Each winter for the past couple of years, the beavers have made quite a mess by felling trees along the creek that runs between two of St. Paul’s reservoir lakes. It seems the busy beavers have been even busier this winter, or perhaps there are just more of them working there. They particularly like the aspen trees — is that because it is softer wood?
Just about every sizable aspen tree in this particular area has been cut down recently (judging by the unweathered stumps). It’s like someone came through with a chain saw and attached all the trees here.
Further on down the creek, it’s just the trees along the side of the trail (made by deer or the beavers themselves?) that have been gnawed on. These trees are too far from the water to fall across the creek to help dam it up. I’m not sure what their intent was in partially cutting through these particular trees.
There were lots of prints in the snow along the trail, but in one patch of freshly fallen snow, I found some that looked distinctly like beaver paws.
Even if the beavers don’t finish toppling this tree, the wind will certainly bring it down.
I have never really explored the wetland beyond the creek, but since it is frozen solid, I followed the beaver trail right out to a lake on which I found a beaver lodge. There were no beaver footprints leading up to it, so they must access it from under the ice. It was quite large — probably 15 feet across and 5-6 feet tall. I think those are deer prints in front of the lodge.
The beaver haven’t been successful in damming the creek this year, as they have in the past, but a few fallen trees do make a scenic photo.
This is an attempt to get more artistic with the scenery. This was processed in Lightroom and Photoshop and is supposed to look like a painting.