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Kentucky Color - Beaver lodge

Comfortable quarters with underwater entrances afford high and dry lifestyle for the aquatic and mostly nocturnal animals, plentiful in this area - but rarely noticed by most, except for those who go looking: Naturalists like the writer, habitat altering Corps (plural, spelled same as singular, for Great Wooded South Lexicon readers) or for those for whom the location of photo is not revealed, the writers' friends and trappers. Sometimes, the writer notes - and for reasons known but to these fascinating natural engineers alone - the lodges are sited streamside.
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By Billy Joe Fudge

Traditionally, beaver build dams on small streams to impound water to an appropriate depth for lodge building. They then build their lodges or homes beginning on the stream bed to three, four, or five feet above the level of the water. The room is high and dry above the water level with an underwater entrance for safety and access during extended cold weather when the surface of the stream is frozen.

Beaver however, will take to stream-bank lodge building when the stream's flow rate is too fast and the volume of flow is too great to be conducive for lodge building in the stream itself. This beaver lodge is located within plain site about a hundred yards from a highway. For now I am not divulging the location so as to protect the innocent. The entrance is located beneath the water line and the living quarters are almost on top of the bank beneath the sticks, limbs and debris which are all cemented together with mud. - Billy Joe Fudge



This story was posted on 2012-01-27 05:13:25
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Kentucky Color: Alternate Beaver Lodge, streamside



2012-01-27 - Somewhere - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
Beaver Corps of Engineers site selectors' chose a streamside lodge construction sometimes, as above, when when the stream's flow rate is too fast and the volume of flow is too great to be conducive for lodge building in the stream itself. In more placid situations and more often, they build island residences, with underwater entrances for security. In either case, by beaver standards, the homes are dry and cozy.

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Beavertown, Adair Co., KY: Box elder beaver stump



2012-01-27 - Beavertown, Adair Co., KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
A Box Elder stump was left standing about 2 feet tall after beaver felled the tree for food and or building material. The stump will sprout and the suckers will provide some tender, succulent bark for Beavertown's residents in the coming years. While working on a wildfire at the base of the Grand Teton Mountains just outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming I saw beaver gnawed stumps 6 feet or more tall. Needless to say visions of beaver as large as a Great Wooded South Black Bear were dancing through my mind. Thankfully a local, probably stimulated by my ashen complexion and panicked look, explained there was 6 or 8 feet of snow in that area during the winter. Whew! - Billy Joe Fudge

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Beaver Slide at Beavertown, KY



2012-01-28 - Beavertown, Adair Co., KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
Numerous beaver slides serve as access to transportation routes in Beavertown where they drag their wood stick cargo along well traveled paths to the creek banks and roll or push them into the water. The slides also provide a high speed, gravity powered, escape route to their safety zone below the water's surface. -Billy Joe Fudge

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