A week ago, our new field technician, Todd Macomber, told Lionel and I about a place on the Unity Mountain trail near Marshall Pond that was flooded over. He thought beavers might be involved in some way. So,we all went out to take a look.
I noticed that the pond level was really high for this time of year and I wasn't seeing any fresh beaver signs. All the beaver chews (trees with pointed tops) looked to be over 6 years old (based on the new twig growth sprouting from the stumps).
When we got to the spot, there was a deeper area on one side filled with water and a mound of debris on the other that we could walk across. I was sure a large amount of water had deposited the debris there, but Lionel wasn't as sure.
We moved away from the pond and followed the old logging road that ran along water-filled ditch to see if we could find any beaver sign further along.
Sure enough, we found a small dam with fresh beaver cut sticks on the top. Then, we started to notice fresh beaver chews along the ditch. Eventually, we came to a small wetland and noticed a large lodge made up of sticks the diameter of my arm and larger! The lodge was taller than Lionel and looked like it had been there for a while.
We went back to the spot on the trail that had been flooded and started to dig into the debris pile. We found beaver chewed sticks and lots of mud and grass that had obviously been moved from one side of the trail to the other side.
I was in awe of how much work the beavers had done to create this small dam that I initially was sure was just a pile of debris. The pile went deeper and deeper. How could a beaver excavate the trail and move all this debris to this spot with just his mouth, feet, and tail? Amazing!