The winter of 2016 started slowly and never really got into gear. We had the latest ice-in date I've seen as well as the shortest period of ice coverage. But there was enough time for fishing, skating, and trekking on the lake to enjoy the winter season.
One of my favorite visitors I only saw in winter, and only at night: Flying Squirrels.
The red and gray squirrels were of course reliable daytime entertainment.
Spring migration always brings lots of commuters to the Lakes Region, including this Hooded Merganser in March.
No matter how mild the winter may have been, signs of spring are always welcome.
|Service Berry (Shadbush)|
I didn't see any fawns in 2016, but I saw their parents, and other people did see fawns around the lake.
May brings peak season for wildflowers in New Hampshire - always a high point of the year.
The summer birds arrived as soon as the insects emerged. This Baltimore Oriole was working hard to rid the white pines of insects.
And speaking of insects, does anything dare to eat the Pine Sawyer Beetle?
Black and Yellow Garden Spider to rent some space at your house.
The Pileated Woodpeckers also did their part in insect control; this one gave a great show last summer.
This bird I had never seen before on a New Hampshire lake: A Great Egret.
A similar bird, equally majestic, is a common sight on New Hampshire's lakes.
|Great Blue Heron|
And at the other end of the flying spectrum:
We had many loons on Lake Wicwas this summer, maybe too many - for the first time in quite a few years we did not have a nesting on the lake as competing pairs kept each other from settling down to home building.
Come fall, this was all they left on the lake for us.
As autumn matured the late bloomers attracted our eyes as well as the pollen collectors
I had a fun playing hide and seek with a chipmunk one fall morning.
One of the best moments this year was watching a mink hunting along the shoreline.
And of course, to cap the year off, the arrival of the bobcats.
It was a great year to watch the diversity of nature that a healthy ecosystem will support. It's encouraging to know that every year more of the Lakes Region is added to the list of protected habitat.