Something Wild en A Salute To Bobolinks & Henry David Thoreau <p>A tumbling jumble of bird song from across the field announces the presence of <a href="" target="_blank">bobolinks</a>. In his journals, <a href="" target="_blank">Henry David Thoreau</a> quoted a Cape Cod child who asked:</p><p>"What makes he sing so sweet, Mother? Do he eat flowers?"</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:00:27 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 50984 at A Salute To Bobolinks & Henry David Thoreau Something Wild: The Challenge Of Choosing A National Tree <p>If today's installment of&nbsp;<em>Something Wild</em> fell to my NH Audubon&nbsp;cohorts, it would be easy to feature our national symbol, the Bald Eagle--perfect for patriotic Fourth of July! Instead, "NH Forest Guy" wracks his brain to make a tree connection to our nation's birthday. All I could come up with is that bottle rockets are affixed to <em>wooden</em> sticks and that firecrackers and other pyrotechnics are constructed and packaged using cardboard and paper--all derived from tree. No trees? No fireworks!</p><p></p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Dave Anderson 50753 at Something Wild: The Challenge Of Choosing A National Tree Something Wild: Banding The Peregrine Chick <p>Those of you who keep a close eye on the <a href="" target="_blank">Peregrine Falcon cam</a> in Manchester, will be well acquainted with the saga these birds have undergone this year. If you're not, NH Audubon's Chris Martin has a quick recap and explains the latest developments, as he bands this year's chick.</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:41:31 +0000 Chris Martin & Andrew Parrella 51291 at Something Wild: Banding The Peregrine Chick Common Milkweed: Edible, Wild & Free <p>Deep down I think we all are instinctively foragers; a vestige of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Ripening now in meadows and along roadsides is a vegetable favored by many wild-food foragers: <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>common milkweed</strong></a><a href="" target="_blank">.</a> From emergent shoots on through to flowers and the formation of young pods, milkweed can be cooked and added to just about any meal.</p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin 50682 at Common Milkweed: Edible, Wild & Free Something Wild Celebrates Solstice <p>Today is the last lengthening day of the year. Tomorrow - Summer Solstice - is the first full day of summer. Hooray! In that sense, today is the "end of the beginning" while tomorrow marks the "beginning of the end."</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 04:39:00 +0000 Dave Anderson 49920 at Something Wild Celebrates Solstice Something Wild: The Eerie Sounding Veery <p>The song of the veery is a haunting, ethereal song. Males sing at dusk, a time when not many other birds sing and daytime winds have calmed. It's also a time when the air turns damp; dense, moist air transfers sound waves better than dry air.</p><p></p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 04:33:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Andrew Parrella 49771 at Something Wild: The Eerie Sounding Veery Something Wild: Grandfather Tree <p>“Senescent” comes from “senile” – the aging process.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The word is disconcerting as we prepare for the summer wedding of my eldest daughter. She wants to start her family… becoming a grandfather is now inevitable. It’s shocking.</span></p><p></p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 04:24:00 +0000 Dave Anderson 48980 at Something Wild: Grandfather Tree The 'Dirt' On Soil <p>This time of year finds a lot of people working in their gardens.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Good gardeners pay attention to their soil.</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Just like above ground, there’s a diverse world of wildlife below ground competing for space, nutrients, and performing roles that support life on Earth.</span></p> Fri, 30 May 2014 04:41:00 +0000 Chris Martin 45737 at The 'Dirt' On Soil Water In The Trees <p>The patter of rain. Fingers of wind comb the canopy of tender leaves. These are exotic sounds of the new tree canopy in late May. New Hampshire forests are adapted to withstand rigors of wind and weather. Leaf structures reflect inner tree plumbing we rarely consider.</p><p></p> Fri, 23 May 2014 13:28:47 +0000 Dave Anderson 45736 at Water In The Trees A Soft Spot For Bluebirds <p>I've learned that a sighting of a bluebird on a bird watching field trip stops everything.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">We'll pause a long time as people take turns looking through the spotting scope.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Involuntary gasps of pleasure, "</span>oohs<span style="line-height: 1.5;">" and "</span>aahs<span style="line-height: 1.5;">" and "</span>ohmygods<span style="line-height: 1.5;">."</span></p><p></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 09:59:00 +0000 Chris Martin 45732 at A Soft Spot For Bluebirds Favorite Phoebe Nest <p>A little phoebe nest is tucked beneath the rafters in my backyard woodshed like a miniature wreath. It’s a curious little relic to behold during those long, cold snowy weeks of hauling winter cordwood. By May, it once more cradles eggs and tiny nestlings.</p><p></p> Fri, 09 May 2014 09:57:00 +0000 Dave Anderson 45731 at Favorite Phoebe Nest Tracking Rusty Blackbirds <p>We went into the field this week to speak with Carol Foss,&nbsp;Member of the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group and NH Coordinator of the <a href="" target="_blank">Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Rusty Blackbird populations have fallen over the last century: by between 80 and 90-percent. Last fall the working group decided to make careful study of the spring migration, and coordinated hundreds of volunteer scientists along the migration route to track the birds.</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 04:56:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Andrew Parrella 47201 at Tracking Rusty Blackbirds Tiny Tree Flowers <p>Spring blossoms of our largest plants - woody trees - are small and inconspicuous. Trees flower early - before leaves emerge. While showy wildflowers on the forest floor rely on specialized insect pollinators, forest trees do not.</p><p></p> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 10:28:00 +0000 Dave Anderson 45722 at Tiny Tree Flowers Red-Winged Blackbirds <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Move over robins; r</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ed-winged blackbirds are the real harbingers of spring.</span></p><p>The male’s scratchy “oak-a-lee” songs are heard when the world is still blanketed with snow and maple sap is just beginning to flow.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Males return north well before females, and the early bird does get the worm.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In this case the metaphorical worm is prime breeding territory.</span></p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin 45721 at Red-Winged Blackbirds May Flowers (Pilgrims not included) <div>Delicate wildflowers poke through a dry, mat of last autumn's leaves pressed paper thin by the weight of a now-vanished snow pack.</div><div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Wildflower strategy is: bloom early, grow quickly in late spring and then die back. These "spring </span>ephemerals<span style="line-height: 1.5;">" create an elegant spring nutrient dam, locking-up important soil nutrients otherwise washed-away by </span>snowmelt<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> or rain. When flowers die-back in summer shade, they release nutrients back to the roots of trees above.</span></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:50:09 +0000 Dave Anderson 46597 at May Flowers (Pilgrims not included)