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Something Wild

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Something Wild: Olfaction Action What's Your Reaction?

We know…we’ve been remiss, and it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room. Something Wild, as you know, is a chance to take a closer look at the wildlife, ecosystems and marvelous phenomena you can find in and around New Hampshire. But over the years there is one species in New Hampshire that we haven’t spent much time examining. A species, I think that has been conspicuous in its absence. Humans.

4mins

16 Jul 2021

Rank #1

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Something Wild: N.H.'s Wildest Neighborhoods

Here at Something Wild, we love all things wild (even blackflies !) but sometimes it can be helpful to look beyond a single species and consider how many species interact within a given environment. In our periodic series, New Hampshire’s Wild Neighborhoods, we endeavor to do just that and this time we’re looking at peatlands.

4mins

17 May 2021

Rank #2

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Something Wild: Tree Sex

Spring in New Hampshire is a double-edged sword. On one hand you have longer, warmer days — plants and trees are blooming! On the other hand, the pollen springtime trees produce can present an array of unpleasant seasonal symptoms. Yet pollen is so incredibly important to our survival – we think we should give it the credit it deserves. O ur friend Sam Evans Brown is the host of NHPR’s Outside/In; when pollen makes his eyes watery and the roof of his mouth itchy this time of year, Sam likes to remember that " the pollen that you’re breathing, and that your body is freaking out over... is you know… is half of the equation of tree sex. So you’re breathing in a little bit of tree sex which is you know... just a fun thing to think about." If you can recall your middle school science class you might remember that pollen is the male reproductive product of tree flowers — found on the anther and filament of male stamens — used to make new plant life. It needs to reach the sticky stigma, style

4mins

23 Apr 2021

Rank #3

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Something Wild: Peepers, The Unmistakable Sound of Spring

It’s an unmistakable sound. One that elicits memories, sights and scents of events long ago. It recalls the joy of youth, the possibility of a spring evening. But it can also incite insomnia and the blind rage that accompanies it.

4mins

9 Apr 2021

Rank #4

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Something Wild: N.H.'s Liquid Gold

For some, m aple sugaring is a perennial ritual, painstakingly completed as we usher out the bitter wisps of winter, and embrace balmier, brighter days of early spring. And whether you’re producing maple syrup with just a few buckets, or if you’ve expanded operations with a full-blown sugar shack … you know this much to be true: 1) S ugaring is an art 2) Sugaring is a science 3) And a great excuse to be outdoors, with family and friends. This week on Something Wild, we check in with novice maple-sugar farmer Phil Brown, Director of Land Management for New Hampshire Audubon, to discuss the unexpected joys of maple season. Most maple seasons last about 4 to 6 weeks, and b ecause sugaring is so dependent on the weather—we never know just how long optimal conditions will last. B y optimal conditions, we’re talking daytime temperatures that reach into the 40’s and overnight lows that land in the 20’s. This “goldilocks zone” is juuust right for maple sap runs, because temperature fluctuation

4mins

26 Mar 2021

Rank #5

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Something Wild: One Year Later

About this time one year ago life in New Hampshire and across the world changed drastically. In this week's Something Wild, we re-visit musings from Dave Anderson in how to find solace in nature-- even during the most stressful of times.

3mins

12 Mar 2021

Rank #6

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Something Wild: Ode To Late February

February in New Hampshire can be a bitter time, weather-wise. In some places, layers of ice and snow still weigh heavily on conifer limbs, and on the souls of even the heartiest of New Englanders. But at last, the days are noticeably longer. So take heart winter-weary friends. The first pulses of springtime arrive in the smallest of signs.

4mins

26 Feb 2021

Rank #7

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Something Wild: How Trees Survive Winter

Here at Something Wild , we don’t have a problem with winter. Aside from the snow and the cold and the freezing rain…okay, maybe we have a couple issues. But we have sweaters and hot cocoa and Netflix. Trees, however, do not. As the snow piles up, you may see trees bent over with their crowns nearly touching the ground, leafless and haggard. They can’t escape or hide from the cold, so how do trees survive? Just like any living thing, trees have adapted over time to deal with the range of environmental conditions thrown their way. In this case, freezing rain, ice-loading, or heavy wet snow. Trees that aren’t adapted to survive periodic ice loading don’t live here. Some trees (like pine or spruce) simply bend or fold branches to shrug off snow. Other trees (like oaks) try to stand rigid and inflexible. Stout oaks and sugar maples are famous for big heavy branches that don’t break. On the other hand, branches of beech and red maple tend to break apart under heavy snow loads. Most of our

3mins

12 Feb 2021

Rank #8

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Something Wild: Winter Finch Forecast

Each year, bird enthusiasts across North America eagerly await the Winter Finch Forecast. Published every fall since 1999, the Winter Finch Forecast predicts when and where, and even IF fan-favorite finches like Evening Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls will grace our backyard bird-feeders, or make an appearance on a brisk mid-winter hike. It’s a big deal for birders. So much so that enthusiastic birders have been known to base winter birding plans on this forecast, even driving hundreds of miles to spots deemed favorable for seeing White-winged Crossbills or Pine Grosbeaks. But who makes these predictions, and what are these finch forecasts based on? Enter Tyler Hoar, a freelance biologist and ecologist from Oshawa, Ontario. He’s recently taken the reins in predicting finch winter migration patterns from the legendary Ron Pittaway -- who started this citizen science project some 20 years ago. According to Tyler; "Ron set up this network, getting various birders, naturalists , foresters,

4mins

29 Jan 2021

Rank #9

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Something Wild: Flying Under the Radar

Sometimes called a Marsh Hawk, the northern harrier is currently one the rarest birds of prey nesting in the Granite State. Unlike many of our more common hawks, harriers shun the forest, opting instead to hunt in wide-open spaces like fields, brushy areas -- even in marshes. And get this --they build their nests on the ground . Peculiar preferences indeed, and ones that have made it a challenge for them to survive here. _________ Flying under the radar is the modus operandi for harriers, both literally AND figuratively. They hunt for voles, snakes, and small birds by skimming the landscape, gliding low over the ground, zipping just above North Country hayfields during the summer, and slipping in and out of coastal salt marshes in the winter. Figuratively speaking, Northern harriers have largely stayed out of sight, and out of mind of wildlife managers...even though their populations across New England have been on the decline for decades. So much so, that harriers

4mins

5 Jan 2021

Rank #10