by Jason Berard, Stewardship Coordinator
The Connecticut River is still completely frozen over. Well, not completely. There is open water below the Wilder Dam, and open water below the Dodge Falls Dam in Bath, NH, but above the Wilder Dam in the impoundment area, it is frozen solid. I was speaking to avid ice fisherman and UVLT landowner Bob Rose recently, and he told me he hasn’t seen the Connecticut River frozen this late into the year since the last millennium. In fact, he offered that in the backwater areas, such as the area around Stonecliff Island in Piermont/Bradford, there is currently over 2 feet of ice on the river. Two feet!
I was pondering this as I went wandering around UVLT’s Zebedee Wetland, along the Linny Levin Trail looking for migrating birds returning to the Upper Valley. I hoped I might see something. Any little sign of spring that I could hang on to until the snow and ice recede and the open water brings back the migrating ducks, songbirds, and the rest of our feathered friends home for the summer.
This is as close as I got:
Spring will come. It must come. By the time of our annual Spring Migrant Bird Walk on April 19th, I am sure that warmer temperatures will have brought back the sights, sounds, and smells of spring. The forecast is calling for temperatures warm enough to produce the first serious sap run of the season this weekend, so we can hold out hope that we are turning the corner, finally.
We hope you’ll come out of winter hibernation, and join UVLT, Hanover Conservancy, and members of the Mascoma chapter of NH Audubon as we look to see (and hear!) who has returned. Check our calendar for details of this and other upcoming events.