Sunday, September 19, 2010

Plastering the Lodge

Beaver winter preparations include additions to the lodge. There are usually some more logs and branches, but the main ingredient is a fresh coating of mud. When frozen the mixture of mud and wood becomes pretty much impenetrable armour for any predator that might try to break into the winter safehold. It's a little comical to watch the plastering process. The beaver dives to the bottom and scoops up a huge wad of wet mud. When swimming with this load the beaver is front-heavy and tends to sink, so more often the beaver surfaces right where it intends to exit the water. Standing upright on it's hind legs and using the tail for support, the beaver more or less waddles up the lodge to just the right spot.

I've yet to get really good photos of the lodge plastering. These two show a beaver just out of the water with the mud just visible, and a beaver high on the lodge about to dump it's load.

No comments: