Leave It to Beavers
 
Should you ask where Nawadaha
Found these songs so wild and wayward,
Found these legends and traditions,
I should answer, I should tell you,
"In the bird's-nests of the forest,
In the lodges of the beaver..."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 
Not far down the path in a nearby state forest, the roadway sinks into mud and water at the point where a low bulwark of branches and woodland debris has been raised across the neck of a small stream...
 
 
 
Those in the know will immediately recognize the handiwork of the forest's busiest denizens - beavers have transformed this patch of woodland to wetland, and in so doing, have built a habitat for a world of other creatures.
 
 
 
Their contribution is not undervalued - please note the fine of $25,000 per day if the dam is breached, plus the cost of restoring drained wetlands.
 
 
 
The dam is good sized, and well buttressed. I suspect one or two of the larger logs may have been added by concerned bipeds...
 
 
 
Beaver-felled logs and stumps have a very particular aspect.
 
 
 
The world of their creation - you can almost hear the frogs plunking into the pond. On my next visit, I saw a great blue heron feeding here. [For more on the entwined existence of herons and beavers, please visit my heron page.]
 
 
 
The road less traveled (by humans, nowadays). Wetfoots only!
 
 
 
Home sweet home. This humble structure is the fruit of all that civil engineering; the security of its underwater entrance can only be maintained by keeping the pond level high. You can tell the beaver lodge has been here for a while - note the saplings growing on the roof. I have not yet seen the beavers who made these works - but if I ever do, I'll doff my hat.
 
Beaver Links
Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife
Beaver - Wikipedia
Bob Arnebeck's Beaver Page - Video included!
Beaver Lore: Writings by Others on Beavers

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