The title of the blog post may confuse people. Just to be clear, this isn’t about the “Republican War on Women.”
This blog post is about the war on beavers, the tree cutting down, endlessly busy engineers that inhabit the area where I live in New Hampshire. Environmentalists may object to my participation in the war on beavers. After all, weren’t the beavers here first? Don’t our beaver brothers and sisters deserve homes? Why can’t we just let the beavers be beavers?
Why? The answer is that beavers are very destructive. Much of that destruction is good. The environment beavers make for themselves, blocked up streams that lead to flooded fields, is great for ducks, muskrats, geese and a variety of animals. What the beaver dams are bad for is roads, farmers fields, and Lake Franklin Pierce. This year the beavers, as they do every year, have decided to block one of the major streams that helps fill Lake Franklin Pierce. Blocking this stream not only keeps the lake from filling, it floods the road that leads to over 20 homes. No one minds the beavers having the field they have flooded next to the road. It’s their wanting to take over the road. The beavers wish to expand from Beaver World to Beaver Universe.
The battle against the beavers is all in the favor of the beaver. No one wants to kill the beavers, and I am sure the beavers want to kill the humans. Recently a beaver jumped out in front of my car on Route 9, the major road between my home and town. I drive a mini cooper. The beaver just stopped and LOOKED at me. He knew if hit he could fly up into my windshield and kill me. I do get some grief about driving a mini cooper in an area full of wildlife. My plan is “If it’s a small animal count on my superior braking power, and if it’s a moose, drive under it.” The beaver gave me the finger (they do it by whacking their tail) and slowly shuffled off the road.
While I refuse to kill or trap the beavers (or this years models), I do help with the “It is daytime, let’s pull apart all the work the beavers did overnight.” I think of it like the bombing campaign of North Vietnam during the war. At night the Americans would bomb all the bridges, and during the daytime the North Vietnamese would rebuild the bridges. It was a never ending cycle, that even Nixon knew would never lead to a definitive victory. I know, there will never be a definitive victory with the beavers. Only an endless stalemate, and until a beaver named Kissinger shows up, this is how it has to be.
The photographs help illustrate the battle. The humans have erected a barrier at one end of the road. The barrier is made from an old dog cage. You can see the “beaver rake” we use to break up the nightly build up of twigs, branches and sometimes entire trees. You can see from the fresh beaver tracks, they like to come check out what the humans have destroyed and laugh and flip us off with their tails. Another nearby road is also under attack. You can see the debris building up, as the beavers try to expand their empire over yet another road about 400 people need to drive on to get to their homes. Not only are the saplings they have taken down impressive, this year they decided to try to intimidate the humans by taking down a really large tree. That or there is a beaver this year that is visiting from Japan, and having reached Godzilla size from all that nuclear radiation, has giant teeth. No saplings for Beaverzilla. This looks impressive until they knock down a tree onto your house. While you admire the teeth work of the beaver, please spare a thought for the poor humans. We know we that while we are the more technologically advanced, much like the Viet Cong, perseverance will always eventually win in the long run.
- The Chapa Spirit an Ecosystem Engineer (prairiepiece.wordpress.com)
- Hot Dam!! There are beavers in that pond!! (goodlifegaston.com)
- The beaver reivers must die, demand English fishermen (scotsman.com)
- Family of Beavers Moves into Metro Neighborhood (fox4kc.com)
- Geophysics reveals secrets of the beaver (earth-pages.co.uk)
This is wonderful! I now know better than to read this blog while drinking coffee: the beaver named Kissinger nearly did me in.
Have you yet gotten to wrapping the bases of beloved trees with wire mesh, to discourage Beaverzilla from killing them? (If not, that day is coming…) One of our local parks has decided to preserve the more expensive, rare, or slow-growing trees and leaves the alders as sacrificial lambs to propiate They Who Must Gnaw.
Perhaps you should buy an antique top hat for the rake-wielder to wear? They were mostly made from beaver hide, so it would be a symbolic gesture (much like tearing down the nightly build).
I can’t wait to see these beavers!!
Many of mother nature’s critters are not nice. They have taken down large birch trees at our lake’s edge. We took photos…so when someone complains that we are cutting down trees illegally we will have proof it wasn’t us.
All I have are possums and armadillos.