A beaver’s work is never done II

[The second part of the beaver’s labor of Hercules. One more part will follow, on their food preparations.]

Now that the beavers have got everything ready, the construction project can begin.

The lodge may be a new-build, or a renovation of a fixer-upper. This year, it was the latter. This one is out in the middle of the pond,

so I took my kayak out to get close enough for a good look.

There is no intricate weaving like a bird’s nest, but the beavers create a rough tepee, and a hole is left open at the top for air to escape.

Once the structure is in place, they add a layer of mud, plastered down carefully:

More branches and mud get added as they see fit. Sometimes they seem to get over-excited and build higher and higher, like this exuberant creation, the Sagrada Familia* of Western Maine:

If this was a new lodge, once they have created a giant heap they would excavate the inside from underwater, creating a chamber for the adults and, hopefully, their young, who will be born in mid-winter.

Because they are nocturnal, I rarely see them at work, but eight years ago I captured this shot of a beaver building his abode, on the same beaver pond:

Talk about D.I.Y. I think I’d rather get the builders in.

* Sagrada Familia is a cathedral in Barcelona designed by Gaudí, started in 1882, and scheduled to be finished in 2026! It is famous for its pseudo-Gothic over-the-top extravagance:


3 thoughts on “A beaver’s work is never done II”

  1. Beavers are simply amazing. How do they know how to carry out such an intricate project? I enjoy the sort of sloppy appearance of their pile-like homes. But to know to patch with mud and leave an air hole and make a room for babies is beyond the beyond for such small brains. Love and admire them deeply!


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