Sunday, November 7, 2021

Dam It

Last night I could not sleep. I finally got up and wrote Cara and Colin their weekly letter. That's important to me, the idea that they are curled up with their hot cup and reading a letter from home. It makes a nice picture in my mind, and so it is what I do. 

This morning, I woke up at 6:30 again. (!!!!!) I tried to go back to sleep, but could not, so I got up and folded the week's laundry. 

This is getting a bit aggravating, and I made up my mind to keep myself busy today and try to get to bed early tonight. If I do not, I will be very tired, and this is not a good way to start a work week. (Good news? 8 hour days, at least for the beginning of the week. Doable). 

I was coming up with all these little projects to keep myself moving today, but we got a message from my sister. Once again the beaver have clogged the tunnel under the abandoned railroad grade on their property, which is across the road from our property. Tim removed another dam from behind the old house on our property last weekend. While he was hunting on Wednesday, he was surprised to see how quickly the beaver had come back to begin the rebuild. 

There is a massive beaver dam up stream from us, where the stream travels through the woods. There are literally acres under water. Removing a dam that size is dangerous. The release of that much water could sweep you away in the current, fill your hip waders and drown you. It's also not our property. However, there are now so many beaver there that they've moved down river, and now it is affecting our properties. 

'We could use your help,' my sister's message said. Tim could use theirs as well. They've got a lot more experience ripping out these dams than we do, and we've got to figure out how to keep our property above water. We'll work together, and maybe get this problem solved.  

Sadly, though, there are just too many beaver and the damage is too much to ignore at this point, between the downed trees and the flooded property. Our weekly work to remove their weekly work has become too big a job. 

I'll bet I sleep well tonight. 


  1. Gosh these are the kind of problems one doesn't hear about when thinking about reintroducing beavers.

  2. Goodness! Be careful! Is there a safe and humane to keep them away from the stream? I googled it and there are several suggestions but not sure if any will work or are doable for you and your sister...

  3. Beavers being beavers. Not far east of us is a swath of land called Beaver Hills. The beavers love it because it's quite swampy; the land was shaped by retreating glaciers which left behind many hills and low ares which filled with water.

    Settlers did try farming on the land but most gave up and it's returned to it's natural state.

  4. Okay, Debby. We've had this conversation before, so you know what I'm thinking. I wish I could send my husband up there to help you with the problem.

  5. I'm not sure what to say about beavers. That's a subject completely beyond my experience.

  6. Are they protected animals or can they be shot. We are over run with wild pigs here, it is open season on them year round. They tear up so much, dig deep holes and cows and horses step in the hole and break a leg. We had a pig roast to day after church and someone shot a pig and roasted over an open pit all night for our meat. They are good to eat if you know how to cook them just not the boars.

  7. I had never realised what a problem beavers were, and how tenacious they are with dam building until I started watching YouTube videos of a guy who breaks up dams.

  8. Oh, just don't Leave it to Beaver, eh?

  9. Ditto everything Ellie said about the wild pigs.

  10. I imagine these sorts of issues will only become more common as our population increases and their habit decreases.

  11. The beaver is a success story, really, being trapped out for their fur by the late 1800s. In 1917, beaver from another state were released into a nearby county, and by 1934, the population was enough to allow a trapping season.

    We are not trappers. We don't have the heart for it. It is a simple matter that the numbers have gotten out of control, which means the dam building has become a real problem.

    We spent several hours ripping out. Tim went back today and was amazed to see that they'd spent the night rebuilding. (They are nocturnal.)

    There has been no urban sprawl. It is a rural woodland area. Beaver are abundant enough that the limit is 40 beaver per season.

  12. My husband has definitely become softer hearted in his old age, but not when it comes to beavers. Every time he clears their "work" from our pipes (we don't do anything to their "huts"), they just re-construct it, damaging more timber in the process. Yes, they're nocturnal and VERY hard workers. I had a post once showing what could be done by a single beaver in one night. (and where there's one, there are always others....)


I'm glad you're here!


 It was a day of getting ready to go, getting everything packed up. We are headed east to see Iris' ballet recital.  I picked up some la...