May was the month of the Big Floods this year in southeastern New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts. While destructive to roads and property, and very dangerous to humans, the floods actually help maintain certain natural community types by scouring riverbanks (a natural disturbance) and depositing loads of rich silt and mud in floodplains. The high-water mark of the flooded Merrimack River can clearly be seen like a bathtub ring in this unedited picture of an exemplary silver maple - false nettle - sensitive fern floodplain forest near the NH Forest Society's Conservation Center in Concord. The temporary bleaching effect is caused by the high concentration of silt in the floodwaters.
2006 flood level in an exemplary silver maple - false nettle - sensitive fern floodplain forest
in Concord, NH (photo by Ben Kimball)