Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Valdosta Beaver Hunt

Sorry, trawlers for porn, this post features many photos, but not of the Larry Flynt variety. We're looking for the real thing.

This is my house from the woods on my property, as I move toward the city-owned green belt through town. Today, woodpeckers knock and rattle dead and dying trees for bugs.

Looking into the woods from the path behind my house.

In these woods, where smoke from burning swamps seems less oppressive, water is rising into once dry areas despite the long drought. Maybe the ground is sinking or maybe rain from a tiny cloud falls on a sad cartoon man lost in the woods. Small trees had been cut down, wood chips flecking ground. I was enraged, wondering who could be wandering through the slim green slash through town by two-mile creek cutting down trees. Toothmarks grace some of the stumps, so I perform some environmental arithmetic. Beavers.


I'd heard they were around, but this locale seemed improbably urban--good for the occasional raccoon, hawk, opossum, or pilieated woodpecker, but beavers? Around the margin of the expanding pond, two dams that confirmed recent activity.

Dam 1

Dam 2 (Harder to see, but the dam crosses the A about 2/3 of the way down)

Finally, I discovered evidence of the actual creatures.

The one- to two-feet deep pond, not deep enough for a lodge, sits above the deeper two-mile branch. Perhaps young beavers are exploring, or perhaps they're just creating an area friendly for feeding off the creek. Or perhaps they've been displaced due to the work on the emptied Mill Pond, into which the creek drains. I'll keep watching.


John Guzlowski said...

Hi, Marty, I was wondering why you'd go into the woods until I started thinking about it. You're right, the smoke does seem less oppressive in the woods. But I wonder why. Do you think it's our childhood association of woods and camping and campfires? Smoke always seemed less threatening in a forest, more natural. You smell smoke in the city and you think, good god almighty my house's on fire.

Amy R. said...

I think, Marty, that you don't have to go looking that far for beaver! But really, nice job with the virtual nature trail... it feels like I'm right there with you.

Marty said...

Well, John, I'd go for a more Hillary-esque (Sir Edmond, not Clinton) answer and just say, "Because it's there." It's why I bought the place, actually. And Amy, it's like you're there with me, except for the bug bites.