April On The Carrell Wildlife Preserve

Yesterday afternoon, Danny and I took a walk around the far side of the property to take in the sights. It's a little harder to walk on that side, but we really wanted to get out and enjoy the day, while seeing how difficult it might be to cut the trails in this spring.

The first thing we discovered was that the beavers are incredibly active. They've been working diligently to dam up the drain from the big pond to the creek, but it only took Danny a couple of minutes to thwart their efforts.

I've always thought this clearing would be the perfect place for a natural amphitheater. Can't you just see actors or musicians or teenagers doing various things at the top of that hill and the seats down below? Gravity may be an issue, but I have faith in defying the laws of physics.

The big pond is so clear right now, and those wispy white clouds took my breath away.

The ridge also takes my breath away, but not in a good way. Hill + asthma = let's take it nice and slow.

There are some pretty good trails cut in from the main path, and it's super easy to see them before the brush has grown in. In another month it will be so thick and green that you won't be able to see much of anything until you're right on top of it.

My favorite view in the whole wide world, regardless of the season.

We weren't surprised by all the trees that have crashed in the past year. Some of them were from beavers, some were from storms and some were just from gravity. We cleared some of them as we went just so the path would be a little more clear for the tractor. 

But look at all the green!

And mushrooms! (Not the eating kind!)

And more beaver handiwork. That one doesn't get an exclamation point.

The trails nearest the pond aren't completely cut out, and they may not be for a while. It won't be too long before this area will be so thick you won't be able to see the pond very well.

But there are so many hints that spring is finally here, like these beautiful red buds.

We've been watching some very large deer from the living room windows this winter, and today we got to see just how big they are. The wet ground is full of huge hoof prints, and though we were hoping to find some sheds, there weren't any where we were walking.

There was, however, even more beaver activity. We're not thrilled because they're destroying the timber. And that's not allowed on the Carrell Wildlife Preserve.

Danny made me this prayer bench right after we moved here, and it's the perfect place to get away from it all. We spent a few minutes just sitting together, praying and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

We also have some silly animals who just walk around the trees in circles and leave drag marks on the ground. (No, it's from the tractor. Made you wonder, though!)

Another clue about the beaver population is the number of cubbyholes along the water's edge. Not all of them are dens - some are, but some are just places under the overhang where they can go hide. Not a happy situation.

This is their main den, at the far end of the big pond. The chew marks were still wet from the beavers' stupid little teeth. They're never satisfied, I suppose.

After circling the pond, you can see how well-kept the trails on this side are. They'll grow over some, but they're much easier to maneuver the tractor through. Or so I've been told.

By the time we'd made it to the little pond, the dogs had spotted us through the living room windows. As they sang us the song of their people as loudly as possible, we ended our walk with a climb up the last hill, some beautiful pictures, and new knowledge of what needs to be done on the property next. There's always something to do on the Carrell Wildlife Preserve!


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