We decided to go for a walk in the woods this afternoon. It was a good thing to do to get out of the house.
The development we live in is basically a road in the middle of nowhere. It’s one road with a cul-de-sac at the end. Behind all the houses on one side of the street is a one mile long nature trail that leads to a main road. We have only ventured all the way to the main road once…a trip we aren’t likely to take again. Towards the end, the trail disappeared and we were left fighting underbrush just to get through.
Today was different. We weren’t planning on going all that far. Just far enough to check out the wetlands beyond the trail. It’s a happening spot, from what it sounds like at certain times. I have heard water rushing into the wetlands after a strong rain, I have seen and heard deer near the water and I have also heard coyotes back there howling away. What we haven’t experienced yet was an up close view of the water and marshy spots.
Today was pretty chilly. We got all layered up and started our hike by making our way down and through the woods in the back yard. That leads to the nature trail which leads to the wetlands. Don’t worry, I am going to show you all sorts of cool pictures of this.
Anyway, we got dressed and went down there. I brought my camera with me just in case I found anything worthy of being photographed. Good thing I brought it because…well, you’ll see below.
The water was neat. The woods were neat, but what was really neat was the damage the beavers were doing to the big trees back there. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Let me tell you, a beaver can take down some pretty huge trees.
As we were walking along the marshy areas, I noticed some small (3″-4″) trees laying on their sides. I noticed that the area that caused the tree to fall had some chop marks in it. It looked like someone had taken an ax down in the woods and chopped down a bunch of small trees. Then, I looked a bit further and saw that there were dozens of much larger trees that had fresh marks at their bases. I couldn’t believe it. I kept thinking that someone was chopping these things down. But why would they chop them half way and then leave? I came to the conclusion that beavers had done the damage.
I really don’t know what it’s going to look like back there in a few days because from what I gather, beavers can take a nice size tree down in no time. It’s going to be a mess and it’s going to be loud when these things come down. Even as we were walking through the trees, we heard creaking when the wind blew. Needless to say, we didn’t hang around very long.
Here are some pictures of what I described above along with some other stuff. Enjoy.
We Found the Beaver Lodge
December 8, 2010
All we needed to do was to walk a few more steps.
It was beyond the damaged trees we had originally discovered. There are actually two beaver huts, or even perhaps three. We were looking on Google Earth this morning and we found the two huts plus one maybe hut. We’ll have to check it out.
We also found a whole bunch more half eaten trees. Amazing. Since there is only so much writing that one can do about beavers chopping down trees, I thought that I would finish this post with a bunch of pictures.
On a side note, I plan on walking out on the ice this winter to check things out a bit closer. Hopefully this isn’t an accident waiting to happen. There seems to be a kind of meandering river that slowly flows through the entire wetland and it would be really interesting to get out there. I have to wait about a month for that. If that’s not possible, I am going to have to borrow a canoe to use for the Summer.
The Coffee Walk
November 14, 2011
I was standing outside yesterday morning looking into the woods when I came up with a brilliant idea. I thought that since I enjoy walking the property each day while drinking my morning coffee, why don’t I make a trail around the perimeter and put down some wood chips or something so I have some sort of direction? I mean, all I do is kind of wander around the grassy areas and look at the little pine trees. We live on four and a quarter acres…shouldn’t I be taking advantage of that?
Hmmm…I thought about it some more. Them I remembered that we already have a trail that travels through the woody parts of all the properties on the road. It’s a nature trail that has some sort of an easement. It allows anyone who is interested to do a bit of hiking. Since it’s right at the bottom of the hill, wouldn’t it behoove me to use it? Yes, I said behoove.
I went inside and put some sneakers on. Off I went. Oh yeah, I brought my camera too…just in case.
I told myself that I wasn’t going to visit the beaver hut, that all I wanted to do was to get some fresh air. The beaver hut is about a fifteen minute walk. I’m not sure I was in the mood for that kind of commitment.
Well, as it turns out, once you are on that trail, things move pretty quickly. Fifteen minutes moves by without much notice. I ended up at the beaver hut.
The beaver hut (lodge) was pretty uneventful. I have yet to see the beaver or his wife. I keep thinking someone “took him out” because of all the damage he does to the trees, but I did see a new lodge further down the water, so that made me feel better. I don’t know much about the lifestyle of a beaver…if they change huts or anything, but again, seeing the new hut made me feel good that at least someone is still living there.
I finished up my coffee and started walking back.
On the way back, I stopped off at a tree that had fallen many years ago. There was some pretty nice moss coverage and since I love moss, I decided that I’d try to get some pictures of something. Taking (and looking at) photos of moss isn’t the most exciting thing, so I figured that if I could find some sort of focus, I could at least put something up here on this blog.
Just as luck would have it, there were some mushrooms growing out of the moss. I’ve only taken one picture of a mushroom before and that’s over here. Having the mushrooms in the moss was going to open up some new opportunity for me.
I played around and took a bunch of pictures. Most of them are on the cutting room floor, but I did manage to save a few, so I’ll post them now. I sure do wish I had a nice macro lens for this kind of stuff though. More times than not, I had to back up because I was too close to each mushroom. The lens wouldn’t focus.
Till next time.