Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nature's Engineers

Back in October, the beavers began increasing the size of a small dam they had across a creek.  Steadily since then, the dam has increased in length as water routed around and they attempt to stop the flow.  By November, you could begin seeing a significant impact on the marsh area.  Previously dry areas were now flooded and more waterfowl were beginning to use the area.

I didn't visit the area much in December as I was travelling to other places.  Today was such a beautiful day I decided to go see how things had changed.  I took the small point and shoot to get a wide landscape shot but I think my card has gone bad as nothing was on it when I returned home.

I went back and looked at shots from Oct, Nov and compared to today.  Almost the entire back marsh is now flooded and work continues on the dam.  The difference was quite amazing to see.  The damming is changing the entire ecology of what was a marsh area.  The destructive nature of beavers is beginning to show with the loss of trees.  The small ones were the first to go but they have moved on to more impressive tree sizes.  I saw this one and had to wonder did the beaver just decide to call it quits on this tree?  Many more trees are being girded which I am sure will lead to their demise.

There were probably 10 mallards and a dozen Canada Geese that had taken up residence in the now flooded marsh.  Far back I could also see the Great Blue Heron wading.


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