opportunity to learn during one of the most beautiful weeks of the

                                     season. We'll meet at 9 AM at the main entrance off Ridge Road. Bring your binoculars, walking shoes,

                                     and your best eyes and ears. RSVP to nhyoungbirders@gmail.com if you plan to attend.  Sponsored by

                                     The Harriers, New Hampshire's Young Birders Club.     

 

     May 28, ..............  Project Nighthawk - Volunteer Training - Nighthawks were once common in cities throughout New

                                     Hampshire, where they nested on gravel roofs and fed on insects attracted to city lights. In recent years,

                                     these acrobatic birds have disappeared from many new Hampshire towns, but they still nest in Keene.

                                     To assess 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. To become a

                                     Project Nighthawk volunteer or to learn more about this charismatic endangered bird, join us at the

                                     Keene State College Science Center (Room 101), from 7 to 8:30 PM.  We'll begin indoors then venture

                                     outside to look and listen for nighthawks in the twilight sky. For more information, contact Brett Amy

                                     Thelen (6030 358-2065. Cosponsored by Keene State College and the Harris Center.

 

     May 30, .........  The Life Cycle of Dragonflies and Damselflies - Join Frank Gorga for an exploration of the world

                                     of dragonflies and damselflies. We'll begin indoors, where Frank will discuss the natural history of

                                      these fascinating insects, accompanied by his stunning photographic exhibit in the Babbitt Room. After

                                      Frank's talk, we'll head outside to search for dragonflies and damselflies on the Harris Center grounds.

                                      2 to 4 PM at the Harris Center. For more information, contact Sara LeFebvre (603) 525-3394. 

 

     May 31, ...............  Bald Mountain Hike -  Join Denny Wheeler and Russ Daigle for a moderately strenuous, 3.5 mile hike

                                     along the shore of Willard Pond to the top of Bald Mountain. Bring water and lunch, and meet at 10 AM

                                     in the Willard Pond parking lot. Back by 2:30 PM. For more information, contact Denny (603) 313-0350

                                     or Russ (603) 477-7506. 

 

     May 31, ..............  Well School 5K to Benefit the Harris Center -  The Well School is generously donating the net

                                     proceeds of their spring 5K to the Harris Center. The race starts at 9:30 AM, beginning and ending at

                                     the Well School in Peterborough. Online registration closes May 27. To register, or for more information

                                     about the run and raffle prizes, contact Russ Freeman (603) 924-6908 Ext 27.

 

 

 

 

      MONADNOCK NATURAL HISTORY RESOURCES  

 

 

                        .............  Guide to the Wapack Trail - Friends of the Wapack Trail (2015).  A comprehensive guide to 

                                       the entire Wapack Trail, Side Trail and it's Environs. The Wapack Trail is a 21 mile long skyline

                                       footpath from Mount Watatic an Ashburnham, Massachusets to Pack Monadnock in Greenfield.

                                       New Hampshire.  Completed in 1927, it is the oldest interstate trail in the northeast. This brand

                                       new guide contains an up to date trail description, a durable full-color trail map,  dozens of

                                       maps of suggested hikes and an extensive history of the trail. Available at the Toadstool Book

                                       Stores in Keene and Peterborough.

 

                        ...........    Lichens of the North Woods -  Joe Walewaki,  (2007)  Lichens are the unsung superheroes 

                                        of the northern wilds: they are tiny organisms that have the capability to dissolve solid granite.

                                        Lichens are surprisingly colorful; blazing oranges, radiant yellow, pastel greens, rich blacks

                                        and bright whites adorn tree trunks, bedrock and even gravestones. One hundred and twenty

                                        species are shown in beautiful color photos. 160 pages, loaded with informative natural history

                                        text.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                      ..........    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 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 without."

                                        (www.northernwoodlands.org)                                     

                                                                

                               ........ 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, SPNH'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

                                         at:  (http://www.forest.org/news/forest-notes.asp)

                                    

                                ........ Field 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:

                                         (http://www.nhaudubon.org/programs/field)      

 

                                ........  Outdoor Guide - Antrim,and Bennington, New Hampshire -  The second edition of this 64 

                                          page guide has recently been made available through towns halls, libraries and a wide variety of

                                          business outlets throughout the northern Cheshire County region.  A wonderful resource, it contains

                                          a wealth of information on key nature destinations in the region, including hiking and biking trails,

                                          canoeing and kayaking opportunities, and a wide variety of other nature related activities. Also

                                                                

 

 

                                                     

  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, NHwww.nhaudubon.org

 

                                  .......  The Nature Conservancy.  A leading conservation organization working to protect

                                            ecologically important lands and waters in New Hampshire22 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:                                        

                                    (www.monadnockconservancy.org)

 

                                   ........ 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.

                                            www.friendsofpisgah.org/  or  (http://www.chesterfieldoutdoors.com/)

                                   

                                    ........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

                                            (http://www.wapack.org/index.html)

 

                                   ........ 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

                                             information: (http://brattleborooutingclub.org)

    

                                   ........ 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.

                                             (http://sites.google.com/site/keenemineralclub/home)

 

                                   ....... 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.

                                            (http://www.keeneastronomy.org/)

 

 

 

                                         

  MONADNOCK LINKS

 

 

                         ..........  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. 

                                     (http://www.nova.go)

 

                          ..........  Latitude and Longitude - To determine the exact Latitude and Longitude of a specific location,

                                      visit the website (http://touchpad.com/ladling.html). For a more detailed description of the

                                      information available on this website, see the January 2011 MAN.

 

                           .......... 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 Region.

                                       top birders.  (http://birdingonthe.net/mailing/NUB.html)

 

                           .........  New Hampshire Mountain Lions - John Ranta of Hancock, NH maintains a running blog which

                                      shares information on mountain lions in New Hampshire and reports sightings in the Granite State.

                                      (http://nhmountainlion.word.com/about/#comment-71)

 

                           .........   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 

                                        information.  (http://www.nhweatherdata.com/lightning.html)

                                              

                             .........  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.

                                         (http://www.almanac,com

 

                              .......... 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

                                         world.  (http://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/)

 

                               .......... New Hampshire Mineral Species - This site is dedicated to the documentation and confirmation

                                          of New Hampshire mineral species. Developed and maintained by Tom Mortimer, the site contains a

                                          listing of 293 New Hampshire species with images of 259 of these species. The vast majority of the

                                          over 1100 images on the site are thumbnail and micromount sized specimen images were taken by

                                          Tom. (http://mindatnh.org)

 

                               ..........  Antrim - Bennington Outdoor Guide - A wonderful resource for outdoor locations and activities

                                           in the region (http://www.antrimnh.org/Pages/AntrimNH_WebDocs/Outdoor_Guide.pdf)

 

                               ..........  New Hampshire Garden Solutions: Exploring Nature in New Hampshire  - A general

                                           interest blog maintained by Allen Norcross in Swanzey. Always interesting and informative. Well

                                           worth a regular visit to read Allen's comments on regional natural history and his wonderful

                                           photography (http://nhgardensolutions.wordpress.com/)

 

 

 

 

                  The monthly Monadnock Nature Almanac is compiled and edited by Chuck Schmidt, Hancock, NH.  To share your

             observations or subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the free e-mail, contact brimstone108@myfairpoint.net .   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.