Recognition should be given to all those who have gone before; family members, friends, and others that may have influenced me in their own quiet way.

Special recogition should go to my father Kenneth (Kenny to all who knew him) and my grandfathers Selby and Chester (Jake), both born in the 1890s. All of these gentlemen influenced me in their own way...with time fishing, hunting, trapping, or just time spent togeher.....

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Beavers - Nature's Civil Engineers

I can remember a time in my area, when Beavers were almost non-existent. In the last 30 years though, their numbers have rapidly increased. It is now very common to see remains of their activities....cut trees, well worn trails down into the water, and corn fields near the streams with large sections of corn completely wiped out. I was quite surprised a few years ago when I first came across a corn field with evidence of the Beaver's activity.

The above is not meant as a condemnation of the Beaver. I am happy to see their return. In my lifetime, the White Tail Deer, Turkey, River Otter, and Bald Eagles have also returned to my area.

I have numerous pictures in older posts in this blog, showing Beaver activity.

Following are a few recent pictures. For any new visitors; if you click the picture, you can see it full size.

Our streams have been quite low since late summer. Hiking along the Middlefork River, the other day, I was surprised to see a Beaver dam the full width of the river. I have seen lots of dams on smaller streams, but this is only the second I have witnessed on this river, and this one is the longest.

In this first picture, taken from downstream far enough to show it all; you can see how shallow the water is on the down stream side and the pool of water behind the dam.

The dam is perhaps only about 2 feet high, but creates a nice pool for quite a distance upstream. Here you can see my dog Emma swimming through the "reservoir" toward the dam.

The dam construction is very sturdy. The expected material is there; branches from trees they have cut and in addition there are corn stalks from a nearby field. I was surprised at the large numbers of rocks that were used on this dam. That section of stream is full of rocks and the Beavers took full advantage of that resource. It would be really interesting to witness a dam construction and in particular the placement of those rocks.

The following two pictures were taken at a different location; in a marsh about a mile from the dam. I went there in the evening, sat on the bank, and was able to see several Beavers swimming about. I took several pictures in the evening light, including the one of the large splash made by a Beaver when it submerges quickly, sensing danger.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by! Feel free to share this blog with anyone you feel might enjoy it. 

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