Well, we've been getting a LOT of rain...lots and lots of rain. Until lately, the beavers' dam held back the pond water, but after the latest onslaught, the water is overflowing our furry engineers' handiwork. But Mike's fishing chair is staying put - not sure what that means.
We'll be watching to see what our group of neighborhood castor canadensis ends up doing - we're betting they'll be out there again, shoring up their dams with branches, newly-cut shrubs and mud from the pond bottom. We set up a wildlife camera to see if we can get a peek at their nighttime activities - we'll keep you posted...for sure :-)
There are a few happy campers, however - the wild mint that's growing in front of the beaver dam has been growing like crazy since the water has started coming over the dam edges. I'll probably be able to harvest another crop to dry for using in herbal tea. And Lacey loves the shallow wading path that the water has created - she loves splashing through the water on her way back home...to the Lodge :-)
We often see a number of frogs in our PondView travels, especially on the path on the edge of our pond. And Pickerel Pete is our latest find...we call him that because...he's a pickerel frog!
He's a handsome fella, one of the largest we've come across...about 3"+...with a dramatic pattern on his back, and native to our area in the Tug Hill. And not very shy. Just hanging out on the grassy pond edge, waiting for some bugs to come by...for an easy meal.Just found out an an interesting fact about this guy. If threatened, he'll emit skin secretions which are irritating to people and downright toxic to some predators — pickerel frogs are actually the only poisonous frog native to the United States. Most animals leave this guy alone - they seem to have an innate sense that he's big trouble. His secretions can very irritating to people if they come in contact with the eyes, mucous membranes, or broken skin.
But, Pickerel Pete still needs to stay on his little amphibian toes. Some other critters are on the hunt for him...and they hang out in the same places. His biggest enemies are green frogs, bull frogs, northern water snakes, eastern ribbon snakes, and common garter snakes. If any of these show up, he'll jump into the water and dive to the bottom...
If he doesn't get eaten first :-)
Hope to see Pete again sometime soon!
Our neighbor, Mike, likes to fish - kind of likes to sit down on the job when he fishes, if you catch my drift.
As you can see, our friends, the beavers, REALLY don't care about Mike or his comfort level or how many dang fish he catches. They just want to keep the water level high enough to protect their lodge.
And the way they do that, is to build up the edges of the pond with an assortment of mud from the pond bottom, tree branches, shrubs, and anything else that they may find in their travels...we even found a dog toy in one of their levees :-)
Now, our dog (and PondView Lodge mascot), Lacey, thinks this is pretty funny - each morning we pass this scene, she stops, sniffs, and looks up at me, as if to say, "Well, looks like they've been at it again...what you gonna do?" She's a Red Heeler mix, a "graduate" from Humane Society of Rome, and pretty darn smart :-)
Don't know yet, Lacey...but I think it's time for Mike to come and fetch his chair before it ends up inside one of the beaver lodges :-)