Twenty years ago this week, New Hampshire Audubon, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and NHPR took our first tentative steps on a journey that would take listeners on weekly outdoor adventures all over the state.
Something Wild’s very first episode featured host, Rosemary Conroy, then with SPNHF, encouraging us to go outside and look and listen for the early signs of spring.
In the intervening decades, we’ve covered a lot of ground; whether it was Rosemary walking through the finer details of forest succession…
...or co-host Iain MacLeod, then with NH Audubon, exposing us to birds’s winter survival strategies…
McLeod recently remembered the guiding principles that helped to shape Something Wild in those early days. "We were very much focusing on the wildlife and natural history of New Hampshire. What was in people’s backyards and what they could see if they took a hike, and really raising awareness about that. I think we achieved that."
And to those guiding principles principles we hold, whether we’re taking you into a turkey vulture scrape in South Sutton…or tagging along as a scientist makes her phenology rounds in Deering, Something Wild is all about helping you recognize that nature is all around us. And we do it every week, producing more than more than 850 pieces in 20 years.
Earlier hosts, Iain and Rosemary, as well as Scott Fitzpatrick, left big shoes to fill, and also began crafting the legacy of wonder that has continued to drive the project. Current hosts Chris Martin and Dave Anderson embody that sense of wonder about the natural world, and express it regularly. It was one of the reasons we changed the sound of the project a few years ago, expanding each week’s story from two minutes to about 4, which gave Chris and Dave to better express their deep knowledge of and appreciation for NH's wild flora and fauna.
The extra time also made it possible for us to dig a little deeper into a given topic. We could do more than review species identification, feeding and mating habits. It’s allowed us to incorporate other voices in the form of biologists from around the state to discuss species; like when Chris Shadler related the story of a wild canine sighting in Portsmouth as she dug into the distinguishing features of coyotes in the state; or when we visited with Ben Kilham, a bear biologist, and learned how to best manage a bear encounter.
You never know what you’re going to learn when you tune in each Friday, but we can guarantee that it’s going to be…Something Wild.
Thanks to the many interations of the Something Wild team over years including producers Shay Zeller, Lisa Peakes, Rick Ganley, Ross Boyd and Logan Shannon;hosts and writers Rosemary, Scott and Iain, Miranda Levin, Francie Von Mertens and Julie Klett!