We realize this is way off topic for a bird blog, but you may have noticed that we branch out with stories and pictures of other wildlife occasionally. This summer we've been watching an adorable family of beavers: mom, dad, and a little one. Our community had a plan in place to drain the lake for some much needed repairs to the dam, and we were starting to worry about what our little beaver friends would do with no water. Two weeks ago, the dam was opened and we have not seen the beavers since then. It's a little dreary looking out into the empty lake with a small stream flowing down the middle.
While driving over the Metlars bridge the other evening, traffic was at a standstill so Mike reminded Chris to look over to the other side of the lake to see the status over there. Well, we were ever so delighted to see that the beavers had built a new dam! It was too dark that evening on our way home to check it out fully, but we took a walk by first thing this morning. We didn't see the actual beaver family, but we did discover that our little beaver friends are making things better for other wildlife too. A HUGE turtle seemed to be making its way very slowly over the dam and heading for the deeper water. There were also lots of birds around that area too. We've seen a small decline in the number of birds right in our yard (could be due to a neighbor's cat being let out), so we are keeping our backyard water feature running for as long as we can for them while they are without the lake. (An order has already been placed for a defroster for it.) We do, of course, fully understand the need for the dam repairs and are impressed with the efforts of all the volunteers working to make it happen, but we're also incredibly impressed at the efforts of the beavers and hope they succeed in making it through the winter. We are really going to miss seeing the migratory ducks that usually stop by, but maybe we'll make more birding trips away from home this season if it doesn't get too cold and snowy.