With our recent cold snap, the beaver's pond is frozen over.
|The frozen beaver pond.|
|The top of the food cache visible above the ice.|
|The mystery wood pile.|
I think I have solved the question: "What is that pile of wood near the bank of the stream?" It appears to be a cover of the ventilation hole of the beaver's bank den.
Beavers don't always build a lodge in the middle of their pond.
|A bank den.|
They also build bank dens, or underground homes they enter from under the water. These dens are caves under the ground next to the stream. The nest chamber has to be above water level so it cannot get air from its entrance. To supply fresh air, they have a ventilation hole; sometimes hidden in tree roots, sometimes not. The illustration to the right shows the layout. If there is not enough soil to support a chamber, or if the soil collapses, beavers sometimes make a lodge over the top of the chamber. I believe that is what we have at Cromwell Valley Park.
With our recent cold snap, the beaver's pond is frozen over. I looked at the slides, or trails where the beaver comes and goes from the stream to the land. I saw no tracks. The beaver must be staying under the ice, just has he planned to do. He's built himself a pond to hide in, put up a nice food supply and built himself a nice den. Aside from the fact that he cannot watch the Australian Open tennis tournament, I'm just a tad jealous.
|Can you spot the camera?|
More next week.