Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4, 2011

Winter is approaching slowly at Lake Wicwas, after a couple of false starts with early snow storms.  Two cold nights in a row brought a bit of ice to the edges of some protected coves, but that is about all.
Ice around the edges of Lake Wicwas

The ducks continue to come and go, traveling in groups of several pairs, though we did not see the remaining loon this week.
Three pairs of Mallards

The beavers, however, are very much visible, or at least their handy-work is.  We found  a low section of the shore line where they had taken well over a dozen trees in the last two weeks.  The area is getting thinned out.

They have worn themselves quite a pathway where they come out of the water, and then drag their harvest back down to the lake.  This entire shore used to be thick with two to three foot high shrubs.

Beaver Path to their Bounty

They were mostly taking the birch, with some as large as four inches in diameter.  This one they cut down, but left the tree. 
Birch tree cut, but not taken away

They leave behind wood chips of surprising size;  the grooves left where their two incisors cut into the tree are visible in the chunks of wood.  The strength of their jaws and teeth must be tremendous.

Another update on Child's Park:  Sturdy wood benches have been installed, and the base of playground is being delivered and spread around the equipment.
Child's Park

The fruit of the winterberry contrasting against the drab backdrop of December is a bright reminder of the season that is upon us.  They raise the caloric intake of the birds that feed on them, as well as the spirits of those who see them. 


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