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The Monadnock Nature Almanac
is a monthly bulletin board of natural history activity in the
Monadnock region, a mixed
transitional forest upland of gentle hills, rivers, streams, and lakes located
Hillsborough counties. Covering approximately 800 square miles, it ranges in general elevation from 400 to 1200 feet
above sea level. Numerous peaks
exceed 1400 feet, the highest of which,
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." ...... John Muir
MONADNOCK NATURE NOTES........ May 2014
Subscribers are encouraged to submit their sightings, observations, and comments for inclusion
in the Monadnock Nature Almanac's Nature Notes. Submit to email@example.com.
Please include name and town.
May , ............. " We think of this as the time of spring flowers, fruit blossoms, lilacs. Actually, it is the time of leaves,
the time of the countless greens which have not yet settled and matured into the standard green of
summer. This is the time when there is a whole new spectrum of green across the land, when the
whole world is dappled and misted as with a gently drifting haze whose color ranges from greenish
yellow to greenish blue. Green, the color of growth, of surgent life, enwraps the land. New green,
which will merge as the weeks pass, the summer comes, into a canopy of shape of busy chlorophyll."
....... Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons
May 1, ............ I hiked out to a beaver pond in Wildcat Hollow, nearly stepping on a woodcock along the way. There
is a heron nest at the pond, fairly small, so it probably hasn't been there for more than a year or so. I
didn't notice it last year. There was one heron perched beside it, but I didn't see any sign of a mate
while I was there. ..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard
May 1, ............ Walking along our dirt road at night I saw dozens of firefly larvae glowing in the dark on the ground.
.... Tricia Saenger,
May 5, ............ News from the invertebrate front: bird forum users are now reporting First of Year (FOY) migratory
birds. I hereby report my FOY blackfly. Also, I have already picked 4 dog ticks myself and one off the
dog, which seems like a lot for this early in the year. About a week ago, I saw a tiny millipede in my
bathroom sink" less than a millimeter in diameter and a centimeter in length. How did it get there ? I
doubt that it crawled up from the floor because it was helplessly trapped in the sink, tapping its tiny
antennae frantically on the porcelain. Did it come up the drain ? Anyway, I scoop[ed it up and put it
outdoors. I've seen the opposite extreme in millipede size, the giant ones found in the west Texas
desert, which are as fat as a human little finger and up to 5 inches long. Regardless of size, millipedes
are harmless vegetarians which do not bite or sting (unlike some centipedes, another type of myriapod),
although some emit noxious chemicals when threatened by predators. Some people keep the large
ones as pets. I can't remember when arthropods (a large and successful phylum of joint-legged animals
including insects, spiders, crustaceans, myriapods, etc. ) were thought to be related to and descended
from annelid worms, but today they are regarded as part of the Ecdysozoa, a group characterized by
an external cuticle which is shed during growth, and their best-known companions in that group are
nematodes, or roundworms. Some may recall that ecdysiast is a fancy name for a strip-tease artist.
Ticks are not insects, but arachnids (the class including spiders, scorpions, etc. ) However, being
arthropods, they are deterred somewhat by insect repellents like DEET. Crustaceans (which include
familiar crabs & lobsters) are harmed by insecticides which enter the water in which they live. Most
crustaceans are marine, but sowbugs (=pillbugs=woodlice, found in damp places, like woodpiles) are
terrestrial crustaceans. People in the Western world think nothing of eating crustaceans, but few eat
insects, although millions of people in other lands find them nutritious and tasty. Certainly birds do;
many species would become extinct without arthropods to eat. .... Bruce Boyer, Jaffrey
May 8, ............ I believe nest-building is now completed by the blue jays. On, May 3, as I sat in the woods bordering
around a large Hemlock, the squirrel barely kept ahead of the swooping birds. I thought about a nest
Two hours later I returned to the strafing site to observe both birds nest-building. I was only 30 feet
away, although partially obscured. I was surprised at their relative unwariness; normally jays are very
secretive near home. This nest is about 30 feet high, well away from the trunk, and nearly over the
water. On may 7 I actually saw them mating. Another first. ..... Neal Clark, Hancock
May 8, ............ Alerted by a clucking sound this evening, I looked outside and beheld a tom Wild Turkey displaying
to a couple of females in my back yard. He would walk around with his tail fanned out, sometimes
moving sideways like a crab in an attempt to sneak close to one of them. Occasionally he would put
down his tail and stamp the ground with his feet. A few time he got very close to one and charged her,
but she fled.Finally the trio left and returned to the woods. I then watched a video of Wild Turkeys
mating and realized that the foot stamping pose was not an expression of male frustration, but sort
of an exact rehearsal of the penultimate phase of mating, just before the actual fertilization, when the
male climbs onto the female's back and stomps his poor partner with his feet. ..... Bruce Boyer, Jaffrey
May 9, ............ A great blue heron visited our little pond this morning. Except that it wasn't blue. It had the yellow bill and
legs of a white morph, the black head stripes of a great blue, and a pale blue-gray body and a pale tan
neck. It caught what appeared to be a horned pout, instead of swallowing the fish right away, the heron
carried it to shore, dropped it and pecked at it, then picked it up and turned it various ways, then dropped
it again. The heron did this several times before swallowing the fish. I suppose it was getting rid of the
spines so they wouldn't catch in its throat. ..... Terry McMahon, Stoddard
May 9, ............ We're still hearing woodcocks in the evening, a little more than a month after their first calling of the season
............ Bushwhacking down from the Spur
Trail on the south end of the
tracks by something heavy startled up from the underbrush about twenty yards off. There was a crashing
and smashing like a moose wading through a beaver lodge, but I couldn't see a thing - not a leaf moved.
A moment later, a black form the size of a Scottish terrier went shooting up to the top of a full-size white
birch in about six seconds flat - this year's bear cub, already pretty nimble. At the tip-top he turned his
head 180 degrees twice, back and forth, surveying the situation, then began backing down, more slowly
this time. The mother was close by: after searching for a few seconds with binoculars, I found her looking
out at me from a hole in the undergrowth, her face framed all around as by a snug-fitting green bonnet, the
rest of her invisible. Maybe I ought to have retreated straightaway, but I whistled a little tune in a major key
instead. When the cub was safely down, the two of them made their way along the slope away from me,
unhurried, the mother bear in the lead and the terrier right on her heels. .... Henry Walters, Willard Pond, Hancock
unveiled a new Chesterfield Trails Kiosk at the Gorge on Route 9 in
refreshments and brief remarks, was followed by an informational walk down into the Gorge guided by
the folks from Friends of the Gorge. Well worth a visit, a beautiful spot. Be sure to check out the Chesterfield
Conservation Commission, website Chesterfield Outdoors (http://www.chesterfieldoutdoors.com for events
and other trails and attractions in the area. ....... CS
May 11, ......... The moles are back ! My front lawn is pock-marked with several small piles of dark brown soil. The piles
are round, vary in size fro 6 inches to a foot in diameter, and are about 4 to 6 inches in height. In my side
yard there are no dirt piles, but there are several clearly apparent tunnel trails from the moles. The trails
don't break the surface and in some spots are over 6 - 10 feet in length. I'm wondering why the dirt piles
are in the front lawn and the burrow trails, but no dirt piles in the side lawn ? Any thoughts as to why this
may be ? ..... Steve Harris, Hillsborough
The only variable that I can think of is a difference in soil depth over the bedrock (or ledge, as it is
called here in NH). But why they would push soil up in one spot and not in another is a mystery to
me. Any thoughts out there ?
May 12, ......... Bobolinks are back in force in a large, nearby field. A full chorus of American toads at MacDowell Reservoir
in Peterborough, .... and saw a large bobcat cross a yard in the middle of the afternoon in Mont Vernon.
..... Tricia Saenger, Temple
May 13, ......... By now, vernal pools in all parts of the Monadnock Region are brimming with spotted salamander eggs,
newly hatched wood frog tadpoles are busy eating algae and impersonating pine needles, and the bulk of
both the inbound and outbound spring amphibian migrations has come to a close. All should still exercise
continued vigilance on rainy nights in behalf of our four-footed friends. Please remember to drive
carefully on roads near water this spring and summer - American toads and gray tree frogs have only
just begun their spring movement, other warm-weather frogs will be out and about on rainy nights all
summer long, and turtles will be crossing roads in search of nesting sites from late May through early July.
Turtles are especially vulnerable to road mortality, so if its safe, consider pulling over to lend a hand to
turtles in the road. (see May 18 item for a video with several excellent suggestions for assisting turtles).
This spring Salamander Crossing volunteers collectively saved a record-breaking, jaw-dropping 4,875
from the crush of the tire, bringing our seven year total to almost 20,000 critters. Volunteers also
discovered six previously-unknown crossing sites. Every day, the news is filled with so many stories
of environmental catastrophe that it can be hard to feel hopeful. But what we did out there on the dark,
wet streets of New Hampshire this spring was an antidote to hopelessness. .... Brett Amy Thelen, Keene
May 18, ......... Yesterday I saw a fairly large Snapping Turtle which wanted to cross Route 137. It would actually cringe
every time a car drove by. I used to pick turtles up by the tail, but experts now advise against that,
because it can dislocate the animals spine. So I tried a method recommended on a You Tube video, in
which you grip the back edge of top shell. This failed miserably; the turtle was too heavy and writhed
and kicked, causing me to lose my grip I then went to the car and got the small snow shovel I keep there,
and tried to scoop the turtle with that (a method which has worked for me before), but the critter crawled
off the shovel, turned, and made its way back toward its home pond. I do recommend that people look
at the video for ideas about moving turtles safely. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lgd_B6iKPxU)
..... Bruce Boyer, Jaffrey
May 18, ......... Saw my first dragonfly of the year - a common green darner in Hancock at Norway Pond, but just the one.
Dragonflies are a bit behind schedule this year throughout the state judging by the chatter from the NH
dragonfly survey people. ... and a scarlet tanager near our house in Temple. Beautiful .... Tricia Saenger, Temple
May 19, .......... Yesterday I was walking out in the yard in back of my home and heard a buzzing sound coming from one
our several crab apple trees. Walking over I was pleasantly surprised to note that the sound was coming
from at least 50 or 60 large black bumble bees, the larger black variety. I do not remember noticing this
last spring when the trees were in also in blossom. Unfortunately, as hard as I looked , I could not find
a single honey bee among the insects working the flowers. I'm assuming that the lack of honeybees is a
result of the problems this species has been having all over the county in recent years. ..... Ed Steele, Keene
May 19, .......... Yes, Mothers Day is past, but for those days when even your two kids seem like too many, take heart.
(https://flic.kr/p/nogMtU) ..... John Patterson, Peterborough
May 20, .......... Saw several odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) at the Temple - New Ipswich town line. Two springtime
darners, a common green darner, a few aurora damselflies, and several beaverpond baskettails. Still not
to many dragonflies out and about around Temple. .... Tricia Saenger, Temple
May 23, .......... "The wood is decked in light green leaf.
The swallow twitters in delight.
The lonely vine sheds joyous tears
of interwoven dew and light.
Spring weaves a gown of green to clad
the mountain height and wide-spread field.
O when wilt thou my native land,
in all glory stand revealed ?"
Ilia Chavchavadze, "Spring"
Submitted by Ellen taylor, Rindge
May 23, .......... Goodhue Hill, on the east side of Willard Pond, is undergoing a rebirth of sorts. A large patch-cut was
carried out in an old orchard atop the hill just two years ago, but already the early successional habitat is
thick with bluebirds, tree swallows, ruffed grouse, common yellowthroats, chestnut-sided warblers, and
indigo buntings. Plenty of moose sign is in evidence. A walk up the hill with Phil Brown this morning also
brought the eerily hollow notes of a black-billed cuckoo calling to us out of the fog. It was calling again
two days later from a similar spot. Swimming through the flowering cherry saplings near the old logging
trail, I came within a tail-feather of crushing a white-throated sparrow on her nest. She flushed and I froze
with foot raised, just in time, Four speckled, olivey eggs sat in a tiny whorl of grass right on the ground,
covered by a little lid of weeds. As I peeked in. the alarm call of the mother came loud and clear over my
shoulder, a single sharp note every few seconds. Is there any outrage more laconic than the sparrow's?
..... Henry Walters, Willard Pond, Hancock
Henry's posts this month serves as an opportunity to remind MNA readers of the Young Birders Club:
The Harriers. The group is an organization for youngsters under the age of 18 who are interested in the
region's natural history and participating in the fascinating world of birding. For additional information
about the group, membership, and its activities, visit the Harrier's website at http://nhyoungbirders.org/
or contact Henry Walters at 178 Willard Pond Road, Hancock, NH 03449 or (603) 525-3572
Information about the NH Audubon Willard Pond Sanctuary (http://en.wikipedia.org/Willard_Pond)
May 26, .......... Chalk-fronted corporals have appeared on my deck, far from any water bodies. By the beginning of June
there are approximately 70 species of dragonflies/damselflies that are out in NH so the number of odonta
you may see increases dramatically towards the end of May. ...... Tricia Saenger, Temple
May 27, .......... Don't know when it hatched out, but it hasn't been long. (https://flic.kr/p/nL9XCC)
.... John Patterson, Peterborough
May 27, ........... "Black Bears and Bird Feeders: Is the Public Even Listening" - "For decades, Fish and Game has spread
the word through their "Something's Bruin" public awareness campaign . It's a pretty simple message
really. Come springtime, put the feeders away. Clean up the spilled seed. Secure your birdseed inside.
Keep you garbage in the garage at night. Don't leave anything outside that might attract a hungry bear
that's waking up after a long winter's sleep. The subtext of the message is "a fed bear is a dead bear."
When black bears become habituated to finding their food from bird feeders and other human sources,
they become bolder. What was once a majestic wild black bear becomes dependent upon human food
sources and develops into a nuisance that's unafraid of people and ever more emboldened in its quest
for food. Ultimately the emboldened behavior and habits can end in the bear's demise, either being
shot by an angry landowner or by Fish and Game. As much as you love the birds, they'll do just fine
without the bird seed. Put the feeders back up in the winter when the bears are asleep. Till then, do
your part to keep our black bears wild." ..... Eric Aldrich, Hancock , excerpted from The Monadnock Ledger-
Transcript, May 27, 2014.
Well worth taking the time to search out the entire column in the May 27th Transcript. And be sure to
follow Eric's regular Ledger-Transcript column the "Bobcat's Tail." Always an interesting and informative
comment on regional natural history and environmentally related topics. .... CS
May 28, ............ So many articles, so little time - An abundance of excellent regional natural history related material
this month. Well worth searching out at your local library. Membership in these organizations and
the accompanying magazine subscriptions are well worth considering as birthday and/or holiday gift
giving ideas. ...... Only 208 more shopping days to Christmas !
- The Other Foliage Season: Ephemeral Leaves and Flowers Reward Those Who Look Closely, Dave
Anderson, Forest Notes, SPNHF quarterly magazine, Spring 2014
- Bashful Blandings: New Hampshire provides regionally important habitat for the state endangered
Blanding's turtle, Mike Marchand, New Hampshire Wildlife Journal, NH Fish and Game magazine.
- Karner Blue Butterfly: A Flighty Jewel With Special Habitat Needs, Judy Silverberg, New Hampshire
Wildlife Journal, NH Fish and Game magazine, May/June.
- The Pisgah Forest: Harvard's Living Laboratory, David Foster, Northern Woodlands Magazine,
Spring 2014 issue
- Bear Families in the Spring, Susan C. Morse, Northern Woodlands Magazine, Spring 2014 issue.
- Live Weird, Die Young: The Virginia Opossum, Kendrick Vezina, The Outside Story, Northern
Woodlands Magazine, Spring 2014 issue.
- Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum), Virginia Barlow, Northern Woodlands Magazine, Spring 2014
The Natural Mystery of Owling - Neal Clark
In the 18th century, an owler was a smuggler of sheep or wool from England to France. A few years
later a person who sat up all night, now called a night owl. But an owler today is a daring birder who
stalks nocturnally. Members of this spirited breed often go alone, either because they prefer doing it
solo, or because everyone else is sleeping; there aren't many folks who enjoy standing around gloomy
woods listening for somber owl hoots.
Night-owling isn't for everyone. It takes nerve, But those who brave the obscure world of darkness
discover that their senses are better than expected; acute enough to distinguish a barred owl from a
barking dog at a mile; acute enough to tell a screech owl from a big brown bat coursing through a
lifeless cemetery; and acute enough to feel a great horned owl's commanding presence.
Thoreau, while at Walden Pond, "... rejoiced that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal
hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited for swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates,
suggesting a vast and undeveloped nature which men have not recognized." The night world is a
different world, still unexplored and unknown. It's a realm of heavy odors, vague shapes, and penetrating
noises. As Ambrose Bierce wrote in one of his weird tales, "The very silence has another quality than the
silence of the day. And it is full of half-heard whispers - whispers that startle - ghosts of sounds long dead."
Winter nights, however, with a full moon shining on snow, seem almost as bright as day. A trip to a
snowy pasture at such a time is like sand dunes at dawn: the sky is inky blue, the moon is a squinting
white, and the waves of new snow sparkle like mounds of sand. The whirring of the wind through the
surrounding pines recalls the sound of a spent wave receding at the beach.
Late winter to early spring is the season to go owling because the birds are courting, mating, and
at their loudest. Any time after sunset can be fruitful, although a study revealed that a majority of screech
owls were attracted after 3 AM. The best plan for successful night-owling is to start during daylight.
Comb areas where owls have been reported recently, looking for pellets under big trees. They show up
well on snow. Scan tree trunks and limbs for whitewashing by the bird's feces, and be alert for song-
Along with nerve, owling takes patience. As Julio de la Torre says, "For every owl I've seen, I'll hear
about ten." Many nights out are needed to even hear anything, but every night prowl is an adventure
that few people experience. I've often spent several consecutive nights in vain, hooting and hoping for
hours, only to sulk homeward to the stereo to play the owl's greatest hits. But a strange compulsion grips
me time and again, forcing me to return. The reward of finding owls comes only to those who wait.
Anyone wanting to participate should wear warm, dark clothing to provide comfort while standing
around and to reduce conspicuousness. Carry a flashlight, but use it sparingly as wildlife is extremely
sensitive to light at night. Besides, as tests have proven, humans can, with practice, see better in the
blackness than a bear can, and almost as well as a cat. (Our night vision however pales in comparison
to that of owls). Within a half-hour our eyes adjust to the dark, which is rarely pitch black. Optional
equipment includes a compass and binoculars - the glasses help to zoom in and gather more available
starlight bounced off water and snow. An owler should also inform police and landowners of their plans;
night-owlers don't cherish being mistaken for night-prowlers.
Instead of roaming winter woods trying to flush out the owls, it' a good idea to let them come to you.
Sit on a hilltop or the edge of a woodlot and be still. Get out the thermos of hot stuff and relax. (Owling
is supposed to be fun after all.) Some owlers play recorded hoots to attract birds even closer, Barn,
screech, and great horned owls are especially curious and respond vocally to mimicked hooting.
Owlers using tapes - considered to be cheating by some fellow birders - generally start with the call of
a small owl and work up to the great horned; if they began with a big owl, the smaller species would be
afraid to reply. The using of tapes to lure owls should be kept to a minimum, however, for it interferes
with their hunting schedules.
Nighttime without owls would render the woods too quiet, too safe. It does us good to go out there
and get goose pimples at the sound of the first hoot. Then we know that we're really living, not just
crossing off dull days on the calendar. There's plenty for everyone to learn about the night, and with
more than half the world's creatures active nocturnally, only those persons who sit up with the owls
can become complete naturalists.
Excerpted, with permission, from Neal Clark's "Eastern Birds of Prey". Check out Neal's two
books; Eastern Birds of Prey and Birds on the Move.
MONADNOCK SKIES - June 2014
June, ......... Late Spring Skies -
June, ............. The Planets This Month - Jupiter continues to be visible in the evening night sky. Early in the
month it sets about three hours after sunset. By month's end it sets an hour after sunset. Look for the
giant planet, shining at a brilliant - 2.0 magnitude in the constellation Gemini. Look for it below Castor
and Pollux, the twin stars of Gemini. It remains nicely placed for evening naked eye or telescopic
viewing. Skywatchers still have a great opportunity to observe its disc, its prominent cloud belts,
and four of its larger, and easily seen, Galilean satellites through binoculars and small telescopes. An
interesting side note: Jupiter's well know "Great Red Spot" a huge atmospheric cyclonic storm, which
has been a prominent feature of the planet for over a hundred years, seems to be growing smaller in
recent years. Although currently still larger than the Earth, it has diminished steadily in size from about
14,000 miles in diameter to its current 10,000 mile size. The "Spot" is visible in moderately sized scopes.
Many local libraries in the Monadnock region have small telescopes available for checkout by patrons,
courtesy of the NH Astronomical Society's Library Telescope Program. Mars, shining at magnitude .
is still in the evening sky, visible in the constellation Virgo. Shining at magnitude - 1.2 to - 0.5 it is near
the Meridian in the southern sky around 9 PM very early in the month. Saturn is also still visible in June,
found in the constellation Libra to the east of Mars low in the southeast. Venus is still visible low in the
east to ENE pre-dawn morning sky.
June 2, ........... Bright International Space Station Passage - Weather permitting, Monadnock skywatchers can
view a bright ISS passage across our sky tonight. Begin watching in the WSW at a few minutes before
10:42 PM. The ISS will appear as a starlike object low in the sky and gradually increase in altitude and
brightness. It will reach a maximum altitude of 65 degrees in the ENE bout 3 minutes later at 10:45 PM.
At that point, as it passes almost directly through the center of the Big Dipper, its maximum brightness
will be - 2.9, by far outshining any star in the sky. The ISS will then slowly move lower in the sky,
disappearing in the NE at about 10:49 PM. (Unlike last month, in June the International Space Station's
orbital configuration provides us with several chances to observe it in the coming weeks. Please check
the Heavens Above website for a complete listing of all of these passages, both evening and morning)
June 3, ............ Second Bright ISS Passage - Tonight, again weather permitting, we will have a chance to view an
even brighter and higher ISS passage in the evening sky. Begin viewing near the horizon in the SW
a minute or two before the ISS scheduled appearance at 9:53 PM. The ISS should present itself as a
starlike object about 10 degrees above the horizon. It will then gradually rise, passing near Mars in
the SW as it moves toward its maximum altitude of 76 degrees, skirting near Arcturus, at 9:57 PM. The
ISS, after reaching its maximum altitude and brightness (magnitude - 3.4), will then head toward the
ENE horizon, just missing the star Vega, before winking out around 10:01 PM. Sky maps showing the
exact path of the ISS across our sky are available on the Heavens Above website. Just click on the
date of the passage.
June 5, ........... First Quarter Moon
June 13, ........... Full Moon - The Full Strawberry Moon - This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. The
relatively short harvesting season for strawberries come each year in June. In England the June full
moon is known as the Rose Moon.
June 15, ........... Lyrids Meteor Shower - A relatively minor shower which will be pretty much washed out by a just
passed full moon. Some possible meteors will be visible late on the night of the 15th, into the early
morning hours of the 16th.
June 19, ........... Last Quarter Moon
June 21, ........... Summer Solstice - Today marks the first "official" day of the summer season. At 6:51 AM EDT the
sun will reach its highest elevation in the northern hemisphere's noontime sky. At this point it "pauses"
before beginning its southward trip, lowering its noontime elevation each day until it reaches its lowest
altitude in December at the Winter Solstice. The word "solstice" is derived from two Latin words "sol"
(sun) and "stitium" (to stop) reflecting the pause in the northward movement at noon. Today generally
marks the longest daylight period and shortest night here at the mid-latitudes. Today, the sun will be
directly overhead at 23 1/2 degrees north latitude (Tropic of Cancer). Hawaii is the only US state in
which the sun reaches this position during the year. Key West, Florida just misses since its latitude is
24 1/2 degrees north latitude. Many still incorrectly equate our warmer summertime temperatures
with our distance from the sun. (Incidentally, a view held by some 50% of Harvard graduates in a poll
taken some years ago. Shocking, but not early as bad as the 40% of University of Miami seniors who
could not point out Florida on a blank state outline map of the US several years ago .... but I digress.....)
The truth is exactly the opposite. Our seasonal temperature changes are caused by the earth's axial tilt,
not our distance from the sun. In actuality, we are at our greatest distance from the sun in July, some
3 million miles more distant than in
June 27, ........... New Moon
MONADNOCK REGION NATURAL HISTORY EVENTS CALENDAR - June 2014
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.
June 1, .......... MacDowell Lake Open - The US Army Corps of Engineers has announced that MacDowell Lake in
Peterborough has officially opened for the season. The facility offers a variety of recreational facilities
as well as multiple nature trails and interpretive programs led by park rangers each Saturday and
Sunday. Interpretive exhibits are located in the main office. For more information: (603) 924-3431
June 3, .......... Environmental Studies Institute - The Art and Science of Nature Journals - Immerse yourself
in June's heady green with pen and paper, and start your own nature journal. We'll take inspiration from
nature writers and illustrators, and let our observations direct our inquiry to the forests, fields, plants
and animals surrounding the Harris Center. Bring something to sit on outside, and pencils, paper, cameras,
or colored pencils - whatever's your fancy. No experience necessary. This is a class for exploring our
skills. Will meet from 10 AM to noon on June 3, 10, 17 and 24 at the harries Center and local field sites. Cost
$48 for Harris Center members and $60 for non-members. Instructor Cynthia Nichols is a local naturalist
and teacher. To register, please contact Sara LeFebvre at 525-3394 or firstname.lastname@example.org
June 3, ........... Project Nighthawk Volunteer Training - To assess the status of Keene's breeding nighthawk population,
the Harris Center and New Hampshire Audubon are once again coordinating volunteer nighthawk surveys
on summer evenings in Keene. To become a Project Nighthawk volunteer, or to simple learn more about
this charismatic endangered bird, join us for this training on Tuesday June 3 at 7 to 8:30 PM at the Putnam
Science Center (Room 101) at Keene State College. We'll be indoors and then venture outside to look and
listen for nighthawks in the evening sky. For more information. contact Brett Amy Thelen at 358-2065 or
June 4, ........... Herrick's Cove, Connecticut River Paddle - Herrick's Cove offers a pleasant day of paddling through
extraordinary marshes and coves, favorite areas for bird watchers, especially during spring and ]fall
migrations. Expected sightings include muskrat, beaver, kingfisher, osprey, bald eagle, and songbirds
filling the alder, dogwood, and willow trees. The trip will take us up-river to Roundy's Cove on the
Vermont side, and the meanders of the Great Meadows on the NH side.We'll check out the rumors of a
bald eagle nesting on the Vermont shore opposite the Great Meadows inlet. We'll meet at 9:30 AM in the
Hannaford's parking lot on Putney Road in Brattleboro, to car and boat pool. Paddlers coming from the
north are welcome to meet us at the Herrick's Cove ramp/picnic area off Rt. 5, near Exit 6, I 91 at 10 AM.
The river water will still be cool: dress accordingly. We'll be lunching while paddling back with that in
mind. Brattleboro Outing Club program.
June 4, ........... Hidden History of the Hay Estate - Newbury - Part I - The Society for the Protection of New
Hampshire Forests and the Fells Historic Estate and Gardens are co-sponsoring two historic walks this
month called "The Hidden History of the Hay Estate. The first will examine evidence suggesting what the
Hay estate was like during the era of Clarence L. Hay. Both walks will be guided by Dave Anderson, the
Director of Education for SPNHF. 4 PM to 6 PM. Cost $5 for each walk. To register or more information
call (603) 763-4789 Ext 3. The walks begin at the Fells Welcome Kiosk in Newbury.
June 5, ........... Counting Bats for Conservation - In the face of White-nose Syndrome which is decimating bat
populations throughout the northeast, NH Fish and Game is looking for volunteers to help keep track of
NH bats by conducting "emergence counts" at bat roosts throughout the state. Join biologists Cynthia
Nichols and Laura Deming for a night of bat counting at a barn near the Harris Center to learn how you
can participate in this important citizen science project. The training is free, but space is limited and
registration is required. For more information, or to register, contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 358-2065
or email@example.com. Program co-sponsored by the Harris Center, NH Audubon, NH Fish and
Game and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 7:30 to 9 PM at the Harris Center in Hancock.
June 7, .......... Pisgah State Park Bird Walk - State officials Inge Seaboyer from the Division of Forests and Lands,
Forest Management Bureau, Jim Oehler, a state lands biologist from NH Fish and Game, and Steve
Roberge a Cheshire County extension forester will lead the birding walk. Participants will meet outside
the Pisgah State Park headquarters at 520 Old Chesterfield Road in Winchester at 6:45 AM. The walk
will focus on the first state timber sale area. Carpooling from Headquarters to Jon Hill Road will depart
at 7 AM. The walk will occur rain or shine. For more information contact Inge Seaboyer at 464-3453 or
June 7, ........... Distant Hill Gardens - Fern Walk - Lionel Shute, District Manager, Sullivan County Conservation
District will lead a Fern Walk in the woods of Distant Hill Gardens. Participants will learn how to identify
many of the native ferns and which species might do well under cultivation in your own garden. 10 AM
Distant Hill Gardens in Walpole. Part of the Open Garden Saturdays Program at Distant Hill. 10 AM. This
year Distant Hill is requesting a $5 donation to help defray the cost of these programs. Directions: take
Walpole valley Road left off of Rt 12A in Walpole. Then 2 miles to March Hill Road. Left for 1/4 mile to 507
March Hill Road. Driveway on the right.
Check out the Distant Hill Gardens website, their available trails and Open garden Saturdays Program
of Walks and Talks at http://www.distanthillgardens.org/about-distant-hill/
June 8, ............ Willard Pond Bird Walk - Join Sanctuary Steward Henry Walters for a moderately strenuous 3.5 mile
hike through the old sanctuary orchard following the ridgeline south from Bald Mountain. We'll monitor
the post orchard successional growth, along whose edges we may find singing Eastern Towhees,
Eastern Bluebirds, Nashville Warblers and perhaps a Ruffed Grouse. Meet at 9 AM in the parking lot
at the end of Willard Pond Road. Back by noon. For more information, contact Henry at (603) 525-3572
or firstname.lastname@example.org Harris Center Program.
June 10, .......... ESI - The Art and Science of Nature Journals - Session II - 10 AM to noon. The Harris Center.
June 11, ........... Pisgah Reservoir, Winchester, NH Paddle - Road conditions precluded this trip last year so we'll
try again. This pristine mountain lake requires a steep half mile, 30 minute, carry-in, but it's worth it.
Bring boat wheels if you have them. We'll meet at the new Wal-Mart in Hinsdale, NH at 10 AM to car/boat
pool, before driving east on Rt 119 to Reservation Road. From this intersection, it's about a mile and a
half drive up a dirt road to the parking area (ruts and mud during wet weather can make passage difficult
for low clearance, or non 4WD vehicles). This is a trip for "light" boats, but we'll all help each other to the
put-in. Pisgah is a well protected, gorgeous body of water. offering many islands, deep inlets and hidden
coves to explore. There are more than 5 miles of shoreline to paddle, and the water is deep, clear, and
unspoiled, also cool. Bring something warm to drink. Brattleboro Outing Club program.
June 16, .......... Mountain Laurel Walk - Naturalist Roger Haydock will lead us through Madame Sherri Forest (in NH)
to Indian Pond which is ringed with Mountain Laurel. Directions from Brattleboro: cross into NH on Rt. 9.
Take the first right (Mountain Road), then the first left (Gulf Road). The parking area will be about 2 miles
on the right. There's also a kiosk for Madame Sherri. 6 PM. Southeastern Vermont Audubon program.
June 17, .......... ESI - The Art and Science of Nature Journals - Session III - 10 AM to noon. The Harris Center.
June 17, ........... Vermont Rattlesnakes - Join Doug Blodgett, Wildlife Biologist with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife
Department for a talk at the Brook's Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vt. Doug has worked extensively
on game and non-game management programs. He was the leader of the Vermont Wild Turkey Project
team, and assisted on the black bear, deer, moose, furbearer, and peregrine falcon research projects.
Most recently, Doug's professional interest has focused on reptiles, and most specifically, rare snake
research in Vermont. Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society program.
June 17, ........... River Runners Volunteer Training - Help protect your favorite rivers and streams by learning how
to identify and monitor invasive aquatic plants with the New Hampshire Rivers Council's River Runners
citizen science project. Conservation commission members, budding citizen scientists, anglers, paddlers,
and anyone else who is interested in our local rivers are all encouraged to attend. Volunteers are asked
to monitor at least one site at least one time between June and October. 6:30 - 8:30 PM at the Harris
Center in Hancock. The workshop is free but registration is required. For more information or to register,
please conract the Rivers Copuncil at email@example.com or (603) 228-6472.
June 18, ........... Hidden History of the Hay Estate - Part II - participants in this second of two walks at the Hay
Estate will discover how the Hay family and workers on the estate experienced the Fells from evidence
and artifacts that are hidden in plain sight. Guided by Dave Anderson, Director of Education for SPNHF,
the walk will cover about 1.5 miles. Cost $5. Attendance for part II not contingent on participation in part I.
Tour will run from 4 PM to 6 PM and will begin at the Fells Welcome Kiosk. To register or for additional
information, call (603) 763-4789, Ext 3.
June 21, ........... Exploring the Hogback - Wander the clearings and forests of Hogback Mountain with Marlboro
biologist Bob Engel, looking for songbirds and other curiosities. Meet at the Alpen Glo parking lot
on Route 9 atop Hogback Mountain at 8 AM. Southeastern Vermont Audubon program.
June 24, ........... ESI - The Art and Science of Nature Journals - Session IV - 10 AM to noon. The Harris Center
June 28-29, ..... Gilsum Rock Swap and Mineral Show - The 50th annual show will be held rain or shine on the
fields of the Gilsum Elementary School, Route 10 in Gilsum, 8 AM to 6 PM on Saturday the 28th and
8 AM to 4 PM on Sunday the 29th. Dealers, collectors and natural history enthusiasts from all over the
region congregate to enjoy the booths of over 65 dealers, swappers and NH rock and mineral collectors.
The Gilsum region's many mines operated until the 1940s and produced minerals such as Mica , Feldspar
and Beryl. Today, mineral collectors prize specimens from this area. Attendees can purchase or swap
mineral or rock specimens, precious gems, jewelry, and a bewildering variety of geologically related
items. A wide variety of interesting activities for the entire family. Well worth a visit on one or both days.
For additional information (http://www.gilsum.org/rockswap/about-the-show). Listing this event each
June reminds me to mention New Hampshire mineral collector Tom Mortimer's website of the most
extensive collections of NH minerals anywhere. Well worth taking a few minutes to view this amazing
collection at Tom's website (http://mindatnh.org/)
REGIONAL NATURAL HISTORY , RECREATIONAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS
....... Harris Center for Conservation Education. Education, school programs, land
and wildlife preservation, programs, hiking, weekend events. Open year round.
Mon.-Fri. 83 Kings Highway, Hancock, NH 03449. www.Harris.org
....... New Hampshire Audubon Society. A statewide organization, dedicated to
the conservation of wildlife habitat . Programs in wildlife conservation,
land protection, environmental policy, and environmental education.
84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, NH. www.nhaudubon.org
....... The Nature Conservancy. A leading conservation organization working to protect
ecologically important lands and waters in New Hampshire. 22 Bridge St., Concord,
NH 03301 www.nature.org
....... Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. A leading statewide
land conservation organization dedicated to protecting the state's most important
landscapes while promoting wise use of its renewable natural resources. www.spnhf.org
........ Monadnock Conservancy. The Monadnock Conservancy's mission is to work with
communities and landowners to conserve the natural resources, wild and working lands,
rural character and scenic beauty of the Monadnock region. Visit their website:
........ New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Conserves, manages and protects
New Hampshire's fish, wildlife, and marine resources. www.WildNH.com
....... Friends of Pisgah - A volunteer organization dedicated to assisting in the preservation
of Pisgah State Park located in southwestern Cheshire County. The organization has been
involved in the development and maintenance of the park's trail system for many years.
........Friends of the Wapack - an independent, non-profit organization composed of hikers,
volunteers, and landowners dedicated to the preservation of the 21 mile long trail from Mt.
Watatic in northern Mass. to North Pack here in New Hampshire.
........ Brattleboro Outing Club - The BOC offers an opportunity to participate in year-round
outdoor activities including kayaking, canoe trips and cross country skiing. For additional
........ Keene Mineral Club - Founded in 1948 the Keene Mineral Club is an active group of
collectors of 100 or so members whose interests cover the full spectrum of mineral related
topics: crystals, minerals, gems, lapidary, micromounts, fossils and more. The club holds
regular monthly meetings, publishes an award winning newsletter and sponsors frequent
local and regional field trips. Membership is encouraged for all ages and levels of interest.
....... Keene Amateur Astronomers Club - Founded in 1957, the club has a goal of enhancement
of Amateur Astronomy through fellowship, sharing knowledge and enjoyment of the hobby. The
KAA holds monthly meetings, provides outreach programs, and holds regular viewing sessions
at their own observatory. Membership is open to students, parents, beginners, backyard
amateurs and experienced professionals. Meetings and observing sessions are open to all.
MONADNOCK NATURAL HISTORY RESOURCES
......... Bringing Nature Home: How to Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants - Douglas W.
Tallamy. Here is a recently updated and expanded edition of Tallamy's 2007 contribution to
our understanding of the ecological interactions between plants and wildlife. An essential
guide for anyone interested in increasing biodiversity in the garden and around the home.
Provides the rationale behind our use of native plants and a powerful and compelling
illustration of how the choices we make as gardeners can profoundly impact the diversity
life in our yards, towns and on our planet.
......... Out on a Limb: What Black Bears have Taught Me About Intelligence and Intuition
- Benjamin Kilham. "Out on a Limb is a brilliant revelation about black bears and a paean to
human potential. After decades spent caring for orphan bears and releasing them into the
wild, Ben Kilham, a dyslexic animal lover, has now summarized what he has learned about
their rich social complexity and humanlike intentionality. The result is to turn a supposedly
familiar species into a creature of unsuspected acuity. Part science, part intuition, this
enticing natural history is a provocative argument about animal minds, and an intimate
celebration of life in the New Hampshire woods." ... Richard Wrangham
For some additional Information on the book and Benjamin Kilham's background and regional
speaking schedule: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/out_on_a_limb:hardcover
.......... Northern Woodlands Magazine - A quarterly magazine devoted to advancing forest
stewardship in the northeast, and to increase the understanding of, and appreciation for,
the natural wonders, economic productivity, and ecological integrity of the region's forests.
It always contain excellent natural history articles by prominent regional and national authors.
Worth the subscription price alone for Virginia Barlow's Seasonal Natural History Calendar
and her frequent articles. John Harrigan, NH's iconic north country author, speaker, weekly
columnist for the Union Leader and numerous regional publications, once said "If I had to dump
all but one of my periodical subscriptions, and that's plenty, the survivor would be Northern
Woodlands. I'd put Northern Woodlands on the must-read list for anyone who lives, works in,
cares about, or just visits New England. It has become the magazine I can simply cannot do
........ New Hampshire Wildlife Journal - Published bi-monthly by the New Hampshire Fish and
Game Department. Dedicated to creating an awareness and appreciation for the state's fish and
wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend. Always contains interesting and informative
articles on regional flora and fauna and environmental issues. (www.WildNH.com)
......... Forest Notes - The quarterly magazine of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire
Forests. The magazine includes selections dealing with Society properties, events, land
acquisition projects and frequently features articles on regional natural history. Subscription is
available with Society membership. Regularly features Dave Anderson's Natures View column.
Dave, SPNHF's Director of Education and Volunteer Services, is a long time forest and wildlife
naturalist, group field leader and is known for his prominence in regional land conservation and
forest stewardship initiatives. Worth the price of membership for his essays alone. Information
........ Afield - New Hampshire Audubon's quarterly program and events guide. The publication
features articles, programs, and activities offered at all of New Hampshire Audubon's centers
and regional chapters throughout the state. The current issue and back issues are available at:
........ 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
available at www.ablions.org
.......... NOAA National Weather Service Website - The NOAA Weather service website is by far the
most detailed and informative source of local and regional weather information. Almost all of the
other online weather websites and media outlets get their basic information from this source. See
the January 2011 MNA for a more detailed description of some of the features of this useful
.......... Latitude and Longitude - To determine the exact Latitude and Longitude of a specific location,
visit the website (http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html). For a more detailed description of the
information available on this website, see the January 2011 MNA.
.......... Topographic Maps - Free, New Hampshire topographic maps are available for viewing or
download by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. (www.wildnh.com/maps)
......... The New Hampshire Birding List - A website providing daily reports of sightings and
comments from birdwatchers all over the state, with regular posts from the Monadnock regions
top birders. (http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/NHBD.html)
......... 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
The 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 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.