(This post originally published in October 2010)
… whenever beavers pile freshly-cut saplings on top of their lodge, and pile plenty of mud around them to keep them in place:
Lately, I have noticed this activity around 2 of the area beaver lodges I frequent. Unfortunately, this construction/repair activity almost always occurs during the nightime hours, making it extremely hard to capture with my camera. But I have a few ideas that may help me capture this activity in the future … stay tuned!
… whenever you kayak down a creek and see the stumps of many fresh-cut saplings as you travel:
You can usually spot stumps most of the year, but in fall the activity increases dramatically as the beavers cut down saplings for reinforcing the lodges against the upcoming winter, and also for storing as their winter food source. To store for food, the beaver will haul the sapling back to their lodge. Upon arrival at the lodge, the beaver will dive to the bottom of the creek (or other body of water), dragging down the sapling with them. They then secure it to the bottom. Then, during winter when the area is covered with ice, the hungry beavers will exit the lodge (via their underwater entrance) and snack on their “organic buffet”.
As the temperatures begin to fall, I’m sure more activity will ensue. I will be there, paddle in one hand and camera in the other, to capture these interesting creatures as they prepare for winter.