Monday, 24 October 2011

Climbing beavers

Continuing with the theme of the athletic beaver, here are some photos I took recently of a fallen sycamore that had been ringed by beavers and had then fallen to a winter wind- note the bottom right hand corner of the picture. The tree fell last winter, I think and is held up against another sycamore that beavers have ringed, but which has not fallen yet. The fallen tree has been barked for a certain distance along its trunk, so you may imagine my surprise when I saw that beavers were still interested in it. 

Has a beaver mounted the trunk from the bank?

I think it must have and has then padded up the trunk of the tree.

But what has it won in the way of nutrition?

Lichens here, but what about the lower parts of the trunk that have been gnawed?

Perhaps slightly acidic water gives a vinegary taste? Do slime moulds have a flavour?

Friday, 14 October 2011

Beavers are full of surprises. Having felled this birch, a beaver has walked along the trunk, gnawed off the bark and jumped down onto the bank on the other side of the burn. At least that is what I suppose happened.

Beavers use stones a good deal in the course of building dams, but usually they are scattered around the structure. Here, in this small dam, you can see some stonework, which I thought unusual.

Fiona McLean of Stirling University has produced some interesting results from her sampling of the water in the Burnieshed Burn, but more of that for next time.