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"Hobbit Holes in MyWorld" --by RusticWoodArt #18: Reflections on Beavers and Trees

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Blog entry by frank posted 07-21-2008 12:41 AM 840 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 17: Glamdring and The Chainsaw Milling of Pine Part 18 of "Hobbit Holes in MyWorld" --by RusticWoodArt series Part 19: Looking at Jonke »

Reflections on Beavers and Trees

Out here in the woods, I am part of a whole picture where what happens with wood….also happens to all involved with wood, plus those un-in-volved with wood….hmmm, are any who are really non-existent from wood? Can a worker of wood be selfish and think that it’s all about wood and that all else will just have to take care of them-selves. Well the answer is yes and no, one can be selfish and think only of their needs when going for wood, but in the end we all pay for un-healthy attitudes of working with wood and the habitat of a forest environment.

Beavers and trees and water and how the landscape can be changed by beavers or humans who are busy ‘beavering away’. Just some thoughts here from one who works with both and would not want to see this scene before mine eyes all clear cut for an-other sub-division of asphalt roads and concrete slab homes. But then as much as I welcome the creatures of the woods, I am some-times at a loss when it comes to what a beaver and his clan can do. This beaver has been working here for some years now….started above the pond, has worked the pond and dam and now has moved on to below the dam, where he is busy daming up on downstream. And so yes, up in my neck of the woods beavers and bulldoziers are known for changing the landscape of New England. Now what about stone walls….?

And so here we are….

....not a care in the world….

....and this one’s used to humans watching….

....so he//she decides to put on a show….

....this is the entry way into Beaver’s World….

....and down there and under is beavers home….

....what a beaver can do with those gouging tools is what happens when a beech tree gets in the way….

....next area to be put under water….

....still seems to me that….and so I’ll just pause and get my bearings with reflections of trees in water….

Thank you.
GODSPEED,
Frank
RusticWoodArt

rusticwoodman@gmail.com
http://frank.wordpress.com/


’’....work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood....’‘

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/



18 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2512 days


#1 posted 07-21-2008 04:36 AM

Frank,

Thanks for allowing us to wander about with you. As usual the photos are interesting and present your unique perspective.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View trifern's profile

trifern

8132 posts in 2458 days


#2 posted 07-21-2008 04:41 AM

Thanks for allowing me in your world.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2696 days


#3 posted 07-21-2008 06:41 PM

This brings up some thoughts i’ve had that i hope you don’t mind me picking your brain about.

I say the Beaver has a distinct advantage over humans. In that he isn’t affected by trendy ideas of what his natural behavior and surroundings should be like.

I see a major flaw in the popular notion from the human perspective, that what the beaver might do, and particularly what the human being DOES, represents some form of “destruction”. I’m saying both are only able to temporarily alter the environment, not destroy it.

I don’t know the lifespan of a grasshopper. But i venture to guess its short enough that he may view someones lawn getting mowed as utter destruction of his environment. Likewise, a forest fire or human loggers only seems destructive to we humans in relation to our lifespan.

I believe the good news is this. That in the big scheme of things, we humans are not only good stewards of the planet, but we couldn’t be poor stewards if we made it a point to be. All we can do is make asthetically poor choices analogous of carpeting and drapes during our temporary stay here.

Thank you for all your wonderful pictures of the exquisite choice of decor you’ve chosen in your life surroundings.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View RobS's profile

RobS

1334 posts in 2997 days


#4 posted 07-22-2008 05:58 AM

Hi Frank, how would you explain the beaver’s choice to double cut such a huge tree? And I never knew they would be comfortable cutting so high up the trunk. All that chewing and hanging on to the tree. Unless of course my perception of height is off…what would you guess is the rough diameter of that big tree?

...or …perhaps two different beavers? A Texas beaver and a NH beaver?

Thanks for the post…

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View woodspar's profile

woodspar

710 posts in 2790 days


#5 posted 07-22-2008 06:03 AM

Yeah, I thought that was an interesting picture… maybe he thought it might be easier higher up…

-- John

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2896 days


#6 posted 07-22-2008 01:58 PM

Hello Miles;

—-very interesting thought patterns you have brought forth here and so I will touch on one….

In talking of ‘what’ beavers ‘might’ do and the human ‘does’, you have stated; ”both are only able to temporarily alter the environment, not destroy it.

I only wish that you had elaborated more upon this thought, since I’m not so sure that I understand where you are coming from.

By saying that beavers can change the landscape of this planet, there can be and still is the knowledge that this can be viewed as good or bad//create and destroy by the many. Next comes my comparing them with bulldozers which often alter our landscape also, but from where one sits this also can be viewed as create or destroy. An example of this could be found right out back and to the side of my house and that of which I speak of is called an English Barn.

We first got//found the English Barn back around 2000 sitting on some property some 60 miles south of us and waiting to be pushed down by a dozer. Some of the community there had gotten a little upset at all the land development going on, and all those old barns just being pushed over, to make way for asphalt and concrete slab house. Now from where those folks were sitting, they viewed this as a form of destruction which to them was bad//destroy….since they were losing a part of their community as it had been. From where I sat then and now, I would have to say that I viewed//view this as a chance to create good, since had not ‘change’ been happening….I would not have gotten that barn.

Now lets re-turn back to beavers again….and expand some upon the words of ‘create’ and-or ‘destroy’, which I tend to view and label as ‘change’. Some would say, as history does, that much of our landscape was changed here in New England when beavers caught the eyes of trappers and a ‘hot’ item was marketed for money. I’ve even read that much of Canada being settled at the time it was, is due to fur trappers moving into and throughout the area. What was the beaver’s landscape now becomes a landscape that expands as humans move in and well what comes next is called a change of landscape…..religion, politics, education, society, which in turn creates more ‘stuff’. Again we move forward and so comes buildings, cleared land….hmmm, does one ever think of cleared land and what change that brings? Here in NH we have a saying that we grow rocks, (granite rocks) and I can tell you that these rocks are the plague of gardeners. But why do we have those rocks which are so frequent up here which just keep coming back….one could study what is called the ‘little ice age’, but one would have to still continue forward to when and how we first settled the land up here. At one time all of our land became close to 80% clear cut of trees for farming and those trees were burned. So many trees actually, that they were not even all used for firewood, but burned in place out on the land. Winters are rough and cold in New England, so when the land was cleared, there no-longer was the protection of trees to insulate the ground cover and so what came next was a word we have up here called ‘frost heaves’....drive down our roads here in the winter time and one will see signs that say; ’’watch out for frost heaves.’’ Well when the frost heaves were introduced to Nh this meant that all those rocks that had lain under dirt were and are still being pushed upward each and every year. Next came the need for change again since the farmer had to do something with all those rocks….so this is where and when an extraordinary phenomena was introduced to New England fields which in turn became woods again, stone walls. Stone walls, stone piles and all those other names we call those ‘things’ of stone, walk out into the woods today, miles from any-thing else except for forest and woods and one will see stone walls and piles of stone.

I must add here that I’m still having to find ways of adding to my landscape here every year with all those extra and new stones and rocks that the landscape just keeps on bringing forth….one must have an imagination for what to do with rocks….LOL.

So next I might ask; when you say, ’’both, (beavers and humans) are only able to temporarily alter the environment,’’ I’m not sure I’m following or understanding what you saying? Those stone walls and piles of stone out there in those woods were there before I came to planet earth and will be there long after I leave planet earth….and when time passes on many years from now and the stone walls fall down, they are still not going to just disappear back into the ground. However those stone walls were never part of the landscape here in New England in the first place….and so our landscape was//is altered by what was first set in motion till we now have stone walls//stone piles. What I’m saying is that change is more then just temporary and that change will set things in motion that can and does alter the landscapes of the physical….and how we view that change is what makes us able to live with the beaver, since I would say the beaver was here before we were.

Sorry if this has been long, and more sorry really that it’s not long enough with more time spent on dealing with those beavers, but work is calling me and then of course….if you want to continue this discussion I will be happy to write more.

I’m really glad you stopped by and for your thoughts….yes they are welcome….

Thank you.
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2896 days


#7 posted 07-22-2008 02:11 PM

Hello Rob;
—-sorry about being slow here with your question….
Actually 2-3 year old beavers can reach a length of 35’’-40’’ and older ones can be in the range of 47’’ and greater. Now lets say his//her tail is around 8’’-10’’ long….there’s still a lot of beaver length there to stand upon. The weight of beavers can start out at 35-60 pounds and it’s not unheard of to find one with age at 70- 80 pounds.

I will have to get back down there maybe this evening and do some measuring of the diameters and such….so check back and I’ll post those sizes and more thoughts.

Actually there are different types of beavers….some which build dams and some which offer other activities….stay tuned.

Thank you.
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View BroDave's profile

BroDave

107 posts in 2505 days


#8 posted 07-22-2008 10:29 PM

”And I never knew they would be comfortable cutting so high up the trunk. All that chewing and hanging on to the tree. Unless of course my perception of height is off…”

Snow, as in the beaver was standing on top of it when it chewed the high cut.
Most likely, a second beaver took over the felling after the first had moved on, was forced out or eaten.

All three happen regularly with the latter not occurring often enough.

-- .

View RobS's profile

RobS

1334 posts in 2997 days


#9 posted 07-22-2008 10:45 PM

Ah yes… it wasn’t the beaver that took his vitamins…. snow… of course, how quickly I forget down here in the desert… Good catch, Dave.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2896 days


#10 posted 07-23-2008 03:06 AM

....and yes, I don’t want to think about that word spelled….s-n-o-w....ugh.

So lets talk dimensions here….ground to first cut is 19’’ and then first cut to second cut is again 19’’.....

....while the width of this beech tree is 10’’ across.

I thought it kind of interesting that both cuts measured in at a rough 19’’ each and, also odd….since how many workers of wood use a measurement of 19’’?

—-thank you Dave….

GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View RobS's profile

RobS

1334 posts in 2997 days


#11 posted 07-23-2008 03:48 AM

..or same beaver, using the first notch as a step….?? Just think if we could only make cuts at only the same length, every time….Thanks for the follow up Frank….

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3091 days


#12 posted 07-23-2008 06:08 AM

Great blog Frank. Nice pictures.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2696 days


#13 posted 07-23-2008 03:36 PM

Morning Frank. Thanks for your response.

I’d have to argue your points about the stone not belonging in your neck of the woods in the”first place”. I say there is no such thing as first place. Nothing is as it orginally was. No environment on the planet isn’t the product of massive upheaval and change. No environment will escape future upheaval and change.

Once we recognise that change is the only thing constant, why do we humans continually beat ourselves up when we participate in this very natural occurance in the world? To reject change, seems to me, is to reject the natural world as it really is.

I see a problem with this popular thought for at least the past 2 or 3 generations, of telling people that they are somehow seperate from the natural world and its processes. We are not seperate. We are beings designed from the very bowels of the planet. Can the Earth make an unnatural creature?

We humans can produce some unsightly surroundings. But so do glaciers, volcanoes, forest fires, swarms of locust, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, termites, floods and yes…even Beavers. Yet only one of these gets viewed as really harmful and an unnatural impact on the environment?

We can continue to beat ourselves up as a species. But at what cost? I say we see the high cost right now to the mental well being of the human species, continually hammered with guilt and remorse for being the creature that he basically is.

Whats really at issue in enviromental concerns is one of asthetic taste. An issue of what kind of surroundings are the most pleasing during our very short stay here. None of which, whether pleasing or displeasing to our taste, will make a damn bit of difference in the big picture of this third rock from the sun. We don’t have the capability of having a say so in what this planet will be like a million years from now. To think we do is to swell our heads to a level that would make the planet burst out in a huge belly laugh if it could.

I think its time we celebrated our species incapacity to do meaningful harm. We need to celebrate our place in the natural world. Right now we are like the man on vacation in paradise who can’t seem to have a good time for thinking about how much money its costing him.
Thanks for allowing my two cents worth!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View BroDave's profile

BroDave

107 posts in 2505 days


#14 posted 07-23-2008 05:28 PM

Looking at the pictures again it looks as though the bottom cut was made after the first.
It looks more fresh, lighter color, and there are a lot shavings around the stump that I wouldn’t think they would all be in that neat of a pile had they been done before the snow fall or after. I bet the tree was felled in the winter and was chewed on again this spring or early summer.

Can’t figure out why most of the branches aren’t gone though..

-- .

View RobS's profile

RobS

1334 posts in 2997 days


#15 posted 07-23-2008 06:23 PM

ha specualation, guessing… we just have to let Frank interview the beaver…that’s the only solution..

Good detective work Dave!

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

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