Wildlife

The Forest Society's mission includes conserving land that supports New Hampshire's native animals and plants, so that wildlife remains a part of our everyday world. Visit this page to explore stories, projects and stewardship related to wildlife and habitat.

I was asked recently if I knew the largest rodent in North America. My first thought was my great uncle Wally, who was known for his ability to gnaw his way through a casino-sized buffet and darn near qualified as a full load when he climbed into his half-ton pickup.

To the Thawing Wind

"Come with rain, O loud Southwester! Bring the singer, bring the nester…" - Robert Frost, from A Boy's Will 1913

Weary of hauling maple, ash and oak to the woodstove by late winter, I pass beneath a fragile nest of moss and mud perched in the eaves of the …

The crew grew quiet as we approached the nest. They whispered and walked slowly, carefully scanning the tree tops overhead and behind them. At the snap of a dry twig underfoot, a goshawk leaped from the rim of its nest and screamed "Kak! Kak! Kak!" as it circled above the pines. I froze …

We lost two newborn lambs that night. The earliest lambs born on our farm that spring were suddenly dead—the first time we’d ever lost sheep. The veterinarian said we’d just been lucky so far. Three lambing seasons without a bad experience? We were overdue for heartache.

While the local …

Much more than tracks in the snow

When snow returns to the forest, wild neighbors guide me through a winter of changes.

The first measurable snowfall of winter stops me cold in my tracks. I stare at a landscape instantly transformed into a Currier …

 

By May, twilight arrives late. From the high and lonesome expanse of Interstate-89, evening alpenglow illuminates a flank of Mount Kearsarge, changing every second from yellow to gold and now pink, like an ember fallen from a fire. Purple shadows climb the lower slopes as the sun …

I can no more easily imagine a summer evening without bats overhead than the night sky devoid of stars…

On our small New Hampshire farm, we’ve always watched bats feeding over pastures and the adjacent Lane River wetlands. Now the specter of a rapid regional collapse of bat …

When autumn approaches, creatures great and small prepare for the winter ahead

After late autumn rains strip away the last bright maple leaves, and nights turn cold enough to drive hard frost deeper into the soil, New Englanders respond with instincts that mirror the activities …

I collect porcupine stories. It seems everyone who has lived in rural NH has got at least a few. The porcupine tale genre is predictable: disappearing garden or orchard produce, damage to structural lumber, repeated bouts of quills in noses of domestic dogs, and lastly, firearms. Often the tales …