John Harrigan: Moving my office to the farm for a great view

JOHN HARRIGAN October 13. 2013 12:06AM

I'm moving my office from the News and Sentinel building in Colebrook to a new office at the farm, 3½ miles out of town. The view from the window is dominated by Bunnell Mountain and Cleveland Notch. The adjacent rooftop deck affords a sweeping 30-mile view of northern New Hampshire, Vermont and southern Quebec - or as I'm fond of saying when speaking and there are Vermonters in the crowd, one state and two foreign countries.

Vermont politicians and bureaucrats love beating on New Hampshire, and New Hampshire loves bashing Vermont, and ever it has been thus. It is one of the few multi-seasonal sports.

Both my offices are a mess during the move, but one benefit has been the discovery of numerous "notes to self" that had been buried in one pile or another. To wit, a sampling:

-- I'm sick and tired of hearing about the partial government shutdown from media all around, and I'm among the millions of citizens who feel only shame, disgust and disgrace.

When I go into the grocery store for this or that, I always buy the New Hampshire Union Leader and The New York Times, and read them the next morning. "But by the time you read it, the news is already more than a day-and-a-half outdated," friends and relations say aghast.

So what? In general, the news does not affect me directly, and I certainly can't affect the news, and if it's some local emergency I'll hear about it through networking or the local media.

Sometimes I even save the papers and a magazine or two for camp, which requires another day for planning, packing, doing last-minute writing and chores and just getting there, which, to put it mildly, is a hike. And then I can enjoy reading the now 2-day-old news on the porch and save the papers for starting the fire on the next trip up.

-- I've done a lot of radio over 45 years (and counting) of newsgathering, and being on Jack Heath's show every Friday is yet another fun shifting of gears. This past Friday, I even got to use a favorite phrase, "cartridges for partridges," referring to grouse season, which began the first of October.

The subject of the closure of federal forests and parks came up, of course, and my take was that if thousands of pie-in-the sky protesters could stage Occupy Wall Street, then we should stage Occupy Our Federal Lands, and just move in.

-- Last year's moose season success rate was the lowest since the initiation of the hunt in 1988, at 64 percent, and Fish and Game is responding by drastically cutting the number of permits that will be issued next year.

The population is way down, mostly because of a soaring infestation of ticks. Biologists say the ticks are surviving longer and multiplying due to warmer winters. They are literally bleeding moose to death.

I don't know of any hunter anywhere who doesn't support curtailing the season, or even not having a hunt at all for a year or two if that's what it takes to rebuild the population. The health of the resource should always trump the hunt.

-- I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the frost has been on the pumpkins for almost three weeks up here. At entrances to house, woodshed and barns, I'm replacing brooms with snow shovels.

But in truth, there's nothing bad. The cusp of the season is a fine transition to relish. I'll welcome winter as the embrace of an old friend. The landscape is tired and needs a rest, and so we simply adapt to moving upon it in different ways.

John Harrigan's column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. His address is Box 39, Colebrook 03576. Email him at

John Harrigan

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