Back at the ranch (well, my pond in Maine, to be more precise), the beaver has been building its lodge. It still seems to be alone, which worries me. But it’s working hard, if somewhat ineffectually. In this case it cut through a clump of three sizable trees, and failed to fell any of them. (The lodge can be seen in the distance).
Back at the lodge..
The lodge is built up with layers of fresh mud, and fresh branches. He works entirely at night, I’ve never managed to catch him in the act. But every day there are small changes, more mud, new branches, or both. These photos are taken over a seven week period from September 16th to November 8th:
While the beaver was doing this, Bruce was cutting a new trail further up the pond’s shore, and we had marked the route with pieces of orange tape tied to trees. On November 8th we discovered that the beaver had been at work at the end of the new trail:
And the next day, November 9th, when I photographed the lodge on a frosty morning, there was an orange flag at the top:
I think it had been tied to that tree, and after he cut it down he limbed it and dragged one branch out to his lodge, complete with tape. At least he didn’t swallow it, which could have been disastrous. I have carefully picked up every scrap of remaining tape.
PS Peter Ellison sent me this wonderful photo from southern New Hampshire of an East Coast beaver aspiring to be Andy Goldsworthy, this time by extending an old stone wall into a sinuous dam: