What a sight on Thanksgiving morning - healthy trees had been transformed overnight into hazard trees for ducks passing by along the shore line. Beavers had been hard at work and were not yet done with the tree felling along Picnic Point path. A morning jogger tried to get a feel for beaver feasting.
A beaver has large, sharp, upper and lower incisors, which are used to cut trees and peel bark while eating. The incisors grow the entire life, but are worn down by grinding them together, tree cutting, and feeding. The beaver’s incisors (front teeth) are harder on the front surface than on the back, and so the back wears faster. This creates a sharp edge that enables a beaver to easily cut through wood.
This has been a most unusually warm fall. October temperatures were 5°F above average, and the warm weather has been continuing into this first week of November. There has been no frost yet this fall in the Madison area. The last weeks of sunny days brought out the most spectacular fall colors, and with no strong winds, the leaves are hanging on. People visit the Preserve in droves. We met a couple this morning who came all the way from Iowa to stroll from Frautschi Point to Picnic Point and on the Willow Creek. The photo walk below gives an idea of what they saw. Photos Kutzbach
Early throughout its first week of installation, the new kiosk at the entrance to Picnic Point was much appreciated by visitors. Even though many of them know where they will walk, a map helps them to visualize where they are right now, how far they will go and what they will see on the way. Another panel of the kiosk has information about the Preserve and a listing of the Friends field trips. Large stones arranged casually around the kiosk invite to sit. The new bike rack is much used during these sunny fall days, and the wooden entrance gate between the great stone wall pillars is pleasing marker for visitors that they are now entering the Preserve. Native plantings next spring will further enhance the entrance. Well done. Kudos to the Preserve staff for this installation.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors