New Lodging in the Park

As I was making my rounds in the park today, I was surprised to find that the park is home (or home again, I’ll explain in a moment) to a family of Castor canadensis. Castor canadensis is the largest rodent in North America, and the third largest rodent in the world. What I’m talking about here is the North American Beaver.

 As I said, I was making my rounds as I normally do, but today I was accompanied by District 4 Maintenance Superintendent (my, doesn’t that sound important?) Jeremy McRae. As we approached a bridge near the Visitor’s Center, we saw what appeared to be – and upon closer inspection, did indeed turn out to be – a beaver lodge.

 Jeremy informed me that there had been a beaver lodge in this very cove shortly before the bridge was built across it, and that the beavers had moved on when construction started. Well apparently this family of beavers was just waiting for the neighborhood to get quiet again, because they have moved back in and built what appears, to my admittedly inexpert-on-the-subject-of-beaver-lodge eyes to be a very fine lodge indeed. 😉

 Here are some pictures; they don’t really capture the awesome-ness of being that close to something I’d never been that close to before. And, I don’t know if this is a large or a small lodge, but just for general information, this particular lodge was approximately ten feet in diameter.

A beaver lodge, seen from the fishing bridge near the Visitor's Center.

When Jeremy and I were there watching it, we didn’t see any activity (other than a few small bass and some perch that Jeremy spotted, avid fisherman that he is). However, I went and dropped him off since it was time for him to go home. I then grabbed my camera and went back to get some pictures to go on the blog. When I walked up, I must have startled a beaver, because I saw huge ripples in the water just as I was coming into sight of the lodge. Alas, I didn’t see any beavers, but I did see fresh mud packed onto the lodge, that hadn’t been there when I left. Almost had a picture of one, it would seem. Here’s a closer shot of the lodge in which you can see the fresh mud I’m referring to.

A closer-up image of the beaver lodge. On the lower left side of the image, you can see the fresh mud on the lodge indicating that apparently a beaver had been working on the lodge just before I arrived.

Well, that’s about it for today. I haven’t given up on catching a glimpse of these beavers, so who knows…keep checking back and I may have an image of one of our park’s new residents.


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