2.23.2010

Abandoned

As I have mentioned before on this blog, beaver lodges come and go on the millpond. The one pictured below was abandoned quite some time ago. So long that all the sticks and mud have washed away, revealing what the interior of the lodge looks like. This one appears to have been quite roomy. Wonder why the beavers abandoned it and why some other enterprising beaver family hasn't rebuilt it?

 

 

 
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7 comments:

Pablo said...

Foreclosure, maybe?

Wayne said...

Pablo - silly, but you never know. Have to say those are fabulous maclodges - why would anyone abandon them?

I've been doing beavers lately too, and ran into our neighbor wildlife biologist the other day. He'd observed abandonment of lodges as well.

He was scrupulous in tagging his pet hypothesis as just that, but invoked disease, especially tularemia. I don't have the expertise to judge one way or the other, but a little scouring of the internets found several other sources that invoked nonspecific disease as significant reason for abandonment.

What I want is for our creek to be transformed into a big body of water, so I'm rooting for the beavers.

jason said...

Wow! That's a major homestead indeed.

And Pablo humorously beat me to it: I was going to suggest the housing crisis was to blame.

KaHolly said...

I hate following all these clever commenters! I did enjoy the photos of the lodge. I always wondered what they might look like on the inside. Maybe a young beaver, looking for territory of his own, will restore this property for his own family someday. ~karen

biobabbler said...

My gut reaction as a biologist, NOT an expert in beavers in any way, was also general disease risk minimization. For my chickens they say if a coop has been empty for 3 -5 years, AND you clean it really well, then it's probably fine. Less time than that and you run the risk of infecting a fine, new flock with whatever was lying around.

Basically, I expect that restless beavers (who rebuilt now and then, abandoning old lodges) may have been favored (re: natural selection) vs. stay-local beavers in the long run as risk of disease is less (new, fresh, beaver-cootie free lodge vs. not).

Fun topic, interesting pics, and enjoyed the other comments.

swamp4me said...

Pablo,
This lodge was abandoned before the housing bubble burst...

Wayne,
I tend to think the lodges are abandoned from time to time to let nature clean out ectoparasites and other nasties. Would make an interesting study. Good luck with getting your very own beaver pond!

jason,
The place does have good "bones." ;)

kaholly,
Years ago I toyed with the idea of building a beaver lodge that kids could climb into and explore. Lack of a place to put it put an end to that.

biobabbler,
I favor the beaver-cootie reduction hypothesis. Love the term, btw. I think I will have to incorporate it into my vocabulary ;)

Stephanie Renee Frye said...

Love these beautiful root structures. I'll follow your blog.