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.

Run 406: Beavers in Africa

Run 406
Average pace: 5:23/km
Location: Brunette River trail and Burnaby Lake (CW)
Distance: 8.02 km
Time: 43:13
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 30-26ºC
Wind: light
BPM: 156
Stride: 178 strides/min
Weight: 153.6 pounds
Total distance to date: 3305
Device used: TomTom Runner Cardio

Tonight’s run was marred by a series of mildly unpleasant things, ranging from yet more hot temperatures (it was 30ºC when I started out) to a stitch in my lower right side (possibly caused by my guts boiling from the insane heat) to a tickle in my throat that was probably an ingested bug that led to a lot of coughing, watering eyes and general horribleness.

Despite all this, my pace of 5:23/km, while much slower than my last 8K, was actually fairly decent for the weather.

But the best part of all came a little less than a kilometer in when, on the Brunette River trail, I saw a beaver sitting on the path near the fence to my left. It was glistening and shiny from having just climbed out of the river and was pondering its next move, seemingly oblivious to my presence. I found this odd because I imagine beavers don’t encounter a lot of joggers. After I passed by I looked back and the beaver was ambling across to the other side of the trail, heading toward the new stream created a few years back, no doubt intent on a little re-engineering of the local ecosystem. I felt a little bad for the beaver having to waddle around in the oppressive heat wearing a fur coat. On the plus side it can jump into the river to cool off without fear of drowning, unlike me.

The Peregrine 5s held up much better this time, with both shoes remaining tied. Plus they are blue and snazzy-looking:

Peregrine 5

The left foot was better-behaved, as well, only getting slightly sore by the time I was waiting at the station for the SkyTrain.

All in all, despite the myriad issues, this run was not as bad as it could have been. Thanks for brightening my run, beaver! Unless you were an omen of a bad run, then screw you, you tree-destroying little monster!