Thursday, December 19, 2013

WOODTHRUSH RIDGE BEAVERS

The title says this is about beavers and I post robin pictures.  Why not?  I noticed enormous flocks of robins this month down here along the lakes and in the heavily forested areas.  This is part of their Winter tour from up North and happens annually. The unique thing is that one couldn't buy a robin throughout the Summer months around East Tennessee.

 These two guys caught my eye and I thought they'd make a neat picture or two.
Here's one in a berry bush pigging out:
When I came to Tennessee and settled in Greenback back in 2004, I stayed in a warehouse behind a business owned by a lady who worked in dog rescue.  That's where I discovered Douglas, the love of my life (Golden Retriever).  I actually lived in that warehouse for about seven years and part of my rent responsibility was mowing and making repairs on her 40 acre property that was comprised mostly of mountain side with a house on top that sat on about 4 acres.  A tiny creek flowed at the bottom of the mountain on one side and exited her property by flowing under a country road known as 92 South through a concrete overpass (culvert).  I guess there was about 5 acres of flat land that bordered that little creek that I mowed paths through to gain access to bird houses on posts that served primarily as blue bird houses.  The area consisted of tall, native grasses and was habitat for all sorts of critters including deer.  Weeds isn't a word I've heard in the South because Southerners refer to weeds as natural grasses and it's an accurate appraisal of the tall greenery found down here - for the most part.
Just recently a pair of beavers have found their way onto this property and built a beaver dam.  The excitement over this occurrence is beyond description because this property owner is very much in love with dogs and any and all wildlife on this planet and these beavers were very welcome.  Incidentally, Woodthrush Ridge is the name given to this wonderful, beautiful 40 acre property by the owner.
The lack of color makes the dam a bit difficult to see in these shots but it can be discerned with careful inspection.
The beaver's den is not apparent and I am guessing they are staying at the one end of the dam until they eventually build a lodge - probably in the Spring.  This dam is located about a hundred yards from the road, Route 92 South, where the culvert is.  The problem that has presented itself is that these little guys are trying to build a dam across the culvert and that's a big no, no.  If they are allowed to accomplish that, the county will intervene and harsh action will ensue.  The property owner has torn down the beavers efforts to build at the culvert numerous times but the industrious beavers instantly act to rebuild their dam.  It takes a hours to tear away the carefully placed sticks that would close the stream off from the culvert by the property owner but, the beavers have it all replaced by the following morning.  
It is indeed difficult to really see detail in these shots.  Summer will be better for photographing these fellows and their efforts.  These animals are fully nocturnal as they've not been seen as of yet.
Below is a shot of the pond they have created.  I used to mow this.  Amazing.
How sweet is that?  It's illegal to tear down beaver dams or lodges in this state and this is private property so, as long as these fellows stay where they're at they'll enjoy a very good life and provide interesting pastime for an animal watcher after they acclimate themselves to the area and settle down in comfort which will allow them to feel safe moving about in the day time.  I have some ideas to rectify the "dam at the culvert" issue which I shall present to the property owner.  Something tells me I'm going to get my hands involved with this project over time.