Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Beaver photos by Judy Boyd

      Eager beaver ? I don't think so . Work like a beaver ? I can buy that .

      Since 1970 I have watched the Sunnybrook beaver pond. The dam across the creek has been active about 50% of the time . Beavers would operate the dam for three or four yours and then move to another area ...sometimes only 200 or 300 meters up or down stream .

      The Sunnybrook pond ,as usual , is in a very well chosen location . A seasonal drainage comes in from the left but it is deep and fairly wide so the beavers get two streams and banks with one dam. Water backs up in the main stream for about 400 meters and in the drainage channel about 200 meters. This gives the beavers a rather large area from which to gather food .

     The beavers work at the dam from mid summer to mid fall . Old dead tree trunks are put in the dam along with smaller brushy sized pieces . Much mud is also deposited in the dam . What we don't see are the many boulders which are in the dam . The boulders are noticed when the dam is abandoned and washed out . We start to wonder were did they find all the boulders as well as marvel at the strength they have to more the rocks .

      There is also evidence of tremendous effort in taking down very large aspens . Once the trees are felled they are cut up and moved to an under water storage area where the bark can be stripped and consumed over the winter.

      In this pond they never build a lodge but prefer to burrow into the bank to make a residence . As you can see the banks are well treed with spruce . The roots make a roof which doesn't cave in .

      So the beavers work hard to make a dam , lodge and plentiful supply of food . They tend to calmly go about their business with little excitement or fanfare . So they log many hours of work in building maintaining and repairing the dam , Many more hours are spent building up a year's supply of food . So I admire the beaver for not only his work ethic but his great ingenuity .