Saturday, April 9, 2011

Beaver pond update

Now that the ice and snow appears to be truly gone in the bush except for some small portions on protected sides of fields or woodlots, I figured it was time to venture as far as the beaver pond the other day.

The water in it was so clear you could see the bottom in many places, old logs that had been part of the stream bank, but been cut down by the beaver to make their pond.

You can see in this picture the many younger trees that are being drowned. If you follow where Bliss is pointing to a tumble of twigs and branches on the edge of the pond just beyond his head, you will see one of the entrances to the beaver lodge.
In this close up you can see the tangle of branches and limbs that are under the water that go into the construction of this pond.

Beavers are most industrious animals. Sometimes they create big problems for farmers and other people who want streams to flow straight and true without interruption. But they create wetlands as well, that are part of nature's balance - all the little creatures that need swamps and bogs and fens to live, need something like a beaver pond.

In the top picture you can see the northern edge of the dam. Below it are many more little dams as the beaver have moved downstream to create more habitat - for themselves and I would assume for their offspring. I've not walked to the end of this stream - it eventually comes out in the Beaver River after winding through this farm and two others.

Always fun to explore my surroundings. Even though I'm familiar with many of the roads and byways, I don't often walk back into the bush or along the edges of fields, simply because I don't trust my dogs not to get into trouble. Three times it's been porcupines - that's expensive... both dogs, but fortunately not at the same time. And many many more times, it's been squirrels or their nemesis: raccoons. Cute as they are, one of them bit Bliss and he and Spirit have declared them to be enemy number one.

They are big dogs weighing in around 100 pounds each - tall and strong. And when they hunt they are in pack mode and go quite feral. I hate yelling like a banshee, but sometimes all their obedience training goes completely out of their tiny brains.

That being said I'll get some long leashes and make some hikes around this summer I think. Exploring my neighbourhood and the nearby villages can be so much fun.

What's to explore in your neighbourhood? Have fun out there today.

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