Beavers dam it

I went for a walk tonight along the Brunette River trail to help work off the 15,000 calories of pizza I had ingested earlier and spied for the first time the fur-bearing stick re-arrangers that have been at work at the small artificial pond created back in 2012 as part of a habitat restoration project. Previously the drainage pipe fed into a small pond that continued into another pipe under the trail and into the river. For the restoration, a new stream was created off the pond to the east that travels about half a km or so down before joining into another. At the same time a large concrete barrier was put in place to create a larger, permanent pond. When it rains this pond naturally spills over and the excess goes into the pipe that leads under the trail. In the winter this spillover becomes a reasonably impressive little waterfall.

Recently I’ve noticed twigs and small branches adorning the top of the concrete barrier. They would usually go away, but inevitably reappear a few days later. They were there tonight and for the first time I saw the culprits lazing about in the pond: three beavers.

There may be more than three, but that’s how many were showing themselves. None were active in the construction as I walked by, but their work is evident in the shot below. You can see that even though we are in the midst of a dry spell, there is still a trickle of water flowing over the concrete and the beavers will have none of it (apologies for the naff picture quality. I was afraid the beavers might dive if I got too close, so I wasn’t too fussy on getting the best angle).

Here’s a cropped version that more closely shows the dam builders, contemplating more dam building. The third one is near the water’s edge toward the back.

I wonder if these beavers are related to the ones that managed to derail a 152 car train.

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