What’s New at the Loon Center
By Rosalie Triolo
This year the Loon Center in Moultonboro presents “Nature Talks.” The program begins at 7 pm every Thursday from July 11 until August 22. Loon Center Senior Biologist and Executive Director, Harry S. Vogel, is enthusiastic about this year’s variety of interesting programs and exhibits by experts in their fields. Topics will include Wildlife Photography, Social Black Bears, Creatures of the Night, Astronomy for Birders, Geology of the Lakes Region, and Rehabilitating Raptors.
Rick Libby of “MooseMan Nature Photos” will present his view of The Wildlife of New Hampshire. From walking in the remote woods of Maine to kayaking the lakes of New Hampshire or watching birds in the blue skies, Rick has photographed wildlife for over 40 years. He began with a little Kodak camera and through the years has graduated to professional Nikon cameras and lenses. On July 11, Rick will share his love of the quietness of the woods and his passion for photographing wildlife without disturbing their lives. You can view Rick’s fascinating photos at moosemannaturephotos.com.
Did you ever come across a black bear cub(s) up in a tree? You probably stopped in your tracks while cautiously and with some trepidation looked around for its (their) mother. These could very well be orphaned cubs. In his book “In the Company of Bears,” Ben Kilham, of the Ben Kilham Bear Center, talks about the world of black bears. He has observed and studied wild black bears in the Northern New Hampshire woods, watching the animals’ interaction with one another and their behavior patterns from friendships to codes of conduct. The black bears in the wild reveal extraordinary generosity toward one another. “The haves” - those black bears with an abundance of food - share with “the have nots”, those black bears with an insufficient food supply. Ben and his sister, Pheobe Kilham, work to rehabilitate and release injured, orphaned and abandoned cubs back into the wild. Cubs are brought to them at the Bear Center by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The Center has been in operation since 1993 when they received one to five cubs a year, In 2012, they received 30 cubs, including cubs from the neighboring states of Vermont and Massachusetts. Join Ben Kilham on July 18 and become acquainted with the social black bear.
What are Creatures of the Night? On July 25, a naturalist from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, accompanied by three live Creatures of the Night, will discuss why some animals forage for food in the dark, while others use the dark to escape predators. An article in the January 8, 2019 edition of National Geographic was titled, “How do animals see in the dark?”
“Nocturnal animals have evolved physical traits that let them roam in the dark more effectively.” Key words physical traits. “The eyes get bigger and the pupils widen. For example, owl eyes are so big they can’t move in the socket, but their wide pupils help them collect more light.” If you would like to learn more about the Science Center you can view their website at www.nhnature.org.
Spend an interesting evening with Marc Stowbridge of Tamworth, NH listening to his talk on Astronomy for Birders on August 1. Marc is a member of Astronomers Without Borders and in 2008 he and the New Hampshire Astronomical Society founded The Library Telescope program. The Cook Memorial Library in Tamworth, NH was the first in New Hampshire to have a Library Telescope. It came fully equipped for people to check out (with reinforced connections, laminated instructions, and accessories) by Marc Stowbridge. Stargazers and Bird Watchers (Birders) have a lot in common and Marc will be talking about how a birder’s tools can be used to view the night sky.
Ancient volcanoes, inundation by shallow seas, mile-thick sheets of glacial ice and today’s climate change are all part of New Hampshire’s long and dynamic history, as you will find out from Jim Vernon’s Nature Talk. A Senior Hydrogeologist with Nobis Engineering, Jim Vernon specializes in groundwater sources for water supply and has conducted studies, development and protection in a variety of geologic settings. The landscape we are familiar with in the Lakes Region today has evolved over hundreds of millions of years. Interestingly, ancient volcanoes occurred about 100 million years ago in the Ossipee Mountains. Unlike today’s Ossipee Mountain range, when looking up at the mountain, there appear to be individual peaks which are what is left of a large, now extinct volcano. Three major eruptions about 10 million years apart changed the appearance of the volcano. Ninety-million years ago the second eruption created the famous ring dike. Join Jim Vernon on August 8 for a fascinating talk on the Geology of the Lakes Region.
Not all baby animals that are alone are abandoned. Diane Hime is a federally and state licensed wildlife rehabilitator from New York, specializing in the rehabilitation of raptors, porcupines, fawns and foxes. Diane and her husband, Jim Hime, run a wildlife rehabilitation non-profit organization. North Country Wildcare takes in sick, injured or “known” orphaned wildlife and cares for them until they are ready to be released back into the wild. Diane said, “Getting them to live is only part of the equation.” On August 15, Diane will talk about rehabilitating raptors and you’ll be introduced to three live raptors.
Listening to the haunting call of the loons on the lake makes one wonder and want to learn more about these majestic creatures. On August 22, at an End of Season Report, meet John Rockwood. “The Loon Man NH” is a Common Loon educator, author, naturalist and professional nature photographer. He will share photos and video of local loon families. Harry Vogel, Senior Biologist and Executive Director, of the Loon Center, will present trends in New Hampshire’s loon population and preliminary statistics on how loons fared in NH this year.