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Nature Almanac is a monthly bulletin board of natural history
activity in the southern
region, a mixed transitional forest upland of gentle hills, rivers, streams,
and lakes located in
Hillsborough counties. Covering approximately 800 square miles, it ranges in general elevation from 400 to 1200 feet
sea level. Numerous peaks exceed 1400 feet, the highest of which,
"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind
is there adequate perception of the world." ... Hans Margolius
MONADNOCK NATURE NOTES........ February 2014
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.
February, ......... "There's a simplicity about the resting world of winter that is neither stark nor colorless, once the eye
has accustomed itself to the season. It is elemental and direct, and thus has its own clean beauty
which is enhanced by winter itself, by the long shadows and the tempered highlights. But it is so
different from the full color of autumn and from the burgeoning greens of spring that it is our habit
to dismiss it as a time of dull grays and lusterless browns..... Even the snow on such a landscape has
the same simplicity, carved and shaped though it is by the wind. Is there anything more beautiful, in
the purely esthetic sense, than a snowdrift curled in the shape of the storm's breath ? In its cold,
clean way it seems to sum up the direct, unblemished beauty of our icy months." ..... Hal Borland,
Twelve Moons of the Year.
February 1, ........ A large woodpecker was seen hoping around my 200 year old sugar maple. I believe it to be a Hairy,
with a small band of red on only the back crown of its head, mostly dark with some white splotches
on the wings. .... Michael Buffum, Swanzey
February 2, ........ One night last week the deer ate all of the foliage off 5 of my arbor vitae. I'm used to them eating my
hostas, but they have never bothered the arbor vitae before. I was especially perturbed because I had
grown these 5 from seedlings I found alongside the foundation of my house. They had come from two
larger bushes that I had planted 38 years ago and which I had removed in order to build an addition.
This puzzles me on two accounts. I was under the impression that arbor vitae were more or less "deer
proof". I also wondered why they would choose this in a winter that has been so mild. Surely there is
plenty of forage for them in the woods,. I'm hoping they will come back (not the deer), and, if they do,
rest assured that they will be sprayed with that lovely-smelling putrescent egg solid. I am waiting to
hear from the horticulture dept at UNH about the possibility of saving my bushes. I contacted the
February 2, ......... Today walked down to the Westmoreland boat launch in hopes of finding waterfowl on the Connecticut
River. I was successful; I saw 10 Common Mergansers (all males) and 10 Hooded Mergansers (eight
males, two females) in small patches of open water. I also had several Horned larks fly overhead. The real
highlight, though, was finding a Winter Wren. The wren was hoping along the edges of a stream covered
with a thick layer of ice, favoring spots where the melting snow and ice had exposed bare ground along
the banks. Several times the bird would even hop down into holes in the ice ! I assumed that it was
managing to stay dry by finding a perch down inside each hole and that it was after insects or other
invertebrates surviving in the water. I suppose that it also may have been simply drinking. A very
entertaining behavior that made this sighting even more enjoyable. .... Adam Burnett, Westmoreland
February 5, ......... Yesterday there was an American tree sparrow under the feeders, first one seen in the yard this winter.
It was back again this morning along with a pair of cardinals. Male and female hairy woodpeckers at the
suet feeder, along with the usual chickadees, white breasted nuthatches and downy woodpeckers.
There is usually one red breasted nuthatch, but I haven't seen it yet today. .....
February 8, ......... This is a good winter for me & the wildlife to roam. Years ago Fisher tracks were the first and most
frequent to be seen. Now not so. The scarce track is rabbit (hare). More fox and fewer coyotes.
Because of the substantial illegal (night) deer shooting the last several years there are few or no
tracks where I normally see them. .... Alan Chandler, Hancock
....... I had occasion to drive down to
along Route 12 down towards the Mass border. It was about an hour before sunrise. I immediately
noticed the amazingly bright planet Venus in the pre-dawn southeastern sky. It was brilliant. As I drove
long it remained visible through the trees, in the woods alongside the roadway. It almost appeared to be
following me ! It suddenly dawned on me why some people have actually called 911 in the past to report
a UFO sighting. .... Ed Steele, Keene
February 15, ....... I haven't heard the aggressive screech of a Bluejay in my maple tree for a while until early this morning.
.... Michael Buffum, Swanzey
February 16, ....... "Wan February with weeping cheer,
whose cold hand guides the youngling year
down misty roads of mire and rime.
Before thy pale and fitful face
the shrill winds shift the clouds aspace
through skies the morning scarce may climb.
Thine eyes are thick with heavy tears.
but lit with hope that light the year's."
... Algernon Chares Swinburne,
A Carol's Year: February, submitted
by Ellen Taylor, Rindge
....... An item from the "Yogi
Berra - You Can Observe a
making a cup of coffee and sitting down at the kitchen table to read the morning newspaper, I caught
some motion out of the corner of my eye. There sitting calmly on the snow, about 50 feet away under a
backyard crabapple tree, was a huge, beautiful, male bobcat. He was just sitting there looking up at two
gray squirrels working on their usual morning "reverse Houdini act ", trying to get into my bird feeders.
The bobcat wasn't in any "predation mode", not in the least bit tense, just calmly watching their antics
(bobcat TV ?). My binoculars were right at hand and I could not have gotten a better look at him from
that distance. He appeared to be in wonderful shape, with a rich coat. After about 15 minutes, he ambled
off toward the rear of the yard, hopped the stone wall, and was gone. What a neat way to start the day !
...... Chuck Schmidt, Hancock
February 18, ....... Unbelievable treat in our backyard today... a beautiful barred owl landed right on top of the shepherd's
hook of our bird feeder, which is home to a busy vole. The owl then flew up to a perch in the hemlock
on the edge of the yard, and incredibly stayed there for at least the next two hours, watching (and
napping a bit) while I took as many pictures as I could before it got dark. It knew I was there but tolerated
my presence. .....
February 19, ....... During the last ten days to two weeks I have heard an intermittent loud tapping on the outside wall of my
bedroom. Each time I went to the area and looked out the window, I saw nothing to explain the noise.
Yesterday it happened again and when I looked out I saw a bluejay flying away from the side of the house
above the snow down near ground level. As I looked closer I noticed a bunch of bird tracks in that spot and
a line of paint about four feet long that had been pecked away. The bird(s?) had been picking the paint off
the house while standing atop the two feet or so of snow on the ground there. It looked like they had been
at it for quite some time, and only in that spot. This was a new one on me, so I went to GOOGLE and typed
"blue jays, house paint" and lo and behold there were numerous references to this phenomenon. The
references seemed to suggest that the birds were trying to ingest the paint much like they would grit. I'm
attaching the one website article that described the
.... Steve Harris, Hillsborough
February 20, ....... Northern Hancock update - This has been quite a winter here for birds ! We never saw any pine siskins nor
the redpolls. But we sure had a bumper crop of everything else. Chickadees came out of the woodwork, as
did the titmice and the nuthatches. Not too many juncos, however. We had many more juncos last winter.
Noticed more cedar waxwing activity and the blue jay population boomed. We have, commonly, thirty or
more blue jays feeding right now. last fall, we were delighted to see six or seven young mourning doves
along with their parents. They've been a little scarce during the winter. Also last fall, we saw a couple of
new broods of phoebes. Another note would be that we have three new young cardinals - two female and
one male. They come around very late in the day - dusk, when there's no competition. Last, but not least,
we have a herd of turkeys. Very intelligent critters. They know exactly when to show up for food. They're
amazing ....and persistent. Also, the squirrels, we have about twelve grays visiting regularly but only two
or so reds - which is puzzling because we had at least nine or ten last year. Don't know what happened.
That's about it - except for the pileated woodpecker that likes to hang around here and even snoop for
some seeds once in a while. ...... Chris Walker, Hancock
February 21, ....... Some recent interesting and informative recent articles to curl up with on a snowy day (it's not over yet).
"Tree Larder: Beneath the bark lies a hidden tasty world", Dave Anderson in the Winter issue of
Hurricane of 38 inform one man's quest to know his land". Stephen Long, from the same issue. ....
"Gift of the Bobcat:
Hampshire Fish and Game's January/February edition of their magazine, New Hampshire Wildlife Journal.
...... "Staghorn Sumac" (Rhus typhina), Virginia Barlow, in the Winter edition of Northern Woodlands
All three of these publications should be regular arrivals in the mailboxes of all Monadnock Region
naturalists. ... CS
February 21, ....... Late-winter thaws regenerate human spirits, but they can have adverse effects on vegetation. A false
spring followed by severe cold can damage trees by freezing cells that have "de-hardened" due to the
warm weather. Plants achieve their resistance to cold through a gradual hardening process that takes
place in autumn, allowing them to tolerate cold temperatures in winter that they cannot tolerate at other
times of year. Hardening appears to be a three step process, although not many northwoods plants reach
the third stage. The third stage conditions the buds of certain northern trees, including white spruce
and jack pine, giving them the ability to resist temperatures all the way down to - 112 degrees F.
resistance to freezing appears to be lost quickly in spring, so brief thaws in February can undo metabolic
changes that took an entire autumn to accomplish. .... John Bates
....... A single male wood duck flew over the
Home Depot parking lot (
its unmistakable white chin bridle. I was not able to find it searching the nearby White Brook where it
appeared to be heading. After a shrike-less winter, this is the second shrike I spotted in one week (the
other behind the
hunting from treetops in the shrub wetland on the west side of the road. Great views with binoculars and
spotting scope of the mask, steel gray body, pale breast with faint vermiculations, black wings and the
white wing patches as it flew. It was singing ! It seemed to mimic a cowbird bubble and made other calls
that were similar to bluebirds and many that we couldn't place. It would repeat the same call many times
(a dozen repetitions or more). It was not a loud singer. I have never heard a shrike sing before, outstanding
performance, ...... Wendy Ward,
February 23, ....... It was around midnight and I was making my usual rounds before turning in for the night. As I passed the
porch door, I thought I heard an owl off in the distance, so I poked my head out the door for a minute. I
didn't hear the owl, but I was rewarded with a spectacular view of the western sky in all of its late winter
splendor. It was an absolutely crystal clear night with temperatures heading for the single digits. All of
the brightest winter stars and constellations were laid out across the western sky. Sirius and Canis Major
off to the southwest. Orion with its contrasting red Betelguese and blue-white Rigel more towards the
west, and Capella higher in the sky. Procyon, Castor and Pollux rounded out the scene. And there right
the middle of this array of gems, was Jupiter shining brighter that all of them. Truly a wonderful sight
I often forget what is right there, every clear night for our enjoyment. ......
February 25, ....... Peterborough, a town already with any outdoor attractions, has added another for those who like to
travel by foot - the Evans Flats Trail. I took my first hike on the trail in early February after two days of
nearly a foot of new snow had fallen on it. That meant I went around the path on snowshoes. The trail
is easy to find, just off the semi-circular loop at the end
was farmland not long ago. There were a few taller pines, and I noticed several black cherry trees along
that part of the trail. The
stepped over a very short bridge over what must be a stream in the summer but was just a very shallow
and smoothly snow covered depression. By that time the forest was more mature, with a typical mixture
of hardwoods with tall pines and hemlocks. The
path was also going uphill toward
There was a fine view from there of both North and South pack Monadnock. It was only a short distance
and I certainly hope to do just that. ...... Dick Jenkins, Excerpted, with permission from his Monadnock Shopper
News column "Outdoor Odysseys".
If you haven't already, make sure to pick up a copy of Dick's book "Monadnock Region Odysseys:
Hiking, Paddling, Cycling, Observing" a compilation of many of his favorite trips in the Monadnock
region. Available at the Toadstool and on Amazon. .... CS
February 25, ....... I do my own shoveling and also shovel my roof to prevent ice dams, so by this time of year I am winter
weary and ready for spring. In fact I am almost ready enough for spring to go looking for it in February,
and this year was no different. I started in a low swampy area, where I know hundreds of skunk cabbages
(Symplocarpus foetidus) grow. I saw signs of new spring growth in the splotchy yellow and purple
spathes just starting to poke up out of the soil. My favorite thing about these plants is how, just as the
leaves start to unfurl, they really do look like cabbage leaves. I've also seen soft gray willow catkins and
noticed that the sun is much higher in the sky when I'm on my noontime walks, and its warmth is much
more pronounced. As if that weren't enough to tell me spring was in the air, the woods are suddenly
filled with bird song, some liverworts are entering their reproductive stages, and the vernal witch hazel
buds are just waiting for a couple or warm, sunny days. It'll be a while yet before the red winged
blackbirds return and the spring peepers start their songs, but spring is definitely on the way. This year
it will be very welcome indeed. ..... Allen Norcross, Swanzey
February 25, ....... I'm surprised to see a Red-bellied woodpecker at my suet feeder, never having had one here before.
..... Bruce Boyer, Jaffrey
Interestingly, I had one here in my yard in Hancock the day before yesterday. Mine was at the black
oil sunflower seed feeder, not at the suet where one might expect it. .... CS
February 26, ........ Our cherry tree has become popular in the last week, tufted timice by the dozens ! All making a mess
of fermented cherries. Coloring the snow below the tree in a dark red color. .... Mike Buffum, Swanzey
Learning Winter Survival techniques from Nature
The current spate of arctic weather brings winter survival into sharp focus. Only the hardiest of
birds remain in our deep forest neighborhood. Cheerful chickadees, feisty goldfinches and prehistoric
looking wild turkeys visit the front porch sunflower feeders each day. They're joined by a pair of tufted
titmice, white breasted nuthatches, and occasional pine siskins. Rarely we see purple finches, juncos
and blue jays. But that's it. No suburban cardinals, house finches or mourning doves. No city pigeons
You have to admire the tough winter birds. Adaptations allow them to remain year round residents.
These natives use metabolic tricks such as controlled shivering to warm muscles and fluffing downy
feathers to create air space in their plumage to cope with extreme cold in northern climes. Their weed
seed and waste grain diet spares them the risk and energy expense of migrating south when insect
protein is unavailable in winter. Chickadees, titmice and nuthatches nest "indoors" at in hollow tree
cavities which lets them breed earlier in spring than the "outdoor" nest builders which arrive later to
build nests and eat insects. In short, winter resident birds are resourceful, frugal Yankees. Like you,
they tough-it-out rather than winter in
Sharing the front porch stage beneath the bird feeders are wild turkeys. a bachelor flock of eight
males, bearded old toms and young jakes. A sorority flock of twenty to thirty hens also visits
occasionally.The toms visit the front porch hourly throughout the day to clean-up spilled sunflower
seed hulls. They pick grit in the road scraped clean by the snowplow. They till-up oak leaves from
the roadside ditches, stopping rural traffic - such as it is.
There are more red oak acorns in the woods this winter compared to last. Consequently squirrels
haven't been a nuisance at the birdfeeders. Acorns are eagerly sought by gray squirrels, turkeys and
deer. Deer staff the night shift, pawing through patches of oak leaves where turkeys tilled acorns from
the shallow snow during the day. Deer and turkeys flatten the snow pack under apple trees where
lingering windfalls cling to the branches , a time-release frozen food dispenser. The decent hemlock
cone seed crop occupies industrious little red squirrels which have well stocked conifer seed pantries
beneath the snow.
Fresh tracks in the snow now reveal where winter fur bearers are hunting, feeding, sleeping and
beginning to seek mates. Foxes and coyotes hunt mice, fishers follow squirrels, a bobcat stalks
snowshoe hare territories, and the deer - lots of deer
- are evidently well fed this winter too. The deer
are drawn to the logging slash and brush piles where fresh cut red oak and white birch twigs provide
nutritious buds that are like cheesecake compared to the drab, cold liver pate' diet of hemlock bark in
the deeryard. With snow depth now than halfway up deer forelegs, they've stopped wasting energy
by wandering in search of food and return nightly to reliable natural feeding sites: logging slash,
hardwood browse, acorns and windfall apples, just as the turkeys return daily to the porch.
I like to think that Saint Francis of
winter kindness I can bestow on the animals that inhabit my farm and the surrounding woods.
The black oil sunflower seed bill will be paid in full with spring birdsong. Indeed just this past week,
the chickadees began the two-note prelude to what will become a swelling symphony as the days
grow noticeably longer, if not warmer in the next few weeks.
Dave Anderson, excerpted, with permission, from
the Society for the Protection of
Forest's "Forest Journal" which appears every other
week in the
is Director of Education and Volunteer Services for
MONADNOCK SKIES - March 2014
March, ......... March Constellations - Winter's Brightest Stars - Early in March, Monadnock skywatchers
can continue to enjoy the winter season's grouping the of brightest stars of the year. Called the
Winter Hexagon by some, the Winter Oval, or the Celestial "G" by others, this region of the sky
boasts 8 of the brightest "first magnitude" stars visible here in the northern mid-latitudes. Early in
the month this stellar grouping is visible high in the south - southwestern sky. around 8 to 9 PM.
By the end of March these stars fill the southwestern - western sky around 9 to 10 PM, before
beginning to set around 11 PM to midnight. The very bright planet Jupiter continues to dominate
this region of the sky, being found amidst the stars of the Winter Hexagon as they march westward.
To familiarize yourself with this stellar assemblage: find the prominent constellation Orion the
Hunter in the southeast. Locate the brilliant blue-white star Rigel in the lower right hand corner
of the constellation. This star, sixth brightest in all the sky at magnitude + 0.12, marks Orion's left
foot as he faces westward. Then move slightly lower and to the left (eastward) to the brighter star
Sirius in Canis Major, (one of Orion's hunting dogs). Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky at
magnitude - 1.46. Then move upwards and slightly to the east to another brilliant star, Procyon the
seventh brightest star in our sky at magnitude + 0.34. Procyon resides in the constellation Canis Minor
(the Little Dog). Almost directly above Procyon are the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini,
the Twins. Pollux, the lower of the two, shines at magnitude +1.15. Castor, the other twin, magnitude
+ 1.96, is just above Pollux and only a "finger width" away. Continuing upward and slightly to the
right (westward) we arrive at Capella, magnitude + 0.71.in the constellation Auriga, the Charioteer.
From Capella, move downward and to the right to arrive at the orange-red Aldeberan, the "eye" of
Taurus the Bull, shining at magnitude + 0.85. To complete the "Celestial G", move downward and
slightly back to the left (eastward) to the brilliant red giant star Betelgeuse (magnitude +0.42), the
eighth brightest star in our sky which marks the bar of the "Celestial G". For additional information
March, ...... The Planets This Month - Jupiter dominates the night sky for the entire month of March. Look
for the planet, shining at a brilliant - 2.3 magnitude in the constellation Gemini. Early in the month
it crosses the meridian (due south) at about 8 PM. Later in the month it move slowly westward, but
is still high in the sky for the entire month. Beautifully placed for naked eye or telescopic viewing,
The planet is located in the region of the Winter Hexagon and can't be missed. Monadnock
Skywatchers 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. Check with your
local library - many in the Monadnock region have small telescopes available for checkout by patrons
courtesy of the NH Astronomical Society's Library Telescope Program. Mars rises in the east about
3 hours after sunset early in the month, 2 hours after sunset at midmonth .
Venus continues to dominate the morning sky, shining at a brilliant magnitude of - 4.4 to -4.7 in the
in the southeast before dawn. Venus stops being viewed as a crescent on March 22 when its at its
greatest elongation, 47 degrees west of the sun. Saturn is still visible in the morning sky in the
constellation Libra during march. Mercury is also visible very low in the east-southeastern sky
before dawn during the first week of March. Observers with a good view of an unobstructed
eastern horizon may be able to catch a glimpse of this elusive planet, about 20 degrees to the
lower left of Venus on these nights.
March 1, ...... New Moon
March 9, ......... Daylight Savings Time Begins - Daylight Saving Time begins in the northeast at 2 AM Sunday
March 9th. Most people make it a practice of setting their clocks ahead one hour ("spring forward")
before going to bed Saturday night March 8.
March 16, ....... Full Moon - The Full Worm Moon - This month finds a variety of full moon nicknames in use in the
heralding the arrival of robins, referred to the February full moon as the Full Worm Moon. In more
northern climes, the Full Crow Moon indicates the noticeable cawing of these birds marking the
coming of spring. As warmer days thawed the snow cover and freezing nights re-froze it, settlers often
referred to the March full moon as the Full Crust Moon. If maple sugaring had started, the name Full
Sap Moon was often used.
March 20, ......... Vernal Equinox - Spring officially begins at 12:57 PM EDT today.
March 23, ......... Last Quarter Moon
March 22, ......... Venus
of venues on the morning of the 22nd.
MONADNOCK REGION NATURAL HISTORY EVENTS CALENDAR - March 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.
March 1, ....... Inaugural
Hike on the New Trail to Kulish Ledges - The
north in an unbroken corridor from Kulish
Ledges in Nelson to Route 9 in Stoddard - and the
Committee recently finished cutting a new and improved route to the Ledges. This new path replaces the
now un-maintained trail that once ran from
hike up the new trail. We'll see some stunning bridgework and several lookout points, including East
Pinnacle and Kulish Ledges. Bring lunch and meet at 9 AM at the Kulish Ledge trailhead on Bailey Brook
Road/Old Stoddard Road in Nelson, approximately 1.5 miles from Route 123. Back by 2 PM. Harris
March 2, ........ Peep-Peep * Chirp-Chirp * Buzz-Buzz: Knowing Your Pollinators - Honey bees may be the best
known pollinators, but there are many other bees, beetles, butterflies, birds and bats who keep our farms,
gardens and wild places growing. Join beekeeper Jodi Turner of Imagine That Honey ! for an introduction
to honeybees and some of these other pollinators, and to learn how you can make a difference. We'll
identify products to watch out for, and ways to attract beneficial insects to your yard and garden. Sunday
10 AM to noon at the
information contact Jodi at email@example.com or (603) 381-1717. To register, please
contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-3394.
Winter Survival and
could save your life ? Join us for four Monday afternoons to learn how to build a fire, make a shelter, use
a compass , collect water and track animals. Hear the story of "Hatchet" Gary Paulsen's classic tale about
a young boy's quest for survival in the wilderness. Bring your sense of adventure! This afterschool
program for children in Grade 3 - 6 - will meet with instructor Catlin Houlihan on Mondays, March 3, 10, 17,
and 24 from 3:30 to 5 PM at the
contact Susie Spikol Faber at email@example.com To register, please contact Sara LeFebvre at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-3394.
March 4, ......... Karner Blue Butterfly Restoration - Hedi Holman, wildlife diversity biologist at the N.H. Fish and Game
Dept's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, details how habitat restoration through controlled
fire, wildflower plantings and captive rearing of larval caterpillars led to the restoration of the endangered
Blue butterfly. 7 PM at the Henry Baldwin Environmental Center at
program kicks off the popular Spring Corttrell- Baldwin Environmental Lecture Series on Tuesday nights in
March and April. No pre-registration is necessary. For more information on this program and others in the
series, call 224-9945.
March 4, ........ Around Your World in 80 Birds: Environmental Studies Institute - Initial meeting of a 4 session
program (March 4, 11, 18, 25) This four week course will serve as a beginners introduction to birding. We'll
teach you how to best use your binoculars and field guide, how to look for a birds most telling features,
and how not to be intimidated by more experienced birders. We'll focus on 20 species per week, sorting
out identification challenges, and giving you a window into their lives, habitats and personalities. Each
class will include a period of indoor study with slides and mounts, followed by practice outdoors on the
9 AM to 11 AM at the
Henry Walters is a teacher, falconer, and most recently New Hampshire Audubon's seasonal naturalist
at the Pack Monadnock Raptor
Migration Observatory in
LeFebvre at 525-3394 or email@example.com
March 7, ........ Easy Going Hike Along the Harrisville Railroad Bed - Join Ollie Mutch and Lee baker for a snowshoe
(or hike if there's no snow) from
this moderately easy three mile trek. Bring lunch, and meet at 10 AM in the parking area beside Ocean State
Job Lot (at the intersection of Routes 101 and 202 in
March 8, ........ Wilson Tavern Walk - Join Meade Cadot, Dave Anderson of the Society for the Protection of NH Forests,
and Alan Rumrill of the
through 361 newly conserved acres south of Route 9. The moderately easy, two mile hike will take us to
the site of the 18th century Wilson Tavern, and through excellent wildlife habitat (especially for moose).
Bring lunch, and carpool from the
and SPNHF. For more information, please contact Eric Masterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603)
March 8, ....... Friends of Pisgah Trail Clearing Session - Meet at the Kilburn Trailhead at 10 AM on Route 63 in
March 9, ....... Cross-country
afternoon of cross-country skiing, ideal for skiers of intermediate ability of better. Expect 3 - 4 miles of gently
rolling terrain, with one steep drop, and an elevation change of 250 feet. We'll depart promptly at 2 PM
(Daylight Savings Time) from the trailhead parking lot at
the junction of
(just past the
Conservation Commission. For more information, please contact Ben at email@example.com or (603)
March 10, ........ "Hatchet's"
Winter Survival and
March 11, ........ Around Your World in 80 Birds - ESI Program - Session II - 9 AM - 11 AM, Harris Center (see March 4)
March 13, ........ "Salamander Crossing Brigades" Volunteer Training - Each spring, volunteers are trained to serve
on Salamander Crossing Brigades at amphibian vernal pool road crossings throughout the Monadnock
Region. These volunteers count amphibians and safely user the animals across roads to their breeding
pools on one or more "Big Nights". To
join the ranks, attend either this volunteer training
Saturday training at the
information please contact Brett Amy Thelen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 358-2065.
March 17, ........ "Hatchet's"
Winter Survival and
March 18, ........ Around Your World in 80 Birds - ESI Program - Session III - 9 AM - 11 AM, Harris Center (see March 4)
March 18, ........ Bald Eagle Recovery Efforts - Join Biologist Chris Martin as he details successes and failures over
nearly three decades of bald eagle population recovery
review the management efforts and partnerships which have facilitated the return of bald eagles in the
Monadnock Region. Chris martin has worked as a raptor biologist for NH Audubon for 24 years, focusing
on monitoring and management of the state's endangered and threatened birds of prey in collaboration
with NH Fish and Game. He coordinates the
colleagues in neighboring
second in this springs Cottrell -
more information, contact Tina at 224-9945 Ext 313.
March 18, ........ "Symbol of the Sun: Raptors and Us" - The relationship between humans and birds of prey goes
back thousands of years. An interactive slide show and discussion is punctuated with live birds of prey
that will help us see what our ancestors saw as they watched these magnificent predators. We will meet
a sun god's falcon, witche's owl, varmint hawk, and the symbol of our country. Michael Clough, Southern
program of the
March 22, ........ Willard Pond Owl Prowl with the Young Birders Club - Join naturalists and Young Birder's Club
leaders Henry Walters and Cynthia Nichols for an enchanted evening searching for owls. "Whooo"
knows "whooo" we will hear and see on this nighttime walk through the woods? After the Prowl, we'll
gather inside the Willard Pond cottage where there will be hot chocolate and a toasty fire. To join
the fun, meet in the Sanctuary parking lot at the end of Willard Pond Road in Hancock at 7 PM. Done
by 8 PM. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight! Open to all ages, and cosponsored by the Harris
Center and the Harriers Young Birders Club. For more information, contact Susie Spikol Faber at
email@example.com or 525-3394.
March 23, .......
observing session at the Norway Hill Christmas tree farm at 7 PM. Telescopes will be available and weather
permiting, this will be a great opportunity to view Jupiter in all its glory, along with its retinue of brighter
Galilean satellites and all of the spectacular winter stars and constellations. A variety of deep space objects
including the Great Nebula in Orion will be on the viewing schedule. Rain date is March 30th. Car pooling
from the Library is suggested since parking space is limited. For additional information, contact Amy
Marcus at 525-4411.
23, ........ Annual
Waterfowl Safari Along the
likely to see a variety of ducks and other species northward-bound in spring migration. We'll have two
groups, one heading north from Hinsdale (departing at
8 AM from the Home Depot parking lot in
and the other heading south from
lunch and binoculars. Carpools return about 1 PM.
Cosponsored by the
For more information please contact Eric Masterson (firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-3394) or Phil Brown
at email@example.com or 525-3499.
March 24, ........ "Hatchet's"Winter Survival and
Hancock Town Library, (see March 3)
March 25, ........ Around Your World in 80 Birds - ESI Program - Session IV - 9 AM - 11 AM, Harris Center (see March 4)
March 26, ........ Exotic
Plants and Native Wildlife in
prevalent throughout the northeast. While invasive species can bring known changes to native plant
communities, their impacts on NH wildlife are less well understood. Join Matt Tarr (Wildlife Specialist with
UNH Cooperative Extension) for a talk on how exotic plants compare to native plants as wildlife habitat.
Matt will also provide a brief summary of his ongoing research on the impacts of exotic shrubs on NH
songbirds, and talk about how we can work with native and exotic plants to provide the most benefit to
Phil Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
March 29, ........ "Salamander Crossing Brigades" Volunteer Training - Each spring, volunteers are trained to serve
on Volunteer Crossing Brigades at amphibian road crossings throughout the Monadnock Region. These
volunteers count migrating amphibians and safely usher the animals across roads during one or more
"Big Nights". To join the ranks, attend either this Saturday morning training or the March 13 session in
REGIONAL NATURAL HISTORY , RECREATIONAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS
and wildlife preservation, programs, hiking, weekend events. Open year round.
the conservation of wildlife habitat . Programs in wildlife conservation,
land protection, environmental policy, and environmental education.
....... The Nature Conservancy. A leading conservation organization working to protect
ecologically important lands and waters in
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's fish, wildlife, and marine resources. www.WildNH.com
....... Friends of Pisgah - A volunteer organization dedicated to assisting in the preservation
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
outdoor activities including kayaking, canoe trips and cross country skiing. For additional
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
......... Monadnock region Odysseys: Hiking, Paddling, Cycling, Observing - Dick Jenkins.
Dick, the outdoor columnist for the Monadnock Shopper News, has collected his favorite
columns for this book. The outdoor adventures are broken down into sections for hiking,
paddling, cycling and observing. Dick has been exploring the Monadnock region for over
40 years. The former
yearly fall Audubon Raptor Migration Observatory) and a former teacher, he gets out nearly
every day exploring the beautiful Monadnock Region. Here, he shares his favorite experiences
weekly nature column for the
time, Granite Staters can read some of those essays in book form. Cole's column "Nature Talks
From Down on the Farm" is a blend of factual information on flora and fauna along with his own
observations on life, as seen from his Red Crow farm in Swanzey. His work has been compared
that of the poet Robert Frost, and Cole is a recipient
Award. Former NH Gov. Stephen Merrill says of Stacey Cole, "He embodies the best of our state
on wildlife, our natural beauty, and the strength of character of our citizens. He maintains a
youthful curiosity for all that is around him." A must for all Monadnock Region natural history
.......... 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
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 -
features articles, programs, and activities offered at all
and regional chapters throughout the state. The current issue and back issues are available at:
Guide - Antrim,and
page guide has recently been made available through towns halls, libraries and a wide variety of
business outlets throughout the northern
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.
Maps - Free,
download by the
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
Bird Alert -
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
Audubon's website: (http://www.nhaudubon.org/birding/rare-bird-alerts)
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
Mary's blog site should be a shortcut on the computer desktop of anyone interested in our natural
listing of 293
over 1100 images on the site are thumbnail and micromount sized specimen images were taken by
in the region (http://www.antrimnh.org/Pages/AntrimNH_WebDocs/Outdoor_Guide.pdf)
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
observations or subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the free e-mail, contact email@example.com . Please
note, the MNA is formatted to display on a full screen computer e-mail window. All e-mail addresses are secured
and held completely confidential. Past issues of the Monadnock Nature Almanac (from September 2010) are
available upon request.