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Mindful morning musings with Dr. Lou

Updated: Jan 11

April 17, 2022 we can officially declare ‘Ice Out’ or the disappearance of all snow and ice from the property. It is also coincidentally, a day that the Grosbeaks have returned. They have not been around since late last July when the summer heat and a bullying catbird pushed them further north.

The snow melt has also seen much water streaming through the property. A few of the water swells uphill need to be tweaked a bit this summer when things dry out. They can be diverted somewhat to direct the water more towards the back of the slope and woods rather than through the mowed parts of the backyard.

The image shows a Grosbeak, Woodpecker, Goldfinch and a couple Housefinches.

The songbirds have also returned. It is nice to see their bright colors and listen to their rhythmic tunes as the sun begins to set now over the peak of Plymouth Mountain. The bears are out and have been foraging neighbor’s bird feeders that have been left out overnight. One even broke into a small barn holding some goats, but only to steal a 50 pound bag of grain. The grain bag can’t be found but I look forward to finding this ‘burglar’s’ evidence one day during my hikes along the tote roads that run in the back of their woods. No sightings of “Bruno’ yet at SchaeFerland.

The moles or voles (can’t figure out the difference or why they have two names) were busy during the winter and have left distinct channeled trails along the grass as they burrowed under the snowpack. My they were busy and traveled all over the cleared property without us even detecting their presence this winter.

We have a squirrel that has figured out how to by-pass all the squirrel proof barriers leading to the bird feeder. Seems that the granite sitting bench that has shifted about one inch from a frost heave, provides just enough proximity to the feeder that he can now successfully reach the feeder about every 4th jump and by-pass the barriers.

The neighbors too have begun to thaw and come out of hibernation. Some driving their convertibles that have been stored in makeshift barns, some walking with canes they did not have this past Fall, and some from warmer southern homes hoping to see the dirt road needed to reach their summer home, passable all the way to the top of the Hill.

Lastly, for now, the raking and clean-up is done. Gardens are being planted and repairs of doors and the deck are being started. Everyday there are hardscrabble chores to be done but they seem easier when its quiet and we have a big view.

- Lou

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Dr. David "Lou" Ferland was a police officer with the 110 person Portsmouth, N.H. Police Department for 30 years finishing his career as Chief of Police. He acquired his Doctoral Degree from Franklin Pierce University with his dissertation being on Crime, Punishment and the History of the Portsmouth, N.H. Police Department. He has demonstrated leadership accomplishments in community oriented policing and coordinating public safety development projects. He has a deep commitment to volunteer and teaching service, experienced in the delivery of real world content to employees and students. He is a college professor and nationally certified Police K-9 Trainer/Judge and previous Head Trainer of the N.H. Police K-9 Academy for ten years. He has received many awards both locally and nationally and is a highly rated international public speaker and teacher on leadership issues, criminal justice, public policy and history. Lou is above all, a steward of the land, taking great pride and enjoyment in his local community, native practices and homestead.

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