Sunday, February 23, 2014

A breach in the dam

The dam. 19 Feb 2014.
I checked the dam twice recently. Once on the 19th, and again today. I'm not surprised, but a little sad, to say that the dam has breached from the heavy snow melt and rain combination.

You can see in the second photograph that the middle section of the dam has breached.

I'll keep an eye out to see how long it takes to repair the damage.

The dam. 23 Feb 2014.

A field of stumps regenerating.
On the 19th, I happened to walk around the old dam site from 2011. That particular dam has been washed out and abandoned some time ago. I was on the right bank of the run, where many trees had been cut down and presumably killed by the beavers. 

Happy news. 

As you can see in these two photographs, most of the trees chose not to die, but rather to regenerate.  You can find an interesting article about the process here:

Stump sprouts.

Meanwhile, a couple videos of the ubiquitous fox and also a raccoon. Hope you enjoy them.

More later.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I saw a Bluebird today

I checked the dam yesterday and noticed something interesting.

A section of the dam had failed. The bank on the left side of the stream failed. It was incised already, and seems to have failed. the failure point was just downstream from the dam, and caused about seven feet of the dam to collapse.

The beavers have wasted no time in repairing the dam. You can see the repaired section in the foreground of this picture. The sticks are newer and less weathered. You might also see that there are no leaves stuck in between the sticks as there are in the older section of the dam.  Those leaves are an important part of the benefits of beaver dams. They provide food for insects. And those insects provide food for trout and other fish. And trout provide sport and food for humans. In one study, winter survival rates for salmon and trout was 2 or 3 times greater in streams with beaver dams than streams without beaver dams. (

Here you can see an earlier video of a beaver carrying leaves to the dam.

I've never been successful in capturing the beavers working on the dam. But I'm trying again. I hope to get some video of the dam repairs. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects are active around the dam: beaver, deer, fox, squirrels, people, pet dogs, and raccoon.

And an Eastern bluebird. That's a nice reminder that spring is coming.

Soon the bluebird boxes in the park will be humming with activity.

More later.