Holderness Town Forest to be renamed in honor of Sydney Howe

HOLDERNESS — The Holderness Town Forest will be formally renamed in honor of conservationist Sydney Howe during a ceremony on Saturday, March 17. The Holderness Conservation Commission will host an open house on the site of the Town Forest, adjacent to the Holderness Department of Public Works facilities on Beede Road, on Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon. A new sign will be unveiled that changes the name of the forest from the Town Forest to the Sydney A. Howe Forest.
Howe was a nationally known conservationist who spent his last years in Holderness and was a member of the Holderness Conservation Commission for a number of years.
After the ceremony, visitors can snowshoe the trails in the forest. Light refreshments will be served.

Fewer bald eagles seen in annual survey

CONCORD — Wildlife watchers who participated in the New Hampshire portion of the 2018 National Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey located 97 bald eagles during a two-week count period in January. The statewide effort was coordinated by New Hampshire Audubon in collaboration with the NH Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. “This year’s count marked the 38th consecutive year that N.H. Audubon has coordinated the count,” said Chris Martin, a senior biologist in NH Audubon’s Conservation Department. “When we started back in January 1981, the state's wintering bald eagle population was at the lowest of lows.” In 1982, count participants located just two bald eagles statewide.

A total of 84 observers turned out on the official survey day to look for eagles throughout New Hampshire, from the seacoast to the Connecticut River. Observers tallied 77 eagles (46 adult birds, 29 immature birds, and 2 unknown). Another 20 eagles were found during the two-week “count period” that surrounds survey day, which yielded a total of 97 birds seen, lower than in recent years. In 2015, 110 bald eagles were counted. As for longer-term trends, aside from this year’s drop, the number of eagles counted during the mid-winter survey in New Hampshire has been nearly doubling every 10 years. “In 2017, the bald eagle was removed from the State Threatened and Endangered Species List due to their remarkable recovery,” said Sandra Houghton, a biologist with NH Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. “Monitoring wildlife populations through efforts like this helps us evaluate the success of recovery efforts.”

The official mid-winter survey day occurs within a two-week count period, this year from January 5 to January 19. NH Audubon keeps records on the number of eagles seen during this interval, combining survey data with any additional individual birds that are distinguishably different and are seen during the week before and after, to get an overall total.

During the two-week 2018 mid-winter survey, eagles were observed in five major eagle wintering areas (and a few elsewhere): Androscoggin River: 4 bald eagles (3 adults, 1 immature) seen on count day, with no additional eagles confirmed; Connecticut River: 9 bald eagles (7 adults, 2 immatures) seen on count day with no additional eagles confirmed; Great Bay/Coastal: 29 bald eagles seen, including 18 individuals (11 adults, 5 immatures, 2 unknown age) seen on count day, plus 11 additional eagles (4 adults, 7 immatures) confirmed; Lakes Region: 20 bald eagles seen, including 16 individuals (13 adults, 3 immatures) seen on count day, plus 4 additional eagles (3 adults, 1 immature); Merrimack River: 31 bald eagles seen, including 26 individuals (10 adults, 16 immatures) seen on count day, plus 5 adult eagles confirmed during the two-week count period; Saco River/Ossipee River, and from elsewhere across New Hampshire: 4 bald eagles (2 adults, 2 immatures) seen on count day, with no additional eagles confirmed.

NH Audubon monitors bald eagle abundance and distribution throughout the state each year as part of an annual contract with the NH Fish and Game Department's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. New Hampshire’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program works with state and private partners to protect more than 400 wildlife species in New Hampshire. The program relies on federal wildlife grants, matched by private donations, Moose License Plate dollars, and a grant from the State of New Hampshire. Learn more at www.wildnh.com/nongame.

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The 2018 National Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey located 97 bald eagles during a two-week count period in January, lower than in recent years. (Photo: USFWS/Steve Hillebrand)

Talk on the stresses of caregiving set for March 21

PLYMOUTH — The Rev. Guy Tillson, Chaplain for Pemi-Baker Community Health’s Hospice Program, will present a free program on “The Stress and Risk of Caregiving” at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, at the Plymouth Regional Senior Center in Plymouth. The presentation will explore some of the issues confronted by caregivers as well as including statistical information. Handouts and resource information will also be provided.

Many people are facing the stresses and risks of being a caregiver. She’s 32 and caring for her 34-year-old husband who came back from Afghanistan without his left leg. He shakes and screams with nightmares. There are also two kids, 8 and 5. She has to work to keep them alive, fed and housed. She takes care of them all. She’s stressed “to the max.”

He’s an unmarried man in his late 60s caring for his 92-year-old mother who has dementia. He also has a younger brother with cancer who lives 300 miles away. He’s just found out that he’s a perfect match for his brother’s bone marrow transplant, but he’ll need to be a way from his mother for three weeks to help his brother. How’s that going to happen? He’s depressed most of the time as he sees his family members declining. He’s so worn out and exhausted that he’s just got no more to give.

She’s a 77-year-old widow, living with her 74-year-old sister who is wheelchair-bound. She cooks, cleans, gives medication, sponge bathes her sister, struggles to get her in and out of bed and on and off the toilet. There’s no family left. Most of her friends have died or are in assisted living or nursing homes. As the older one, she knows that she’s not going to live forever. Except for going out for groceries and to the pharmacy, she doesn’t get out of the house. She feels caged in, like she’s in jail.

These are examples of some of the members of our nation’s growing segment of non-professional, unpaid caregivers. However well-intentioned, such caregivers endure innumerable stressors in performing their tasks. Often isolated and unaware of how to get support to alleviate their stress, they are at risk for any number of emotional and physical illnesses. Reports and statistics are very alarming. Area residents are invited to attend Rev. Tillson's presentation on March 21 to explore some answers to these challenges.

Local resident wins LRAA fine art drawing

TILTON — Bill Dawson of Northfield was February’s lucky winner of the Lakes Region Art Association fine arts drawing for a framed artwork titled, “Poppies”, by local artist Beverly Shanley. Anyone 18 or over can win the monthly drawing by just stopping into the LRAA Art Gallery located at Tanger Outlets and registering for the drawing.

Dawson and his wife, Florence, visit the art gallery quite frequently as they often “walk” the outlets as part of a regular exercise routine. Florence likes to buy cards there as well and they often chats with the artists who staff the gallery as they check out the artwork.

Bev Shanley, the artist of “Poppies,” studied charcoal portraits, watercolors, acrylics, and hand building with clay over the past 40 years. She enjoys working with each of these media to express her love of local New Hampshire lake scenes, as well as still life. More recently, her work has taken on a more impressionistic feel, a looser and more vibrant way of expressing an idea on canvas. Bev strives to paint each day and is always open to learning as much as possible regarding all art media. She feels that she learns something new with each painting she works on. Shanley has been a member of the Lakes Region Art Association since 2014 and a member of the LRAA Art Gallery in Tilton since its inception in late 2015. She has also been one of the LRAA “Artists of the Month” on several occasions.

A watercolor, titled “Full Moon Over Winnisquam,” donated by Lakes Region artist Gail Brunt is the latest piece of artwork to be offered as part LRAA’s free art promotion. Brunt has always wanted to be an artist and began by doing fabric arts for many years before she got into the art of watercolor painting. If you are interested in art, please stop by the gallery to see what our local artists have on display and while there, register to win Brunt's watercolor. No purchase is necessary to register. One registration per person, per drawing. The drawing is held at the end of the month.


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LRAA artist Bev Shanley, left, presents her impressionistic work, “Poppies,” to Bill Dawson of Northfield, who, with his wife, often stop by the art gallery to see the artwork on display by local artists. (Courtesy photo)