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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I commute most of the year, but generally avoid days when there's snow or ice on the roads (so I miss a few weeks most winters here in New England). I had been off the bike for about 3 weeks recently. When I started riding again week before last, I encountered an obstacle on a stretch of park path (most of my commute is on roads, but I use a couple of miles of MUT through some parkland along the Connecticut River). A small tree had blown down in one of the storms, blocking about 2/3 of the path width. I threaded my way around it, and figured park maintenance people would get to it soon.

That was on a Friday, and the tree was still there Monday, so Tuesday I undertook my civic duty and strapped my little folding pruning saw to the bike rack, and cut off enough of the tree to clear the way.

Today, almost a week later, as I approached the spot I saw that the tree had been cut back further, and the cut sections removed, so I figured the park people had gotten there at last. But as I got closer, it didn't look like a clean cut, and I finally realized that this was the work of a different sort of cleanup crew.
Terrestrial animal Tail Natural material
So I guess I could have just waited a week and let the beavers take care of things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like hatchet cuts, no?
At first glance, but on closer examination, definitely beaver. There's a characteristic concave shape to the cuts they leave, and evidence of their toothy-work is very common in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The beavers have been continuing their work on the downed tree.
Wood Branch Soil Trunk Twig

Wood Soil Trunk Fur Fawn

And today I took a closer look at the base of the tree. My supposition that a storm had brought it down was incorrect. It was the beavers from the start.

Wood Trunk Forest Twig Woodland
 

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Either way, it's hard to predict nature but, I rather see that then, have it done by a bunch of punks with nothing to do.
 

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We have beavers down here in the pa white clay creek section. They are big monster beavers, not cute little beavers. Lol there isn't many so most destruction is kept under control


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think Steve B. means the beavers are building a dam near the path.

Beavers flood Hwy. 82 near Aspen | VailDaily.com
Oh. But they're not, at least nowhere in sight. The waterway nearest this section of path is a good deal lower anyway, and it would take a long time for the beavers to build a dam high enough to flood here. If we have an especially high spring flood on the river, it may back up this far, but that's a normal occurrence. Other nearby path sections closer to the river flood almost every year, at least briefly.

Flooding caused by beaver dams is usually a very slow-growing process. That Vail story was unusual, being caused by debris jamming a culvert, resulting in sudden flooding.
 

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you're telling us you have a rat problem. they can be pesky.

i don't know if i've seen a beaver (unstuffed), but i have seen a nutria:



i posted that pic on flickr, and someone from the college said the red-tail hawks were doing their share of population control.

in louisiana, they use a rifle and make a stew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Don't be surprised if the MUP is under water in a few weeks.
The trail actually was under water this morning, but it had nothing to do with the beavers. The extreme warm spell last week here in the Northeast has caused some big snowmelt up in Vermont and New Hampshire, and the Connecticut river here at Hartford went up over 10 feet since Friday night. I have long known that some sections of riverside path flood in the Spring, but this section was only built last summer after the high water, so I didn't know at what river level it floods. Now I know.

When I encountered water on the path I kept riding at first, thinking that it might be only a few inches deep, and I ride through big puddles on the foul-weather bike all the time. Mistake. It kept getting deeper, and by the time the water drag (and the ice -- I was ice-breaking ;-) was slowing me down so much I was in danger of falling over, I was up past the hubs. I got off, standing in water almost to my knees, and debated for a moment whether to go forward wading. But I really couldn't tell how deep it was going to get, so I waded back out the way I had come, and rode the roundabout route.

Riding with soaked shoes at temps just above freezing would have been a bigger problem if it were much more than the 3 miles or so I had left.

Learning experience. Hoping the shoes, socks and tights will dry out sufficiently for the ride home. Temp should be in the 50's, so not a big problem if things are still a bit damp.
 
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