By Program Intern Alyssa Piper
While stronger sunrays and the last day of school mark summer for some, Memorial Day is the beginning of summer for Squam Lake and the town of Holderness, NH. The summer residents packed up their boats, trailers, and cars full of spring cleaning and summer fun as they returned to the lake to open up their camps, cabins, and lake houses. It was clear that as the seasonal bustle continued throughout June, summer 2011 was well underway. One thing I noticed as I watched spring unfurl into summer here on the lake—the sights and sounds of wildlife inevitably became more distant as we humans moved back in.
That was a month ago, though. The rain has subsided and the lake level has decreased. There are boats roped to almost every dock and trucks or cars in almost every driveway. The sun is hot and the children that run by smell of sunscreen and bug spray. Last week, during Laconia’s Bike Week, the only sounds apart from passing cars were the constant thunder of motorcycle tailpipes and boats zipping back and forth on the lake. It wasn’t as easy to sit back and listen to nature… You had to strain your ears to focus on the birds and the water, rather than the bikes and the boats. Now, maybe only once every few days do I spot the friendly pair of loons near our dock and only late at night do I hear their lonely calls. What happened? Summer happened, and it’s all too easy to run right past what many of us come here to enjoy—nature.
I invite you, rain or shine, day or night, to open your ears and your eyes to nature. Who knows what you will see or hear! Perhaps you’ll see a Common Loon carrying her chick on her back or a fledgling Bald Eagle learning to fly? Or maybe you’ll see a Porcupine up in a tree or hear an Owl’s hoot? Believe me, there’s something new every day!