One morning I saw that a Red Oak tree right on the edge of the river had just been partially debarked the night before. I nailed a wire fence around that to protect it!
Another development I’ve noticed are “channels” that are veering off diagonally from the river into the wetlands. They are visible now that the water level has gone down.
So, I started thinking. These are young beavers from the family that live downstream. Once the young are two years old, they get kicked out and now must make their own lives. Where are these young ones who inhabit my backyard each night planning to live this winter? Wouldn’t they be building a lodge by now? I haven’t seen one.
So, on Tuesday (a very mild December day) I put my kayak in and began paddling downstream. I hadn’t gone far at all when I saw it! Right ahead of me by the little bridge! A brand new beaver lodge! I was positively delighted and amazed. How long had it been there? Just last week I had stood looking at the river from that bridge and hadn’t noticed it. But it must have been there (it is quite well camouflaged) because I could see that there were indentations of what had been underwater “path ways” for access to the lodge- back when the river was higher a few weeks ago.
All summer the beavers had been attempting to construct a dam under the bridge. But, to avoid flooded property, their human neighbor regularly undid what they had done. Currently, there is no dam at all, and the lodge is a bit more exposed than they would like, I think.