(Please note) - The MNA is formatted to display on a full screen e-mail window. Subscribers experiencing any
display problems can try clicking on your e-mail "view" tab, and choose the next smallest text size.
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,
"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough." ... R. Tagore
MONADNOCK NATURE NOTES........ JULY 2015
Subscribers are encouraged to submit their sightings, observations, and comments for inclusion
in the Monadnock Nature Almanac's Nature Notes. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include name and town.
July, ............ ".... Dusk comes somewhat earlier now, the Summer Solstice already a month behind us and the
daylight slowly diminishing. Time's dimensions are unchanged, but the landmarks shift even as the
familiar star patterns shift in the night skies. Summer passes. You see the change in the way the
shadows fall. You see it in the trees, the subtle difference in the color of their leaves, in the ripening
seed heads of the wild grasses, in young acorns on the oaks. Pasture roses fade, Black-eyed Susan
and Bouncing Bet flourish at the roadside. Queen Anne's Lace is frothy white where daisies frosted the
fence row a few weeks ago. Milkweed blossoms fade. You hear the change in the bird calls, with fewer
songs of ecstasy and more parental scoldings. You hear it most distinctively, when you pause to listen,
in the insect sounds, for time has special dimensions for chitin-clad life that is granted only one Summer's
duration. And in the dusk, when sphinx moths haunt the flower garden, crickets stridulate, mosquitoes
hum. late lunas and other light-mad moths bang the window screens. August and katydids are just over
the horizon, and Autumn is not far behind them. The shadow of time moves slowly but surely across the
sundial of the seasons." ..... Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons
July 2, ............ During yesterday's afternoon thunderstorms I was intrigued by the nature of the sounds of the thunder
which lasted for an hour or so. Usually if the lightning causing the thunder is fairly close, you will see
he flash of lightning and then a second, or two, or three, later you will hear the clap of thunder. The
difference between seeing the flash of lightning and the noise of the thunder giving you an approximate
distance to the lightning. Yesterday, however, the thunder was quite different. The storm occurred during
the day and no lightning flashes were visible, but the thunder was almost continuous. No sharp claps,
just an almost continuous low "rolling" sound with brief intervals between. Each period of thunder would
seemingly continue for minutes on end. ..... Mike Walsh, Hillsborough
Thunder can be simply explained or can be quite complex. The noise is generated by the rapid
expansion of air around the extremely high temperatures generated by the cloud to ground, or cloud
to cloud lightning bolt. A relatively close lightning strike produces a shock wave in the air which
travels outward at the speed of sound (about 770 mph - 1,100 fps) roughly perpendicular to the ground
and the observer. When it arrives and passes we hear it as a sharp "clap" of thunder which lasts a
second or two. Distant cloud to cloud thunder produces the prolonged "rumbling" thunder that Mike
seems to be describing here. That type of sound is a function of a wide variety of factors which include:
the orientation and length of the original lightning bolt(s),( parallel to the observer of pointing away from
the observer), echoes and reverberations caused by reflections from the cloud base and the ground
traveling over longer distances. This type of "rumbling or rolling" thunder sound can last for 20 - 30
seconds and can overlap making them seem even longer in duration. For more detailed Info. access:
July 4 , ........... Yesterday a neighbor showed me a colony of little brown bats in an old barn. He told me that in the past
several years there had only been a few bats there, but now he estimates there to be a least 50 or 60, in
addition to pups (young). Hope for the population recovering after being hit so hard by White Nose
Syndrome. ..... Al Stoops, Nelson
July 6, ............. Earth at Aphelion Today - At 3:31 PM today the earth reached it greatest distance from the sun in its
yearly trek around our parent star. Although this 3% variation in distance in the farthest and closest
points in our elliptical orbit has nothing to do with our seasonal variation in temperature (axial inclination
is the culprit here), Johannes Kepler back in the 17th century explained in his Laws of Planetary Motion,
that as we increase our distance from the sun our orbital velocity slows. This means that today we are
traveling at our slowest orbital speed. Interestingly, this causes a variation in the calendar "length" of
the seasons. Summer is our longest season, some five days longer than winter, our shortest, when we
are traveling faster in our orbit. ...... CS
July 7, ............. In some states drivers hit nearly 30,000 deer annually, mostly at night. They would certainly hit many
more if it weren't for the reflective nature of a deer's eyes. Why do the eyes of a deer and other
nocturnal animals reflect light at night ? A night animal has a kind of mirror behind its retina, called
the tapetum, which aids in night vision. All incoming light is reflected outward again by the tapetum,
in effect allowing the light to be sensed a second time. If the eyes of nocturnal animals did not reflect
light, cats, coyotes, raccoons, mice and others would be nearly invisible to us at night. Nocturnal
animals also perceive more light because they are unable to see color. While human eyes contain
cone cells to help us perceive colors, nearly all cells in the eyes of night animals are rods, responsive
to light but not color. The colors most mammals see are black, gray and white. According to research
the nose of a coyote or a bobcat is also nearly 58 times as sensitive as a human nose. Smell serves
as a language for these animals, not unlike our oral language. Tone, mood, and implication are written
between the lines. Predators have to find a meal without alerting prey to their presence. In darkness,
they have to hunt with efficiency, power, and acuity. When you think about it, it's an extraordinary
ability. ..... John Bates, "A Northwood's Companion"
July 8, ............. One of the many and pleasures of becoming a regular viewer of the NH Garden Solutions website/blog
is the frequent descriptions of the locations of new and previously visited locations by Allen
Norcross during his natural history field trips in the Monadnock Region (see July 22nd item). This
early July post describes a visit to Dickinson Memorial Forest in Swanzey. ..... CS
I have readers of this blog that pass along tips about places that might be worth a visit. One of the
places mentioned recently was Dickinson Memorial Forest in Swanzey which was once owned by a
prominent local family. After entering you have a choice to make; you can turn right and follow the trail
into the forest or you can follow this old road into Muster Field, so named because volunteer firemen
used to muster and train there. I chose the old road because it follows the Ashuelot River. Old friends
like striped wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) told me that this land has been this way without being
disturbed for a very long time. I've read that this plant won't grow on land that has been disturbed in
the last century. It grows either in the woods or just at their edges, places where the plow wouldn't
have gone. I rarely see it and I think this is only the third or fourth place that I've found it. Shinleaf
(Pyrolla elliptica), another of our native wintergreens, grew in a large colony here. This plant's common
name comes from the way Native Americans used it as a poultice to heal wounds; especially shin
wounds, apparently, it contains compounds similar to those found in aspirin and a tea made from it
was used for many of the same ailments. The nodding white, waxy flowers are fragrant and very hard
to get a good photo of. The reason I drove out here that day was because I was short of time and I
wanted to see if the Canada lilies (Lilium canadense) that I saw on a previous visit were blooming. I
think that these plants succeed so well because they get tall enough to rise above the surrounding
vegetation to where the sunshine is. They soar to 7 feet tall and remind me of chandeliers at this stage.
In 1857 Henry David Thoreau was told by a native American guide how the bulbs of this plant were
cooked with meat in soups and stews to thicken them, much like flour does. Henry dug some and ate
them raw, finding that they tasted somewhat like "raw green corn on the ear". I've always been told
that lilies were toxic when eaten so I'd say Henry was a lucky man. Cooking must remove the
toxicity, which would explain why natives ate them so regularly. ...... Allen Norcross, Jaffrey
Access Allen's blog to read the rest of the description of this interesting site and to view his, always
beautiful, accompanying photography. See July 22nd link. ..... CS
July 10, ........... It seems that New Hampshire's already dwindling moose population is about to become even smaller.
Scientists say that winter ticks were responsible for the deaths of 74% of all collared moose calves last
year, which is indicative of the wider population as a whole. Despite the alarmingly high rate of mortality,
experts said they are not surprised. New Hampshire's moose population has declined slowly from 7,000
in 1999 to about 4,000 animals today. The winter tick is becoming a chronic problem, leading to reduced
productivity and increased mortality. The future of the iconic species is uncertain. The ticks are more
formidable than they seem, feeding on blood, they can literally drain the blood from a moose calf,
forcing it to cannibalize its own fat - and muscle - to survive. A single moose is capable of harboring
thousands of the ticks, which feed until they drop off and reproduce. Biologists are hoping that this
year's heavy and lingering snowfall will have killed a larger number of ticks than usual, therefore
reducing the moose mortality rate. ..... Hawkeye, July 2015
July 11, ........... The little square suet feeder hanging in a branch just outside our kitchen door gave us a rare treat
recently. A mother red-bellied Woodpecker was filling her beak with suet and going out on the branch
to feed a young bird that was as big as the mother. A short time later there was a hairy Woodpecker
doing the same thing. We do take the feeder down each night, not to escape a bear, but a problem
raccoon. ..... Jane Allen, Spofford
July 13, ............ Birds have a very efficient breathing system which makes use of their lungs, but also utilizes air
sacs (7 - 12 depending upon the species) within the bird's body. Common loons use their air sacs for
more than respiration, however. By changing the amount of air in the sacs, loons can vary their depth
while resting in water. A deep breath fills the sacs with air and produces high flotation. During dives,
in addition to compressing their feathers (which forces air out from beneath them), loons decrease
the amount of air in their air sacs by exhaling. The ability to deflate the air sacs also allows loons to
quietly sink below the water's surface in order to make it easier for their young chicks to climb aboard.
....... Mary Holland, Hartland, Vt
Access Mary's award winning website/blog for her ongoing posts of regional natural history topics
and her beautiful photography (https://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/page/2/)
July 14, ............ As I ambled into the village at about 8:30 this morning (as is my wont), a large snapping turtle suddenly
loomed to my immediate left. Apparently trying to lay, she faced me and the road, in a small pull-off area.
I kept on slowly, ten feet away in passing, and was surprised when she turned around and lumbered
back toward Norway Pond. Her carapace alone was about 16 inches long. She was probably the second
largest snapper I've ever had the pleasure to see. Thoughts at the time ? Mainly of "Jurassic park."
..... Neal Clark, Hancock
July 18, ......... "Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The solemn hour of midnight
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,
But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.
And there in those wild bowers
A lovely form is laid;
Green grass and dew steeped flowers
Wave gently round her head."
..... Emily Bronte, Moonlight, Summer Moonlight
..... Submitted by Ellen Taylor, Rindge
July 20, ............ Woke up to two hens and 14 pigeon sized babies running around the yard. Four weeks ago I startled
them when I walked around the corner of the shed. The babies looked like leaves in the grass when
they ducked down and tried to hide. Momma chased me all over the yard !!! .... Sue Moran
July 20, ............ I spent a few hours yesterday wading the shore of Gregg Lake near our camp. The weather was hot,
sunny and breezy. Although there were a few dragonflies in flight over the water, I saw only damselflies
along the edge of the lake. The most common damsels were variable dancers. There were mostly males
present; probably two or three dozen along the roughly hundred feet of lake shore I wandered. However,
I also observed four or five tandem pairs ovipositing. I also saw two male eastern forktails and either one
or two (it could have been the same individual twice) male swamp spreadwings. I do not remember
seeing swamp spreadwings on the lake before. The highlight of the day (for both the spider and myself,
not so much for the damselfly) was watching a spider feeding on a variable dancer trapped in a web.
..... Frank Gorga, Antrim
Access Frank's site "Photographs by Frank" to view his beautiful accompanying photography
for this post and many other fascinating posts also with his great photos. www.gorga.org/blog/ ..... CS
July 22, ............ Many people have hummingbird feeders, and that's fine, but I wish more people would plant flowers
which appeal to these birds. I have several clumps of bee balm (Monarda didyma) which I started
with just a plant or two; they have spread by themselves. I don't have to refill them. I can look out
almost every day now and see a hummingbird moving from one tubular flower to another; each plant
has several flowers. Somehow the birds locate suitable plants and add them to their daily circuit. I
would like to start some trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), although some consider it invasive. As far
as I am concerned, you can't have too many hummingbirds. ..... Bruce Boyer, Jaffrey
July 22, ............. Distant Hill Gardens - Walpole - The MNA has been listing the regularly scheduled natural history
programs offered by Distant Hill Gardens in Walpole for some time now. Just this month Allen
Norcross has posted summaries of two visits to the facility on his blog "NH Garden Solutions". Take
a look at Allen's extensive description of this facility and his beautiful accompanying photography,
and I guarantee that you will be scheduling a trip to the Gardens ASAP ! The summaries of his visits
are recorded in Distant Hill gardens - Part One and Distant Hill Gardens - Part Two in his July postings.
(https://nhgardensolutions.wordpress.com/2015/07/) The next Distant Hill gardens program is listed
in the MNA's Activity Calendar for August 2. A visit, even if there is no special program scheduled,
is a must. ..... Chuck Schmidt, Hancock
July 23, ............. Two recent Francie Von Merten columns in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript are well worth tracking
down. Francie's regular, every other week "Backyard Birder" Column is one of the main reasons for
my mail subscription to the paper.
- "Hooray, the gangs all here" - July 9 - a description of a walk up and down the auto road at Pack
Monadnock State Park.
- A Plea for vigilance: the dog-strangling vine is here" - July 23 - an addendum to the previous
column and a description of one of our invasive plant species black swallow-wort.
These columns are available at the newspaper section of your local library, or better yet, consider
a mail subscription, and never miss a column. ...... CS
July 24, ............. For many years one hollyhock in my yard has produced pink blossoms. This year the blossoms are
pure white. I wonder what happened ? ..... Terry McMahon,Stoddard
The color of some garden flowers are dependent upon soil pH. The best known case of this is
the hydrangea which can exhibit blue or pink flower blossoms depending upon soil pH. I have never
heard of this being the case with hollyhocks, but its a possibility due to a change in the soil conditions.
A different fertilizer ? I think hollyhocks are also biennial, so maybe this is a completely different plant
blooming in the same spot ? ..... CS
July 24, .............. While my wife was doing her thing in Bed Bath & Beyond, I took the opportunity to take a look at
the wildflower offerings at the eastern end of the parking area where it borders up against a large
undeveloped wet area between there and the Rt 9 bypass. The most noticeable change since my
last visit was the take-over of the fuzzy grayish-pink Rabbits-foot Clover (Trifolium arvense) along
the curb edge from the Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) which has dominated that area since
early June. This clover has become prominent along many of the curb edges throughout the Keene
region. The other major change was the full blooming of Early Goldenrod (Soligago juncea) in all of
the drier areas. ..... Larry Kennedy, Keene
July 25, .............. At 11:00 this morning a kingfisher sat on the (never used) duck nest box in my pond. whacking a fish
against the top of the box. I think the fish was a horned pout. That would explain the difficulty the bird
had in killing it, and the reason it needed to, the spines on the pectoral fins extending too far to be
swallowed if the fish is alive. The kingfisher held the pout by the head, which made the whacking
ineffective. After a bit I went to get my camera to try to photograph it, but the kingfisher flew just as I
was opening the window. I don't know whether it swallowed the pout or released it. Early this spring
I watched a blue heron go through the same procedure on the shore of the pond, with what looked like
a larger horned pout. The heron did finally swallow it, but with difficulty, and I didn't see a heron on the
pond again for a long time. An hour later, a pair of kingfishers returned. Again one of them caught a
horned pout, and again it flew just as I readied my camera. This time I am pretty sure it swallowed
the fish. ..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard
July 27, .............. The Lowdown on Wild Turkey Disease - LPDV is something that many naturalists have heard of by
now but many of us struggle to pronounce it beyond the acronym. Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus
is the full name and can cause lesions on wild turkeys that are infected with it, some so severe that
they die. Historically, LPVD was known to occur in Europe and Israel. It was first reported in the U.S.
in 2009 in an adult wild turkey from Arkansas. Shortly thereafter, further testing revealed it to be
present in 17 additional states. Testing revealed that 47 % of the turkeys surveyed had the disease.
Regionally, the northeast had the highest prevalence followed by the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern
states. LPDV presence by state ranged from Oklahoma, the lowest with 26 %, to New Hampshire the
highest with 83%. Previous research in domestic turkeys showed that LPDV targets lymphoid tissue.
It replicates first in bone marrow and spreads out to other parts of the body such as the spleen.
No human risks are known from LPVD despite it being so widespread in the U.S. ...... Allison Keating
July 31, .............. Some recent New Hampshire natural history related articles well worth the effort of tracking down
- Forest Notes - Summer 2015 - Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests Magazine:
- Open Air Museums of N.H. History : Our Woods are Full of Hidden Stories Written in Stone
and Steel - Dave Anderson
- Reading the Past at a Wooded Cellar Hole - Dave Anderson
- New Hampshire Wildlife Journal - July/August - NH Fish and Game Department Magazine
- Something's Bruin in New Hampshire - Andrew Timmins
- Marsh Hawks of Creampoke - Chris Martin
- Hail the Humble Bumblebee - Lindsay Welch
Go Take A Hike At Night - Eric Orff
I just love to be in the woods, day or night. Yes, I have hiked and worked in the woods at night
much of my life. I think nighttime is the best time to really get to know the woods and you ability to
sense things. 99% of what we sense during a daytime hike is with our eyes; we really limit the use
of our senses with a day hike. I liken it to the difference of learning a pond by taking a canoe paddle
across the water or diving in and swimming across to see how it feels. Yes, night hiking frees up
all your senses and gets your blood flowing to hear, feel and smell your surroundings. It's amazing
how acute your sense of feel becomes in the dark. Now you can sense each step as you walk along
and the sense of feel blossoms across your body - you can actually feel a slight breeze on your face
or other exposed skin.
And do your ears perk up to the slightest change in sound ? It's like you can sense the woods
around you, how close to vegetation you are hearing it as you approach, yet alone distant sounds
that are amplified in the dew-filled night air. Sounds abound at night.
Lets not forget your sense of smell, now more acute in the dark. Yes, your nose actually can be
used to your advantage. I have picked up the smell of moose, deer, bear and fisher in the woods
once I "learned" what they smell like. I have had the advantage of being a wildlife biologist and
have learned these fragrances while handling live animals. For example, Fisher have a very
distinctive sweet, musky smell that is easy to learn.
To take a hike at night I don't suggest you blunder into the wilds without a flashlight; by all means
have one along. A compass and map should also be handy just in case. And, yes, the night woods
can be very confusing. I suggest you start out in woods you are very familiar with and stick to main
woods roads and trails.
I have found myself in some of the most wild New Hampshire woods at night while working as a
wildlife biologist for Fish and Game. I am very comfortable in the dark pretty much anywhere and you
can too, so get out at night for a hike. To be on the safe side, let someone know where you will be and
when you plan to return. Nothing trains your senses like a night hike.
Excerpted, with permission, from a 2014 article by Eric Orff, a Wildlife Biologist with the National Wildlife
Federation, He retired from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in 2007 after a 31 year career.
MONADNOCK SKIES - For AUGUST 2015
August, ........... August - Summer Skies - By early evening in the first weeks of August the brightest stars and
most prominent summer constellations are high in Monadnock Region skies. By 9 PM at mid-month
the constellations Cygnus, Aquilla and Lyra, with their prominent "alpha" stars Deneb, Altair and
Vega, are found near the zenith. These three stars make up the "asterism" The Summer Triangle. A
precursor to the fall constellations, Pegasus with its asterism The Great Square, is rising in the east
at about the same time. August also provides Monadnock skywatchers with the best time to explore
summer Milky Way arching overhead from the constellation Cassiopeia in the north, through Cygnus
overhead, down to Sagittarius near the southern horizon. A good pair of binoculars is instrument
enough to provide views of this, the star rich center and edge of our Milky Way Galaxy. Even more
spectacular views are provided by any relatively modest, low power, wide aperture telescope. Check
with your local library. Many New Hampshire libraries have such instruments available for free loan
to their patrons through a program of the New Hampshire Amateur Astronomy Association. An
excellent and inexpensive guide to summer skies for the novice observer is the Edmund Mag 5 Star
Atlas, available online from the Edmund Scientific Company. This guide, along with the Edmund Star
and Planet Finder (also inexpensive) are two indispensable aids to familiarizing yourself with the stars
and constellations throughout the year. They also make wonderful "life-long learning" gifts for young
children. Pick them up and spend some invaluable hours outside on a few summer evenings exposing
a youngster to the wonders of the night sky.
August, ............ The Planets This Month - Saturn is the only planet easily visible in the evening skies during August.
Look for the planet in the SSW after sunset early in the month. The star Antares in the constellation
Scorpius is visible to the left and slightly below Saturn. The first quarter moon is near Saturn on
the 22nd of the month. The ring plane of the planet is tilted about 24 degrees as seen from earth, giving
observers with even small telescopes a nice view. In the morning sky , Mars is the lone naked eye
planet through most of August until Venus appears late in the month. Mars is on the far side of its
orbit some 237 million miles from the earth and is not too bright an object. Over the next nine months,
Mars will be increasing in brightness as it moves closer to the earth.
August 2, ......... Bright International Space Station Passage - This evening, weather permitting, Monadnock Sky
watchers have an opportunity to view a nice, bright, nearly overhead, passage of the ISS. Begin your
viewing a couple of minutes before the 9:15:19 PM scheduled appearance of the ISS at about 10
degrees above the horizon in the WSW. The ISS will appear as a bright starlike object and will climb
slowly toward the zenith, passing near Arcturus about a third of the way up. At its maximum elevation
(80 degrees) at 9:18:34 PM it will reach its greatest brightness (magnitude - 3.2). The Space Station
will then move slowly downward toward the NE before disappearing near the horizon at about
August 6, ......... Last Quarter Moon .
August 12-13, ... Perseid Meteor Shower - This year the Perseid Shower will most likely be best seen late on
the evening of August 12th and into the early morning hours of the 13th. Fortunately, this year the
slender waning crescent moon will not interfere with viewing. This shower, usually the best in the
northern hemisphere, builds gradually to a peak at which time observers may see between 50 to
100 meteors per hour in morning hours before dawn. Typically these are bright. fast meteors which
often leave "trails". Hopefully the weather will cooperate and this will be a good observing year for
this highly anticipated shower.
August 14, , ....... New Moon
August 21, ......... First Quarter Moon
August 29, ........ Full Moon - The Sturgeon Moon - The Sturgeon, a large fish common to the Great lakes and
other nearby bodies of water, is most easily caught during this month. The fishing tribes of this
region are given credit for attaching this nickname to the August full moon. Several other tribes
knew the August full moon as the Full Red Moon since the humidity and sultry haze during this
time of year gave the moon a reddish hue as it rose near the horizon. It was also sometimes
called the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon.
MONADNOCK REGION NATURAL HISTORY EVENTS CALENDAR - AUGUST 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.
August 1, .......... "Treasured Places" Hike at Calhoun Family Forest - The Monadnock Conservancy and the
Historical Society of Cheshire County are hosting a plein air day on Saturday August 1 from 10 AM
to 4 PM at the Calhoun Family Forest in Gilsum. Several plein air artists will be painting outdoors at
locations along the trail. The 308 acre Forest was donated to the Monadnock Conservancy in 2011.
It includes rich forest habitat and extensive frontage on White Brook and the Ashuelot River. The
trailhead is at the end of White Brook Road which heads east from Rt 10 near Gilsum Center. All
visitors should drive to the locked gate at the end of White Brook Road where there is a small
parking area. The hike will start there.
August 2, .......... Native Tree and Exotic Invasive Identification - Join Steve Robege, Forester with the Cheshire
County UNH Cooperative Extension and learn tips on how to identify many of the 30 species of
native trees found on the Distant Hill Gardens property. Steve will also discuss invasive plant ID and
control. 10 AM to noon at Distant Hill Gardens, 507 March Hill Road, Walpole. A suggested donation
of $5 for the program. For more information www.distanrhillgardens.org
August 5, .......... Nature on Tap: The Bald Eagles of Nubanusit Lake - Bald eagles have been nesting on
Nubanusit Lake for almost 20 years, making this the second longest occupied eagle nest territory in
NH in the post-DDT era. For just as long, NH Audubon's Chris Martin and local volunteers have
recorded nesting successes and failures, and managed the nest area to support the eagles and their
offspring. Join Chris for an enriching happy hour of stories, photos and "Nubi" eagle trivia. Drinks on
you. Conversation on us. 5:30- to 6:30 PM at the Hancock Inn, 33 Main St in Hancock. Reservations are
required since space is limited. To reserve a seat, please contact Sara LeFebvre at (603) 525-3394 or
email@example.com Harris Center program.
August 7, .......... Easy Going Hike on the Fitzwilliam Rail Trail - Join Ollie Mutch and Lee Baker for a trip to scenic
Rockwood Pond in Fitzwilliam. All ages and abilities welcome on this easy 4 mile roundtrip hike along a
rail trail. Bring water and lunch and meet at 10 AM in the parking lot beside Ocean State Job Lot (at the
intersection of Rts 101 and 202) in Peterborough. Back by 3 PM. For more information, contact Ollie at
August 7, ........... The Bear Man Program - Ben Kilham, also known as the "Bear Man" will speak at the Stoddard
Town Hall at 6:30 PM. Kilham is a wildlife biologist based in Lyme. His love of and devotion to black
bears has enabled him to study their habits and interact with them for more than two decades. He
and his wife Debra have accepted bear cubs into their home and enabled them to successfully
return to the wild. Kilham has been the focus of numerous news articles and nature documentaries.
The Town Hall is located at 1450 Rt 123 N. This program is sponsored by Friends of the Davis Library.
August 13-16, .... Annual Stellafane Convention - Springfield, Vermont - Started in 1926, the Stellafane Convention
a gathering of amateur telescope makers and amateur astronomers from all over New England and the
US. All telescopes are welcome and are set up in a field near the Stellafane clubhouse for evening viewing.
A great selection of speakers, workshops, demonstrations and events for every level, children, teens,
beginners, intermediate and advanced amateur astronomers. A highly anticipated event. For complete
information on activities directions, facilities and registration; stellafane.org/conventio/2015/index/html
August 15, ......... Nubanusit and Spoonwood Paddle - Canoe or kayak with Russ Daigle and Brian Bishoff on
Nubanusit Lake and Spoonwood Pond, with good prospects for spotting eagles and loons. The route
will involve two portages, one very short, the other about 600 feet. Bring your own boat, water and lunch
for a picnic on Elephant Rock. 10 AM to 2:30 PM. meet at 10 AM at the public boat landing at Nubanusit
Lake, at the end of King's Highway in Hancock. For more information, please contact Russ at 603-477-
7506 or Brian at 603-899-5770 or firstname.lastname@example.org Harris Center program.
August 15, .......... Propagating Native Wildflowers from Seed - Join Kate Strafford, Nursery Operations Manager and
propagator at the New England Wildflower Society's Nasami Farm in Whately, Mass, for a workshop on
propagating native wildflowers from seed. She will be focusing on a number of the best pollinator friendly
species, and will also discuss how to collect, save and store the seed. 10 AM to noon. Suggested donation
for this special workshop is $10. To register: (603) 756-4179 or email@example.com Distant Hill
Gardens, 507 march Hill Road, Walpole.
August 26, ......... Birding the Nighthawk Migration - Join Cliff Seifer to observe on of the under-appreciated spectacles
of fall migration, the annual flight of nighthawks over the Monadnock Region. If its an "average" night,
we'll get great looks at a handful of these incredible birds. If it's a "good" night, we'll see hundreds of
acrobatic Nighthawks feeding in giant flocks. Meet at Surry Mountain Dam in Surry at 6 PM. Done by 7:30.
For more information, contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org Cosponsored by the Harris Center and the NH
August 29, ......... Trail Clearing on the Channing Trail - Jim Orr will lead a morning of moderately easy trail work clearing
brush and small blow downs along Hasely Brook. All ages and abilities are welcome. Bring gloves and
loppers or use the Harris Center's tools. 9 AM to 12 noon. Meet at 9 AM at the Harris Center. For more Info.
please contact Jim at 603-924-6934 or email@example.com
MONADNOCK NATURAL HISTORY RESOURCES
......... A Field Guide to the Ants of New England - Gary D. Alpert (2012) - The first user-friendly
regional guide devoted to ants. Illustrated with more than 500 line drawings, over 300 photos,
and regional distribution maps for every species. This guide will introduce amateur and
professional naturalists and biologists, teachers and students, and environmental managers
to more than 140 ant species found in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.
The detailed drawings and species descriptions, together with the high magnification
photographs, will allow anyone to identify and learn about ants and their diversity , ecology
and life history.
.......... Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide - Appalachian Mountain Club - Steven D, Smith -
The latest edition (2015) of this comprehensive guide details more than 200 trails in southern
New Hampshire's beautiful mountains, parks and nature areas. Compiled by the same editor
of the AMC's White Mountain Guide, this new edition describes there most hike-worthy routes
through the region. Plan routes easily with 20 all new, detailed interior trail maps and the full-
color, GPS rendered, pull-out paper map which now covers Mount Monadnock, Mount Cardigan,
Mount Sunapee, Pillsbury State Park, and the Belknap Range. A must have for every hiker who
sets out to explore the southern part of the Granite State.
......... 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."
........ 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
........ 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:
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.
.......... 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.
.......... 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.
......... 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
.......... 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
.......... 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
Monadnock Nature Almanac is compiled and edited by Chuck Schmidt,
observations or subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the free e-mail, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.