In the frozen fastness of a winter forest, devoid of green plants and insects, winter tree bark provides important winter insect habitat and a food pantry for forest birds and small mammals hunting for tiny insects or seeds.
Even as we stare down the barrel of the coldest, darkest days of early January, the earliest signs of spring will soon begin anew - even before the first mail-order seed catalogs arrive. Early harbingers of this new natural year are subtle.
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.
This generous gift of land ensures the permanent protection of one of the state’s largest mostly undeveloped lakes (234 acres). This reservation surrounding Grafton Pond was the gift of an anonymous donor who wanted to preserve the wilderness pond and its seven miles of shoreline as one of the remaining sanctuaries for nesting loons. An advisory committee was formed that year to raise funds to create an endowment for the management of the property and to offer advice on land use and initial programs.
The Sagamore Creek area holds significant agricultural heritage. In fact, the site of Creek Farm, believed to have been occupied by early settler Nicholas Rowe in 1640, was one of the earliest places in New Hampshire to be cultivated by European settlers. It was later part of the 18th-century farm of the royal governor of New Hampshire, Benning Wentworth. Some of the fieldstone boundary walls that cross the property define ancient property lines that were recorded on early maps of the area.