Busy beavers

Apr 17, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, on a bike ride through the Lake Hogan Farms neighborhood near my home, I noticed that there were trees gnawed cleanly and downed along the creek, and that the waterway seemed to be more marshy than normal. On closer inspection over the next few days, I saw that there was a beaver dam in the middle of the rising pond. A friend who lives in the neighborhood confirmed that the beavers have been around for years.

About the same time, I began to notice that there was a similar pond rising along the Mud Creek at Old Erwin Road, along my route to and from work. Traffic zips along the bridge there, and I could only glimpse at what looked like branches and trunks blocking the flow of the creek. Beyond, the cypress trees were now standing in water, and the area was beginning to look like a classic southern swamp.

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Yesterday, having worked later than normal and missed the rush-hour traffic, I stopped my van in the late afternoon sun so I could get out and peer over the bridge. Sure enough, there was an elaborately constructed dam with a beaver lodge beyond. I took this short video to capture the sight:

I know that beaver can be quite disruptive and destructive to farmers and homeowners, but to see the engineering of these animals amidst the hustle of Triangle life is pretty cool.

Read about beaver management in North Carolina.

Anton Zuiker

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