Signs of beaver activity are everywhere along Pearl Brook

To be sure, the vernal equinox doesn’t occur for another couple of hours, but it’s a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon so I’m considering this the first day of spring. Much more appropriate than the grey snowy/rainy day at school that tomorrow is forecast to be.

I decided to head over to the Pearl Brook State Park in Townsend to check on the beaver colony there.

There have been beavers there in the past, but they had been absent until about three years ago when I first started to notice signs of some fresh activity. That first year the activity was on a very modest scale, but since then, it has increased steadily.

Does this mean that more beavers joined the original group? Or have they had litters and now the young ones are helping out?

There’s a network of several dams, at least two larger ones and several smaller ones. The water is beginning to back into a deep bowl that had obviously once been a pond long ago. A trail and footbridge that had followed the brook have been washed out or submerged.

All around the bowl, trees from saplings to mature trees more than a foot in diameter have been taken down.

This is my first opportunity to follow the progress of a beaver colony from start to finish. The beavers closer to home tend to get chased off as soon as they begin to encroach on roads and people’s yards. There’s no such threat here.

It’s going to be interesting to see how far this will go.

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