Perhaps beavers know why they find it desirable in some regions to construct great houses or lodges surrounded, like the castles of old, by deep water-filled meats, while in other regions they seem perfectly content to dwell in vulgar holes in the mud banks.
For years we had thought that the numerous colonies of beaver, that are found in this Park, were all of the latter plebian sort but about a year ago the Naturalist stumbled onto, quite by chance, a small colony tucked away behind a thicket of alder in a dark swamp in which was a typical and well-built lodge. According to all the information we have been able to secure, it was the first beaver house to be discovered in this region. Recently Ranger Macy discovered a veritable beaver city, the numerous dams and ponds of which, cover an area fully 20 acres in extent. Two lodges have been located to date in this maze of animal-built dams, canals, and ponds.
One house is a typically-built lodge about 15 feet in diameter and extends some 8 feet above the water, which appears to be from 5 to 6 feet in depth. The other is the largest beaver house I have ever seen and is some 20 feet back from the nearest pond but with two canals leading to water-level entrances on opposite sides of the lodge. The entire structure is fully 20 feet in diameter at the base.
An interesting fact is that this house-containing colony is situated on the same stream but higher up then the first-found house is. Here we were able also to add another item of diet to the rather limited menu of the local beaver. Thickets of some species of thornapple were common here, although rare in the region, and the beaver seemed to prefer the bark and twigs of this tree to any other.
Yesterday a pair of the beautiful but rare Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) were seen working their way against the swift current of the Nisqually River near the Park Entrance.
April has been the month of Varied Thrushes. Every morning and every evening the sweet mysterious song of the Swamp Robin has greeted us, and on dreary days, as though to compensate for the lack of sunshine, the birds have continued their songs from dawn to twilight.
|<<< Previous||> Cover <||Next >>>|