We’re fascinated and awed by how the beavers have shaped this landscape. When on or along the water, it’s hard to find places that show no evidence of their work.
One of their recent projects is a small dam on a stream that skirts our property. A few weeks ago, curious about their level of commitment to this small dam, I removed a few sticks from the top. I returned a few days later to find — as is usually the case — those tireless nightworkers had only become more inspired by my minor provocation. They had shored up the top of the dam and then some.
Since the dam is near a walking trail we use to access the pond, I was concerned that the walking trail could eventually become flooded out if they built the dam up higher. A few minutes of online research revealed a possible solution,: a ten foot length of perforated pvc pipe with screening on each end. Some of the sources suggested the pipe should extend 20 feet back from the dam and that upstream end should be caged off to prevent the beavers from blocking it, but I decided to go with the simpler solution for now.
Those straight cuts of those alders could have only been done by a human. That trail is too wide and level to have been made by an animal. The irregular waterways cutting through the marshlands surrounding Basin Pond must be a vestige of the geological history of the area.
These are the things I believed. Now, I am no longer so sure.
After doing some reading and going back again to look at some of these areas, I am thinking that a singular creature, Castor canadensis, the American beaver, may be responsible for these phenomena.
Lots more learning to come. The photos below are of the multi-channeled waterways that cut through the marshlands surrounding Basin Pond,