Geese playing king of the hill …

… and other doings this last weekend in April.

I’m no goose expert. But I think that what we have going on here is a couple of young geese who fly in to the beaver pond daily and honk in hopes of attracting a female. They play king of the hill on the beaver lodge. But so far, no domestic activities that I can see. The prime territory (and the big loud goose fights) are to be had out in the main body of the wetland to our west.

geese

The marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris) are probably at peak. Here are two views below the beaver dam.

Caltha palustris

The reddish blotches are leftovers from ferns from last year.

Caltha palustris

Hank mentioned that — based on the pix I’ve been posting — that my garden must be looking good. Well the past couple weeks are the time of the year when they really look like crap, or more kindly they’re going through that awkward phase where you have to get down on your knees and look very closely to find the beauty. But I am to the point where I’m starting to step back a little, with this image of a variegated albutilon friends sent as a get well greeting for Elly and containers waiting to be filled with tropicals in the coming weeks.

albutilon

Alchemilla mollis is back. Dew on lady’s mantle is pretty trite as images go, I know. But I’ll keep shooting it until I get it right.

albutilon

One of those fancy primulas nearly in full flower.

albutilon

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Busy beavers

They’ve extended their damn and built up their lodge. I just hope that they can withstand the usual spring melt that turns that tiny little stream into a torrent.

beaver pond

Bonus shot: For the first time, the Miscanthus floridulus went down. It grew tall this year. And I don’t think it dried down as quickly as usual because it kept growing into fall, throwing out flowers in October. We got a little wet snow and the not-quite-dry stalks bent over, burying the viburnum.

beaver pond

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Our new pond

Monday afternoon I broke through some brush at the edge of the yard to cut some cattails for a floral design class one of our grad students was teaching. Lo and behold, I discovered the pond that El and I talked about putting in when we first moved here.

I knew the beavers were busy this summer. I could hear them at night plowing through the cattails back to the safety of water when I’d take the dogs out at night. But I had no idea how busy they were.

beaver pond

Their damn is probably 100 feet long and 4 or 5 feet tall at its highest point. It collects water from the small stream that runs behind our yard and the springs that also pop up in the area in and around the pond. There is a small lodge in the center.

From what I recall of beaver biology from my youth (hey, no snickers — I grew up near a small lake that had several beaver lodges), after a year of so, the young get kicked out of established lodges to go build their own. There are beavers in several areas of the wetland along the main creek. Guess it was getting crowded, so they moved up into our little branch.

I am planning to put some hardware cloth around the trunk of the willow tree down by the stream.  Beaver like willows, poplars and other species that colonize the flooded areas they create.

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