That Damn Beaver’s Dam (and Lodge)

Since absconding with my game camera the Rodent of Unusual Size has been unobserved.  He probably sold it on ebay and used the proceeds to fund a vacation in Cancun.  Well, partially funded anyway.  But the puddle has remained at its elevated level so I decided to venture into the swamp and see what I could see.

There was no sign of the waterlogged rat anywhere but his handiwork was all around.

Here are some photos of his tree chopping abilities.

Beaver chewed branches, Sony A7 III, Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens

 

Beaver chopped sapling, Sony A7 III, Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens

And here is a mess he left while chewing the bark of sticks.  I should turn him into the Staties for littering.

Branches stripped of bark by beaver, Sony A7 III, Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens

 

Branches stripped of bark by beaver, Sony A7 III, Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens

 

Branches stripped of bark by beaver, Sony A7 III, Sony 50mm f\1.8 lens

And here is his Lodge (what a dump).

Beaver lodge, Sony A7 III, Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens

 

Beaver lodge, view from above, Sony A7 III, Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens

And here is the much vaunted dam.  Well, as a fellow engineer I can only say he’ll have to do a lot better than this if he expects to get his P.E stamp.

Downstream view of beaver dam, Sony 90mm f\2.8 macro lens

 

Downstream view of beaver dam, Sony 35mm f\1.4 macro lens

 

Downstream view of beaver dam, Sony 35mm f\1.4 macro lens

And here’s a close-up of his handiwork.

Downstream view of beaver dam, Sony 35mm f\1.4 macro lens

 

Disappearing like this leads me to believe either he has been eaten by one of his woodland brothers (coyote would be my guess).  Or he’s gone completely nocturnal.  I could test this theory out if I still had a game camera.  Oh well, maybe Santa will come through.

Rodent of Unusual Size Strikes a Blow Against the Paparazzi

Those of you who follow this site know that recently the swamp that abuts on my property became the home of Castor canadensis (a beaver).  Next to the edge of the swamp is a small shoreline where I sometimes see foxes, coyote, deer and other woodland inhabitants.  A couple of years ago I was given a game camera as a present.  I sometimes install it in various locations to get nighttime shots of the critters.  A couple of weeks ago I strapped it to a sapling near the swamp and got some shots of the foxes, coyotes and raccoons.  I typically take the memory card out every week and then re-insert it after downloading the files.  I went to re-insert it today and couldn’t find the camera.  Thinking that I had forgotten where I’d set it up, I looked around the area pretty thoroughly.  I didn’t find it but I did notice that a lot of the smaller saplings were gone.  The beaver has been busy.  And I think he took the sapling the camera was attached to!

I’m usually a live and let live kind of guy.  But stealing my camera strikes at my very identity.  Who ever heard of a photog without a camera?  The lodge is in a fairly inaccessible corner of the swamp and getting to it probably will entail personal discomfort on my part.  Plus, I’ll be on his turf.  In my mind he has fired the first shot and must now be considered hostile.  I feel like Captain Kirk in the episode where he is being stalked by the big lizard man called the Gorn.  Yes, just like that.  It’s going to be him or me.  I wanted to coexist.  I came in peace for all mankind.  But now where can I go to be safe?  Before you know it, he’ll be dragging my truck down into the swamp.  Then I’ll be trapped without an avenue of escape.  And then he’ll come for me.

Like Kirk I have no phaser, no space age weapon to give me the clear advantage.  It’s his giant razor-sharp incisors versus my brain.  But he has a brain too.  It may not be as large but it’s backed up by all the cunning and savagery that his rodent ancestors have accumulated down the long span of this island earth.  He has that and also the hatred that all rodents feel for those who put out spring traps for their diminutive brethren the field mice.  How many of his kindred have I snuffed out with my traps.  I’ve thrown their bodies down by the swamp for the fox to eat.  This must be the basis of his vendetta against me.  What was I thinking?  How else could he take that except as a war crime.  Well, it’s too late now.  Nothing will suffice but that this contest reach its bitter conclusion.  Two will go in.  Only one will emerge from the arena.  If this be my last post then let me just say it’s been an honor.  If it turns out not to be my last post then maybe I’ve slightly inflated the situation.  Only time will tell.

Post script.  Yeah, nothing happened.  Never mind.  But my camera is still gone.  That fur-bearing bastard is probably taking selfies of himself inside his lodge and laughing and laughing at my expense.

To be continued.

Rodents of Unusual Size and the De-Swampification of My Puddle

I inhabit an area that is adjacent to a wetland that can vary from a pond to a bog.  In the last few days an unseasonably heavy pre-Thanksgiving snowfall was melted off by substantial rainfall.  When this happened I could hear the stream that feeds the puddle flowing pretty heavily and I noticed the level of the puddle was rising pretty significantly.  Well, what of it?  Winter is coming and that will put a stop to most of the flow.

pond shot with Sony A7 III and Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens

After that the puddle will solidify and stop being a concern until Spring.  But Camera girl has the vision of a hawk or eagle or something.  And she saw something interesting.

crop of beaver in pond shot with Sony A7 III and Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens

Now I wish I had bought that Sigma 600mm zoom.  I assume soon my basement will be underwater and the beaver will be cohabiting with us and borrowing my stuff.  There’s never an end to the indignities of living in New England.  This undocumented migrant probably has all kinds of protected status, doesn’t pay taxes and for all I know is a trans-gender study major at the local state college all on my dime.  I’ll keep everyone updated on the horror.