Ramble On

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Relocating the Beaver

Back in 2008 and 2009, Mary and I watched as a pair of beavers built a dam in the hollow across the road from us at this confluence in Beaver Run.  The pond filled the area and reached depths of ten feet, and the stream was diverted creating new cascades that serenaded us with the sound of falling water that whole summer; at dusk we could here the animals splashing around at play. 

From time to time you could see mallards, Canada geese, and swans in the water, and I once saw a bear getting a drink over there. 

In the fall and winter, the pond froze over.  One of the best parts was the reflection of the sky and mountains that filled the view.  Eventually a spring storm (or VDOT, since the dam was very close to a state road) tore the dam down - exposing the whole infrastructure for analysis and learning, which you can follow if you like by clicking on the "beaver dam" label below.   

On Sunday, Sally and Dan invited us over for a walk through the woods around their place.  From the patio, you could see the familar reflection of a growing beaver pond back there - and as we went down the hillside to the hollow, sure enough, gnawed saplings was a sign of the beavers at work.

Closer to the pond, there are more of these stumps - some of them quite large.
The hollow opens up back here - it's maybe 400 feet to the south of where the old pond was and around a bend in the woods.  The dam itself is about 80 feet across and the pond extends behind it at least that far. 

It was partially frozen over, so Latte, the black lab with us, went out to explore, bounding from ice floe to floe and skipping through the shallow water tracking whatever scent came to him.  He was a happy dog and fun to watch.

Here's a last view looking across the pond to the little lodge, there on the other side of the water in the center of this view.  Some of the trees here will die after being water logged - or because of damage from the beavers trying to take them down. 

Come spring, the thaws and rains will probably wash this structure away. 

No comments: