Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15, 2012

New Hampshire continues to have little rain, and Lake Wicwas is even lower than it was two weeks ago. There are rocks poking their heads above the surface where I haven’t seen them before, and underwater surprises are lurking for the unwary. I have only seen a few fishing boats out so far, but the beautiful weather this weekend brought out lots of kayaks and canoes.

I’m currently anchored close to home, recovering from some foot surgery, so I’m not able to get out and photograph what’s happening around the lake this spring.  I’ll be missing one of my favorite times of the year, seeing life return with animals and tiny wildflowers emerging.  I was able to find some blueberry buds swelling up, and red maples bursting out their early flowers.

Blueberry Buds

Red Maple

Fortunately my partner-in-crime captured a few sights for me. One recent event she found was the work of the pileated woodpeckers we saw earlier – a pine with several fresh holes tracking the path the ants had burrowed in the tree and made their nest.

She also found the first flowers blooming – the tiny, fragrant, trailing arbutus.

Trailing Arbutus (Mayflower)
There continues to be a steady parade of water fowl passing through the cove. Mergansers, wood ducks, mallards, even a pair of buffleheads glided past this week (not to mention the geese).


Early one morning, with the sun just lighting up the hills, I saw a single otter swim across the cove, bounding up on land to take a short-cut across a peninsula back to the water on the other side.  It's rejuvenating to see beautiful summer mornings return.

At one point this afternoon, flying low overhead, were three hawks - finding the thermals driven up by the warm southwesterly breeze - when a fourth, even lower, came by with a tasty red squirrel dangling from its claws.   I’ll bet it didn’t share.

There is also a regular procession of beavers going by every evening just at sunset.  I did manage to drag myself over to the nearest beaver harvest, and found a lot more cutting has occurred in the past few weeks. The NH DES wouldn’t like what’s going on within the shoreline protection area!  At least the beavers don’t disturb the shrubs or soil.

To stave off the cabin fever, we took a drive up north and found there’s still some winter left in the notches. There’s snow on the Franconia and Presidential ranges, and one could still ski on the upper two-thirds of canon.

Presidential Range

Canon Mountain

Child's Park

Back closer to home, the work on the new playground at Child’s Park is nearly complete, just in time for summer. The equipment is in and they were grading the new ball field.

 A couple of early customers were already scoping it out.

And, as another indicator of the approaching summer, the sun has now moved far enough around in the sky to bring back summer sunsets!

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