Sunday, May 31, 2009

Determined? Persistent? Or just plain stubborn?

Summer has arrived in Cougar Creek Park. The early waterfowl are gone, except for a few mallards, the trees are completely leafed out, and the water is high.

That's the edge of a beaver dam at the bottom of the photo. Laurie climbed under the bridge to look at it from the downstream side:

"The Canadian Beaver is Canada’s national symbol. ... (It) is symbolic of independence, creativity, and determination ..." (From
The beavers have plans for this small lake; they've been building dams and enlarging the waterways since before people decided to turn it into a park. Their ideas conflict with the city's pretty schemes, and the two parties are feuding. The beavers build dams; someone clears away the piles and removes felled trees. The beavers build again.

The city (Surrey) trapped and killed a male about this time last year; in family-raising time. The female raised her brood, and during the winter, they dammed the creek leading into the pond, widening the creek and gathering enough water to wash away the trash that littered its bed. The dam, and much of the topsoil was stripped away. The beavers felled more trees, and started over. Wire fences went up around the biggest tree trunks. The beavers chopped down a row of new alders and dammed the outlet.

Now, someone has devised a new strategy: wire netting, with scrap wood jammed in to give the beavers something to chew on without damaging the tree.

I don't know who will win this argument; neither side seems inclined to compromise. But the lake does look lovely, with the water now covering the muddy banks.

Green, green, and green. Even the duck.

The beavers aren't the only busy ones in the park:

Bee on wild rose.

Very pale, big-eyed bee on white thimbleberry blossoms.

The first salmonberries of the season. Not quite ripe, but tasty enough.

Chickadee hanging upside-down, feeding from the willow catkins.

Cedar waxwing.

The tall evergreens were a-flitter with tiny birds we never got close enough to identify, a robin pair sang in a small cedar, finches and crows kept up a lively conversation. A clump of cattails has taken root along the edge of the beavers' widened creek, yellow irises bloom where the heron fishes, ninebark and Indian plum are flowering.

And on the tame side, a variegated lilac leans over a back fence.



  1. That was just the sunniest post to read. How are you doing?

  2. Just chanced on your blog while looking for red beetles!

    I am Indian, almost sixty and love documenting nature around me too.

    My blog is called "Wildbytes from India"


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