|Morning breaks on the fifth day of spring.|
We are now past the spring equinox so the sun is bright and high in the sky which baths the pristine world in a softness that January just can't deliver.
|Mountain streams are flowing with snow-melt.|
|March skiing in the Ossipees|
It also means the snow doesn't last long especially when it falls on bare, warmed earth.
|Just a few hours of late March sun has already taken its toll on the snow.|
Shannon Pond in Moultonborough.
On the still-frozen lakes however, late snow can set back ice-out quite a bit. Before the snow fell the lakes were getting soft and dark and absorbing much of the sun's energy, but the fresh cover of bright white will reflect the sun's rays for several days and greatly slow the process. At this point we are probably looking at an average or slightly early ice-out in the Lakes Region.
|A flock of turkeys passed this way.|
A hen (female) and her brood (chicks) will join other families in large flocks in the fall and winter and cover a range of 4 to 5 square miles searching out the best food supplies as the seasons change. [Ref: NH Fish and Game] I always get a reminder of turkey history when I refer to one of the more unique NH wildlife books, Hilbert Siegler's New Hampshire Nature Notes written in 1962; it is completely silent on turkeys. That's because there were no turkeys in 1962 after being hunted to extinction in the state (which is called "extirpation"). A first attempt at reintroducing turkeys in 1969 failed, but a second attempt in 1975 was successful, and today there are 40,000 turkeys in NH, the maximum carrying capacity of the state. There is a nice historical article about the turkey reintroduction in the March/April 2020 issue of the New Hampshire Wildlife Journal.
Right about now the Toms (males) are attracting their harem with impressive gobbling and bold plumage displays - mating will take place in April and nesting in May. By June we'll be looking for cute little turkey poults running around, eating up tics, ants, and other annoying insects. Thank a turkey!
But they best keep a careful lookout - the foxes are making regular patrols of the local area, still using the lake for travel.
|The fox is still making its daily excursion across the softening lake.|
I was a bit surprised to see people out fishing on Lake Wicwas yesterday, even if they were staying close to shore.
|The last hurrah of ice fishing.|
They told me there's about 6 inches of ice (that's near the boat ramp). That seems about right as there's still open water only close to shore.
But every day we make progress - first the snowdrops, and now crocuses.
|Perfect New Hampshire juxtaposition: flowers with a snow shovel.|
There is even a little red appearing through the melting snow pack.
|An over-wintered partridgeberry, just waiting for a partridge or turkey to gobble it up.|
Time may be passing slowly, but each and every day, we move forward.
|Snowdrops keeping the faith.|