We’ve had some weird swings in the weather lately here in New Hampshire. It’s May and we had days of cold, wet, 40 degree days and then a heat wave of 90 degree days. It barely gets into the 90s in the summer around here, but that was before climate changes which have brought all kinds of extremes to the world.
We used to have reliable snow in the winter but my son’s high school cross country ski team seasons have been a toss up on whether or not there would be enough snow to hold practices and races. Races got cancelled or moved due to lack of snow. Practices started out on the astro turf of the football field with only a skim coat of snow. Local ski area struggle to make snow on warmer than normal winter nights. Ticks multiply and plague the moose population due to mild, less than normal snow falls.
When we lived in Maine on Mount Desert Island, the local ice fishing tournament was cancelled a few years due to unstable ice. Seal Cove pond didn’t freeze over at all that winter. That’s something the locals never recall happening before. They kept waiting for winter to arrive and before you know it, an early spring had sprung.
Winters in New England keep getting pushed later and later. The winter sports here in New Hampshire have pushed their schedules forward a few months but then they start bumping into the spring sports schedules. Spring is cut short as summer like heat waves come earlier and earlier and the heat creates more moisture in the atmosphere which brings more rain, more intense storms and runoff that the streams, rivers and culverts can’t handle so flooding is becoming more and more common, threatening homes, roads and dams.
Recently I was listening to an NPR story about how many of the roads in New England are build on land that was created by beaver dams. So too was the first farm fields. Beavers flood and areas which kills off the trees and creates a rich soil under the water. Settlers come along, kill the beavers, break the beaver dam, drain the wetland and voila! – an already cleared, rich farm field.
Since the beavers created areas through wet zones its only natural that these became first paths to a pasture and then later, roadways. The problem now is these roads are right in the natural path of flooding.
We can certainly learn a lot about the natural world simply by observing it and learn how Mother Nature deals with issues over time and perhaps learn to live with nature rather than destroy it and ultimately destroy ourselves.