Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beaver Trails

Most of the year beavers don't stray too far from the safety of water. All that changes in the fall when they strart putting up their winter food supply. Then it's necessary to travel overland to the groceries. Travelling the same routes each time and dragging back branches forms recognizable trails. Sometimes these are hard to capture in a picture. Yesterday I lucked out and found this trail network highlighted by a light covering of snow - in fact it was snowing when I hit the shutter button.

The second picture shows the overall layout of this beaver colony. The view is looking downstream from a road. I added arrows showing a dam, a bank lodge, and the location of the food cache. Click on the picture for a larger view. The open water in the upstream pond is being kept open by beaver activity, not water flow. Soon the cold will win and this colony will be iced in to just the lower pond, which is maintained by another lower dam not visible in the picture.

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