Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.
So, for background, we live out on the highway with a creek in our backyard. Adjacent to our property, there’s a section of the creek that’s been intermittently occupied by beavers ever since we’ve lived here. It was unoccupied for a while, but a couple of years ago a new set of beavers moved in and rebuilt the old dam. We didn’t see them for most of the summer, but their dam-building ways kicked into high gear this fall, and we’ve been enjoying going out and looking at them, checking on the progress of the dam and watching them swim around, dragging branches from place to place, and preparing for winter.
Their pond start out small, but has been growing in size, rearranging the creek’s course and reconstructing that entire section of creek. It’s been really fascinating to watch.
They’ve done an astonishing job of clearing out the trees in what used to be a wooded patch of valley and is now basically a lake, including gnawing through 50-foot cottonwoods.
It’s fun though – I mean, they’re cute, they’re not bothering anyone, and we like going out in the evening to watch them.
I don’t have very many pictures of the actual beavers because they’re usually seen from a distance and mostly swimming, so it’s just beaver heads. We’ve been trying not to go too close so as not to bother them. They seem to be largely unaware of us; they’ve never seemed to mind us being there.
Tonight, however, I went out for my evening tour de beaver, and the lake was … GONE?!!
We worried at first that someone had actually done it – destroying beaver dams is a thing that happens, sometimes out of necessity (because they do tend to build their dams in places that can threaten human infrastructure like roads). But we’re pretty sure the dam simply collapsed under our recent rains, especially since the beavers are fine. We saw three of them out there, busy trying to rebuild.
So hopefully they’ll be okay. It’s late in the season for it, but they still have the creek and plenty of food, and they also still have most of the previous dam. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve managed to rebuild a tidy little lake by the time things freeze up.