Saturday, April 8, 2017

Flow Control and a Tree in the Trail

This morning, Lorrie sent me a text alerting me to a tree that the beavers brought down on the trail, just past the first bench. As I headed out with the chain saw that the board purchased last fall, the first thing I noticed was the flow control device doing it's job. Water was flowing at the fastest rate I have seen since its installation just under two years ago. The water was flowing on the far side of the pond in a way that would maintain the pond level, but wouldn't trigger damming activity by the beavers.

As I made my way past the first bench, I saw two trees the beavers had taken down.  One on the side of the trail was already stripped of branches.  The other larger one was across the trail, but hadn't been stripped of branches.

The chain saw made short work of the top half of the tree with all the branches. I cut things into manageable pieces and threw them down the bank between the trail and the pond, blocking the beavers' logging road.

Sometimes in the past, trimming trees in this manner resulted in the beavers ignoring them. Had I left them on the other side of the trail, they probably would have left them either because of my scent or the smell of the cutting oil.  By placing them in their path, I'm curious to see if and how they deal with them.

Early spring and late fall are when beavers down trees. There's not much that can be done during the fall, because the tree count is due to the storage of food for the winter.  We've already used wire to prevent them from taking the larger trees.

Spring is a different story. In spring, trees provide material for the dam and food until plants begin to germinate. They still have their appetites, but because the pond leveler is doing its job, the use of trees for dam building is curtailed significantly.

It's been five years since we built the culvert cage and on April 29, it will be exactly two years since we installed the pond leveler.  And so, another year of peaceful co-existence begins.

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