Peak Foliage

Peak Foliage
October on Preston Pond

Brief History of Preston Pond

Born from glaciers about 13,500 years ago, the original pond was only what is now the wider north end. Probably about 10,000 years ago, as the modern forest started to take root, beavers colonized the pond and expanded it (old dams are under the water surface).

With the arrival of Europeans in New York and coastal New England, a vigorous fur trade grew in the 17th Century. Beavers are particularly vulnerable to trapping since they are easy to find and they were wiped out by the 18th Century. With no beavers to maintain the dams, Preston Pond drained and appears on 18th and 19th Century maps as only the smaller original glacial north end.

Reintroduction in the 1920's and 1930's led to beavers recolonizing Preston Pond. By chance, they arrived the same year my grandfather bought the property in 1946. Ever since then, beavers have lived unmolested (by humans) on Preston Pond - until February 2016. They have never caused flooding problems or over-eaten the surrounding forest stand to the point that they abandoned the pond. Their population has doubtlessly had its ups and downs, but they have managed their affairs here for the last 70 years as beavers did for millions of years: on their own, despite some of their top predators having been exterminated by humans.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Gastrointenstinal terminus auditory effect in Castor canadensis (Beaver gas)

It has taken a week to process this film; the wind noise needed to be suppressed to hear the fart and it was low on my list of things to do. However, as unique as it is, it had to be done. It may be easier to hear with headphones, but it is audible just as the beaver turns to its right up on the bank. As promised: Beaver Gas:
As entertaining as this beaver was (incredibly tolerant of the canoe), it was worrisome that it was so incautious. Even more so since we haven't seen it since, which is a full week now. This is the first time in all of our time here that we can recall going out to look for beavers on the pond and not seeing one for a week (it is usual to see them every day with modest effort).

That doesn't necessarily mean that it is gone, but the lack of sightings is unprecedented for this period of time and coming as it does a month and a half after the adult male and one young male were killed by a trapper, it is a concern. I will make an extra effort to determine how many are left and would appreciate any sightings by anyone else on the pond.
I've been out every night too. Saw a baby pickerel and a Giant Water Bug last night, but no beavers: not a sound on the pond.

No comments:

Post a Comment