We didn’t receive any correct entries to our March 2017 contest to identify this spot where beavers are active in Newton.
The photo was taken along the Quinobequin Road trail in Waban, looking to the south. The Charles River is in the background; the land at top right is in Wellesley.
Beavers build dams to guarantee a year-round water level high enough to protect the entrance to their lodge, which must be underwater to keep out predators. The people who built the Moody Street Dam on the Charles River made life a lot easier for beavers, because the level of the Charles doesn’t fluctuate much, even in dry years. Beavers can therefore survive in the Charles without having to build dams of their own. The beaver activity in the contest photo is a result of beavers cutting down trees either to build a lodge or to use for food. According to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, “beavers eat the leaves, inner bark, and twigs of aspen (a favorite food), alder, birch, cottonwood, willow, and other deciduous trees.”
This photo shows a lodge near the site of the contest photo:
And this one shows beaver activity near the lodge:
More about this trail:
A website about this trail created by Melissa Moody