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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Right in my own backyard

Jules here-

Spring has sprung in New Hampshire-- beautiful flowers, tweeting birds, playing outside from dawn until dusk... and hatching mosquitoes.... ugh.  The beauty of New Hampshire often gets a bit tainted by itchy bites and tedious black-flies.  Though the spring hatch makes me want to go all DEET on my backyard, I do find the ensuing frog-mating quite hilarious.  For some reason, our backyard and small marsh area in the forest is home to several species of frogs.  When you walk through the neighborhood our house is the only one that sounds like a South American rainforest.  It gets so noisy during mating season I have to shut the sliding door in the back so I can hear my television at night.... Now this video is mostly pitch black, but sit back, enjoy, and if anyone can identify the monkey-sounding frog around 40 seconds in, let me know:

**Side note-- videos often don't play in mobile version but they do work in regular.

Besides frogs, our backyard has been home to many an animal in New Hampshire which leads to pretty cool homeschooling nature studies too.  We have seen porcupines, hawks, chipmunks, racoons, deer, moose, and even the dreaded fisher cat (Never heard of one? They are creepy, weasel-like creatures that can eat house-cats). We especially see the wild turkey:

Wild turkeys at the mail box
Usually they are in flocks of 10-15 birds and they wander in and out of neighbors' yards. My children love following the turkeys around and seeing where they end up!

My favorite thing we see (and HEAR!) in our backyard are the barred owls. Usually, we have a very hard time spotting them with their amazing camouflage:
Can you spot the owl in our tree?
But one day, as I exited my car, I heard a very loud noise behind me... I turned around to see a giant barred owl sitting on our swing set. I also heard the answering mates/enemies of this owl surrounding me. I carried one of my kids in the house quickly, and then we videotaped it:

My favorite part is when John gets attacked by a yellow jacket while filming...

Now I live in the southern part of New Hampshire, but my parents reside way up north in the White Mountains which means they have even more amazing animal adventures, including this moose that we witnessed last summer:

I hope you have enjoyed this episode of Nature: New Hampshire.  Let's hope I don't have a bear encounter soon to post-- I've been quite lucky!  If you don't live abutting a preserve like we do, add a bird feeder so you can have nature come to you. We have a window bird feeder that has helped my children to identify over 10 species of local song birds. (Note: in New Hampshire bird feeders must be removed in the spring as to not attract the just-awoke-from-hibernating-and-very-hungry bears).

Easy Rule #4923- It's spring! Stop and enjoy the awakening nature in your own backyard! Or just go to a zoo....

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post, wifey! Julia neglected to mention the family of Black Bears that I ran into while hauling firewood. We have no video of it, though, as it was just man v. bear back in the woods.