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

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

      Hillsborough counties. Covering approximately 800 square miles, it ranges in general elevation from 400 to 1200 feet  

      above sea level. Numerous peaks exceed 1400 feet, the highest of which,  Mount Monadnock, rises to 3165 feet. 




                                                  "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  brimstone108@myfairpoint.net. 

                                        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 

                                       County Extension Service and they forwarded my question over there.  ....  Charlie Stevenson, Greenfield                         


      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..... Cheryl Champy, Peterborough


      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      


      February 14, .......  I had occasion to drive down to Boston very early yesterday morning.  Leaving Keene I was driving

                                        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


      February 18, .......   An item from the "Yogi Berra - You Can Observe a Lot By Looking"  File -  After treking to the mailbox,

                                        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.  .....  Olenka Cooley, Mont Vernon


      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 occurrence in New Hampshire.  Evidently it is pretty

                                          common.   (http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/Birdscope/Summer2001/Painting_eating_Jays.html)

                                              .... 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 Forest

                                           Notes, the Forest Society's quarterly magazine.  ..... "A Forest History Mystery:Clues and tales from the

                                           Hurricane of 38 inform one man's quest to know his land". Stephen Long,  from the same issue. ....

                                           "Gift of the Bobcat: New Hampshire's Elusive Wildcat is Making a Comeback", Cheryl Lyn Dybas, in New

                                           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


      February 22, .......     A single male wood duck flew over the Home Depot parking lot (Keene) giving mainly underside views with

                                          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 Surry Town Hall)  This shrike was on Airport Road in Swanzey. It was perching and

                                          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. ......  Maureen Pratt, Brattleboro


      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 of Evans Road, which runs westward from Elm

                                          Street in Peterborough. The first part of the trail goes through a dense but young stand of trees on what

                                          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 Nubanusit River was on my right. Soon the path turned a little to the left and I

                                          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 Mountain View Drive.

                                          There was a fine view from there of both North and South pack Monadnock. It was only a short distance

                                           back to Evans Road. It will be interesting to see how the trail and the woods change with the seasons

                                           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









         MONADNOCK MUSINGS                            



                                                                            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 siskinsRarely we see purple finches, juncos

                                    and blue jays. But that's it. No suburban cardinals, house finches or mourning doves. No city pigeons 

                                    house sparrows.  

                                          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 Florida

                                           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 Assisi, the patron saint of animals, fondly regards what small

                                     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 New Hampshire's

                                                   Forest's "Forest Journal" which appears every other week in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Dave

                                                   is Director of Education and Volunteer Services for the Forest Society.                                                        





   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

                                        access (http://earthsky.org/favorite-star-patterns/winter-circle-highlights-brightest-winter-stars)                                                              


      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 

                                         New England region. More southern areas, seeing the ground thawing and appearance of worm casts 

                                         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 and Waning Crescent Moon -  Don't miss the thin waning crescent moon to the upper left

                                          of venues on the morning of the 22nd.










                                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 Harris Center Supersanctuary now extends

                                 north in an unbroken corridor from Kulish Ledges in Nelson to Route 9 in Stoddard - and the Nelson Trails

                                 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 Greengate Road. Al Stoopps will lead the way on an inaugural

                                 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

                                 Center program.


      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 Harris Center in Hancock.  The workshop is free but registration is required.  For more

                                 information contact Jodi at  imaginethathoney@hotmail.com   or (603)  381-1717.   To register, please

                                 contact Sara at  lefevbre@harriscenter.org or  525-3394.        


      March 3, .........  "Hatchet's" Winter Survival and Wilderness Skills Afterschool Club -  What id an afterscool club

                                  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 Hancock Town Library. Co-sponsored by the Hancock Town Library and

                                  the Harris Center.  Cost $48 for Harris Center members, $60 for non-members. For more information,

                                  contact Susie Spikol Faber at spikol@harriscenter.org  To register,  please contact Sara LeFebvre at

                                  lefebvre@harriscenter.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

                                  Karner Blue butterfly.  7 PM at the Henry Baldwin Environmental Center at Fox Forest in Hillsborough. This

                                  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 

                                  Harris Center's grounds. Extra field guides and binoculars are available for use during the sessions.    

                             9 AM to 11 AM at the Harris Center. Cost $48 for Harris Center members, $60 for non-members. Instructor

                                  Henry Walters is a teacher, falconer, and most recently New Hampshire Audubon's seasonal naturalist

                           at the Pack Monadnock Raptor Migration Observatory in Peterborough.  To register, please contact Sara

                                  LeFebvre at 525-3394 or lefebvre@harriscenter.org


     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 Jaquith Road to the Nubanusit River. All ages and abilities are welcome on

                                  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 Peterborough). back by 2 PM. For more Info, please

                                  contact Ollie at (603) 386-5318 or wapack@peoplepc.com or Lee at snowman3137@gmail.com or (603)



      March 8, ........   Wilson Tavern Walk - Join Meade Cadot, Dave Anderson of the Society for the Protection of NH Forests,

                                  and Alan Rumrill of the Cheshire County Historical Society to explore the route of the old King's Highway

                                  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 Harris Center at 9 AM. Back by 2 PM.  Cosponsored by the Harris Center

                                  and SPNHF. For more information, please contact Eric Masterson at masterson@harriscenter.org or (603)



       March 8, .......   Friends of Pisgah Trail Clearing Session -  Meet at the Kilburn Trailhead at 10 AM on Route 63 in

                                  Hinsdale.  Bring lunch, water and tools or use ours.  For additional information, call John Herrick 256-6301


       March 9, .......   Cross-country Skiing in Francestown Town Forest - Join Ben Haubrich for a moderately strenuous 

                                  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 Farrington Road and Route 136

                                  (just past the Greenfield Town Line). Back by 5 PM.  Cosponsored by the Harris Center and the Francestown  

                           Conservation Commission. For more information, please contact Ben at bph03043@gmail.com or (603)



      March 10, ........ "Hatchet's" Winter Survival and Wilderness Skills Afterschool Club - Session II - 3:30 - 5 PM,

                                   Hancock Town Library (see March 3).


     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  in Keene or the

                                   Saturday training at the Harris Center on March 29. (no need to attend both).  Cosponsored by the Harris

                                   Center and Keene State College.  7- 9 PM at the Keene State College Science Center (Room 154).  For more

                                   information please contact Brett Amy Thelen at  thelen@harriscenter.org  or (603) 358-2065.


      March 17, ........  "Hatchet's" Winter Survival and Wilderness Skills Afterschool Club - Session III - 3:30 - 5 PM,

                                   Hancock Town Library -  3:30 PM - 5 PM (see March 3)


     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 in New Hampshire and New England. Chris will

                                    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 Connecticut River watershed eagle recovery project with

                                    colleagues in neighboring Vermont employing an enthusiastic corps of volunteer raptor observers.  The

                                    second in this springs Cottrell - Baldwin Environmental Lecture Series,  7- 8:30 PM in the Henry Baldwin

                                    Classroom at Fox State Forest in Hillborough. Free of charge. All are welcome. No pre-registration. For

                                    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

                                    Vermont Natural History Museum.  7 PM at the Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro, Vermont.  Monthly

                                    program of the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society.


      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

                            spikol@harriscenter.org or 525-3394.


      March 23, .......  Hancock Town Library Stargazing Party -  Join a select group of Monadnock Skywatchers for an

                                   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.


      March 23, ........ Annual Waterfowl Safari Along the Connecticut River - Through carpools and a little walking, we're

                            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 Keene),

                            and the other heading south from Charlestown (departing at 8 AM from the Charlestown Library on

                            Main Street). The two groups will meet at Herrick's Cove in Vermont for lunch and tall tales. Bring water,

                            lunch and binoculars. Carpools return about 1 PM. Cosponsored by the Harris Center and NH Audubon.  

                            For more information please contact Eric Masterson (masterson@harriscenter.org or 525-3394) or Phil Brown

                            at pbrown@nhaudubon.org or 525-3499.


     March 24, ........  "Hatchet's"Winter Survival and Wilderness Skills Afterschool Club - Session IV  3:30 - 5 PM

                                   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 New Hampshire -  Non-native invasive plants are increasingly 

                                   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

                                   wildlife. Hancock Town Library 7 -  8:30 PM. Cosponsored by the Hancock Conservation Commission,

                                   the Harris Center, NH Audubon, and UNH Cooperative Extension.  For more information please contact

                                   Phil Brown at pbrown@nhaudubon.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

                                    Keene.  For more information, please contact Amy Brett Thelen at  thelen@harriscenter.org or 358-2065.











                                .......    Harris Center for Conservation Education.   Education, school programs, land

                                            and wildlife preservation, programs, hiking, weekend events.  Open year round.

                                            Mon.-Fri.  83 Kings Highway, Hancock, NH 03449   www.Harris.org


                                 .......    New Hampshire Audubon Society.  A statewide organization, dedicated to

                                            the conservation of wildlife habitat . Programs in wildlife conservation,

                                            land protection, environmental policy, and environmental education.

                                            84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, NHwww.nhaudubon.org


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

                                            ecologically important lands and waters in New Hampshire22 Bridge St., Concord,

                                            NH 03301  www.nature.org


                                   .......  Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.  A leading statewide

                                            land conservation organization dedicated to protecting the state's most important

                                            landscapes while promoting  wise use of its renewable natural resources. www.spnhf.org


                                   ........ Monadnock Conservancy.  The Monadnock Conservancy's mission is to work with

                                            communities and landowners to conserve the natural resources, wild and working lands,

                                            rural character and scenic beauty of the Monadnock region.  Visit their website:                                        



                                   ........ New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.  Conserves, manages and protects

                                            New Hampshire's fish, wildlife, and marine resources. www.WildNH.com


                                    ....... Friends of Pisgah - A volunteer organization dedicated to assisting in the preservation

                                            of Pisgah State Park located in southwestern Cheshire County. The organization has been

                                            involved in the development and maintenance of the park's trail system for many years.

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


                                    ........Friends of the Wapack - an independent, non-profit organization composed of hikers,

                                            volunteers, and landowners dedicated to the preservation of the 21 mile long trail from Mt.

                                            Watatic in northern Mass. to North Pack here in New Hampshire



                                   ........ Brattleboro Outing Club - The BOC offers an opportunity to participate in year-round

                                            outdoor activities including kayaking, canoe trips and cross country skiing. For additional

                                             information: (http://brattleborooutingclub.org)


                                   ........ Keene Mineral Club - Founded in 1948 the Keene Mineral Club is an active group of

                                            collectors of 100 or so members whose interests cover the full spectrum of mineral related

                                            topics: crystals, minerals, gems, lapidary, micromounts, fossils and more.  The club holds

                                            regular monthly meetings, publishes an award winning newsletter and sponsors frequent

                                            local and regional field trips.  Membership is encouraged for all ages and levels of interest.



                                   ....... 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 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 manager of Miller State park (the home of Pack Monadnock and the

                                       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

                                       with us.  


                      .........  Stacey Cole's New Hampshire: A Lyrical Landscape - Stacey Cole has been writing a

                                       weekly nature column for the New Hampshire Union leader for over 50 years.  Now, for the first

                                       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 of Plymouth State University's Robert Frost

                                       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 New England. It has become the magazine I can simply cannot do

                                        without."  (www.northernwoodlands.org)                                     


                               ........ New Hampshire Wildlife Journal - Published bi-monthly by the New Hampshire Fish and

                                        Game Department.  Dedicated to creating an awareness and appreciation for the state's fish and

                                        wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend.  Always contains interesting and informative

                                        articles on regional flora and fauna and environmental issues. (www.WildNH.com)


                               ......... Forest Notes - The quarterly magazine of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire

                                         Forests. The magazine includes selections dealing with Society properties, events, land  

                                         acquisition projects and frequently features articles on regional natural history.  Subscription is

                                         available with Society membership. Regularly features Dave Anderson's Natures View column.

                                         Dave, 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

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


                                ........ 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

                                      website. (http://www.noaa.gov)


                          ..........  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 

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


                             .........  Heavens Above -  A treasure trove of observational astronomy information. After registering

                                        and inputting your latitude and longitude, the site provides you with exact times, locations, and

                                        magnitudes of various satellites visible at your location. (http://www.heavens-above.com/)


                             .......... Google Earth - a free program which allows the viewer to travel anywhere on earth and view

                                        aerial and satellite imagery from great elevations to street level.  Many locations provide three

                                        dimensional, 360 degree opportunities for viewing. A must for the regional naturalist to view

                                        natural areas and to preview hiking trails, etc. (http://www.google.com/earth/index.html)


                             ........... Spaceweather.com - A worthwhile site for all sorts of astronomy related information,

                                         including auroral displays and alerts, solar activity (sunspots, flares, etc), planetary Info.,

                                         meteor showers. The site provides a sign-up option for a free e-mail Spaceweather Alert

                                         when something significant is occurring. (http://www.spaceweather.com/


                        ...........The Old Farmer's Almanac - Another general reference site for  regional weather, birding,

                                         fishing, astronomy and outdoor information. Provides an excellent table for the rising and setting

                                         times for the sun, moon and planets which may be selected for your particular town or village.



                              .......... Naturally Curious with Mary Holland - Follow the regional natural history scene throughout

                                         the year through the comments, images and insights of one of New England's premier naturalists.

                                         Mary's blog site should be a shortcut on the computer desktop of anyone interested in our natural

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


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

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

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

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

                                          Tom. (http://mindatnh.org)


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

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


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

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

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

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





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

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

             note, the MNA is formatted to display on a full screen computer e-mail window. All e-mail addresses are secured

             and held completely confidential.  Past  issues of the Monadnock Nature Almanac (from September 2010) are 

             available upon request.