New Rain Barrel

We installed our new 60-gallon rain barrel yesterday. Just in time to collect the quarter-inch rain from yesterday evening’s thunderstorm. We purchased our barrel from the Great American Rain Barrel Company, through their Community Program. The Dover Democrats sponsored this event.

We anticipate needing the water collected for our gardens, given the ongoing drought that started last summer. Our part of New Hampshire is “Abnormally Dry.” Our lawn will not get much attention. If it dies, it dies. I am shifting our perennial gardens to more drought tolerant plants–sedum, goldenrod, bee balm, bayberry–and plants that survive chipmunk’s underground foraging. For example, chipmunks love tulip bulbs. This year, one lonely tulip will bloom. But I like chipmunks, so they get to frolic in our yard along with moles, voles, skunks. rabbits, and other denizens.

American Fly Honeysuckle

The cattails and the tussock sedges are sprouting fresh new leaves as the beaver pond begins to green up. A pair of hooded mergansers swims together, perhaps taking a break from sitting on eggs. It feels simultaneously like an early and a late Spring.

American fly honeysuckle in bloom along a trail on the Piscassic Greenway. The smell of the paired flowers is delicate and a bit spicy.

On the Otis Hill Trail that winds through an oak and a hemlock forest we kick up two deer that bound ahead of us down the trail. The hemlock boughs are laden with the white woolly masses that cover the eggs and adults of hemlock woolly adelgid. This aphid-like invasive insect has already thinned and weakened many of the hemlocks on this ridge.