Friday, February 22, 2013

Our Beaver Lodge

We live on a marsh or floodway that borders the Fox River.  We never know what nature will bring to us.  Some years we are so flooded that the entire marsh is under water.

We can even see fish through the water from our deck.
These are just Carp.

Some years everything dries up except for a small stream that leads to the river.   You can even see a snapping turtle walking across the grass.

 Usually the animals adapt to whatever conditions they are presented with.  The last time an animal misjudged the situation was during a normal year.  We had a pair of Beaver build a lodge under a fallen tree at the bottom of our hill.  They deepened the channel that lead to their lodge and created an escape route.  We could easily see them as they gathered small willow branches to provide food for themselves for the winter.  We were amazed at the size of their collection of willow branches.  Then the pond froze, but the waterways that the beaver dug out remained open for a long time.  Slowly the willow branches disappeared.  We were sure that we would see beaver babies at some point.  It didn't happen.  The spring floods arrived and flooded the beaver out of their lodge.  For a long time they had to lay on top of the lodge because they were flooded out.  Eventually they just left.  Many people think that we should be glad because beavers are so destructive.  They are in most situations but when we consulted an expert, he said they won't climb our hill because of the large supply of willows, so we wouldn't have to worry about trees around our house. The willow trees they used will grow back quickly.  I can see if you have large beautiful trees, that would be very disturbing but we were sad to see them leave.  They haven't returned.  I guess they learned their lesson.

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