Monday, January 10, 2011

Magic Beaver - Castor Canadensis Prestosio

I start in the south lagoon on a cold and cloudy day that brings brief snow showers that do not accumulate. I seem to be noticing the beaver sign more than ever. There are fresh trimmed branches and limbs, barkless with the fresh yellow of newly exposed wood along the muddy shoreline and sticking out of the cattails. It is impressive how much there is, much more than the occasional plastic debris of the other dominate mammal. The work bench lodge is especially piled with new wood. If they keep up the work it will look more like a haystack than a beaver lodge.

Across from birch island, I find a downed alder, all of the branches gone and the trunk chewed partway through in a few spots, being shortened into a manageable size.

As I pass #1 island, I spot the largest nutria that I have ever seen in one of the live traps (nutria are invasive and do serious damage to wetlands - there is a management program in the bay). I ease up close and find that it is a beaver. As if by magic, the trap springs open while I paddle away.

I head over to north point to continue my mapping project, where I also talk with a couple of people. It is a great birdwatching spot, but today the birds are lying low. It is most likely the weather and the ducks seem rather inactive and congregated quite a ways out in dense flocks.

On the way out, I check the trap and find that the beaver has now if by magic. But, the scent of castoreum is extremely heavy, almost as musky as the patchouli on a twenty year old college student. That beaver went way beyond necessary to mark this spot.

No comments: