Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Beaver Update

Look what those blasted beavers did in four short days. They've gnawed through half of one of my prize oak trees.

I had to make an emergency trip to Home Depot to buy mesh fencing, which online research showed as recommended prevention. Another night, and they'd have taken it down, or striped the bark completely around its circumference. That would have killed it.

There are two types of oaks on my property, swamp oaks and pin oaks. They go for the thinner barked pin oaks. I won't know until next year how severely damaged it is. I hope it makes it.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Sign of the Beaver

Ticked off about describes me after I noticed that a beaver had taken a 10-year old oak tree from my property, leaving a bitten-down stump.

Beavers have caused a lot of destruction to my neighbor’s oaks, bringing down a sizable tree a couple of years ago and chomping halfway through a couple of others. Mine they've left alone, until now.

I have about 25 mature trees on my property, mostly swamp oaks, but few saplings to continue the woodsy atmosphere after the old-timers kickoff.

This tree I’d been nursing. It had competed successfully with thousands of acorns and hundreds of saplings, and had found ample space and light between two majestic, fully mature, late-in-life swamp oaks. Then some thieving beaver came along and cut its life short.

Earlier this summer, one of my city guests -- just arrived from the train station -- looked out the picture window and pointed out a beaver unconcernedly munching a lily pad, and probably dreaming of the day he (the beaver, I mean, not my friend) could sink his teeth into one of my beloved trees. You bet I’m ticked off.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Swimming in October?

I’ve done the backstroke in October every year since I moved to Mohican Lake in June 2003. In fact, I used to keep track of my final swim of the season. For example, my last dip in 2003 was October 8th.

Last year I jumped in – and quickly jumped out -- on October 19th. Brrr. Today, October 10th, I didn’t simply wet myself, I did the Australian crawl.

The water seems much warmer than in past years but I have no scientifically measured empirical proof, only hazy recollections. If I were more Thoreau-like – or more thorough – I'd be keeping records of water temperature, and noting rainfall, lake levels, and day and nighttime air temperatures, because all have probably contributed to this year’s extra-warm water.

For example, we’ve had little rainfall in 45 days until last night’s deluge, which came in a storm which blew from the south. Also, the lake level has dropped at least a foot and a half since this spring, judging from rock discoloration. This makes the water significantly shallower. Shallow water heats faster and mostly we’ve had hot days and warm nights.

And we haven’t had a frost, only three or four nights in the 30’s. If we’d had cooler nights, the leaves would be more colorful and further turned.

If this sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. This late fall makes up for a very late spring (which I also only hazily recollect), and I’m loving it. One of these days I intend to take a dip in November. See video below:

Add to Technorati Favorites