Yesterday, some of the members of the Conservation Committee took a walk around the trail. Rachel pointed out an unusual tree trunk, bird's nest. These pictures show the amazing structure. It's in a very large, old swamp maple at the west end of the pond.
I've certainly seen nothing like it and that nearly perfect circle of discoloration seems to have a lot of other people stumped. I posted a pictures to the Facebook Beaver Management Forum and asked for ideas. There's a lot of curiosity, but no one has yet come up with a good answer.
Probably the closest match anyone has found yet, is the red breasted nuthatch. It used pine resin around it's tree trunk nest. I don't think that it, because the gray-white ring doesn't look like resin and an Internet search for images, showed no symmetry involved in their sap spreading. If it's a nuthatch, it has OCD and an engineering degree.
The tree appears to be one of the biggest and oldest around the pond. Unfortunately, the beavers have taken a liking to it and have begun gnawing. I have never seen them go after a tree this size. I suspect they may not be looking to down it, but rather simply dining on the bark on the exposed roots and base.
In either case, it's not a tree we want to see go down. I was Sunday afternoon when I realized they were up to their dam chewing. I had some stakes and fencing still around from past repairs. It was a quick patch job and I'm not confident it will keep them away if they have a mind to chew.
Here's 25 minutes of wire wrapping in a minute and a half.