Beavers are most active in late fall and early winter. They need to shore up their dams and lodges before their pond freezes. They cut down trees and haul branches to shove into the dam or lodge structure. They also collect leafy twigs and branches to store under water near their lodge for a winter food supply. The Animal Activities pages in the book will alert you to shifts in their activities that take place as the year progresses. You can also figure out what beavers have been up to by looking at their tracks and signs. Even when they have disappeared from a particular location, you can read the story of their impact on the landscape. Beaver dams create very large impoundments. When these have been abandoned, the dam deteriorates and the pond area drains rapidly. Eventually the basin that supported it turns into ecologically rich wetlands and marshes. supporting a wide variety of plants and animals.
It isn’t just beavers that transform the landscape. Wherever you look, there are signs, large and small, that reveal a history of change and interaction. It could be geological history, glacial deposits, indications of animal or human activity, plant succession, storm damage, or the impact of invasive species. Just as you would look closely at a flower or bird to note its identifying characteristics, you can analyze the landscape by picking out the clues that reveal its meaning. Entire books are available on the subject of reading the landscape. Enhance your nature experience with new insights the next time you explore your surroundings.
Field Guide to the Seasons tells you what plants and animals are doing throughout the year. To find out how, go to the Book tab on the home page.