BEAVER IN THE KENNEBEC RIVER!
Here is a beaver tale, or tail? The picture tells the story. A friend lives down on the shore of the Kennebec near the center of town. She looked out her window and saw a beaver swim up and climb out of the river to find something to eat. It found a few branches, and chewed the bark, leaving a small pile of evidence before continuing its journey. Some of you may recognize the view across the river where the Squirrel Point Lighthouse is located. Those are Canada Geese that I scared into the water when climbing down to the shoreline at low tide. Next time, I told my neighbor, call me so I can be a witness to this beaver activity! This observation reminds me of the beaver we saw walking on Head Beach years ago. Just because we think of beaver in fresh water habitats doesn't mean they don't use saltwater avenues to find new places to claim as their own.

March continues to be mild during the day, and freezing overnight, so we have been dealing with ice and mud. The recent storm added snow, but was finished off by rain. Getting around is not for the faint of heart. Now we are in a frigid spell that may curtail outings. I did get out to Popham since there was a report of owl sightings. Apparently, a Short-eared Owl has been seen flying over the dunes in search of food at dusk. I failed to spot the owl, though it was quite windy. I was fascinated by the dynamics on this broad ocean beach. The tide was on the way out, which exposed sandy expanses. There were not many interesting items to pick up, in fact snow showers left flakes on bumps and depressions making me think they were shells! I did find this unusual remnant of sea life. I wonder if it is familiar to you. It is a Skate Egg Case. We used to find many of these, but skates are not nearly as numerous as they once were. This one was unusually large.

I found clumps of seaweed and was tickled to find some to eat! Edible Kelp is a choice edible. The part you eat is the midrib, and I found several specimens as I roamed this sandy expanse of land. There was a lot of erosion up near the dunes. Several Pitch Pines were undermined and washed out to sea. One small tree looked to be recently extricated by the ocean, with its orange roots exposed to the air. I could have carried the whole tree home and replanted it......but this is a state park and every plant is precious. I'm not sure it would have fit in the car anyway.

In case you are still wondering, the picture on the home page was taken on this walk at Popham. No wonder it is such a popular place. They have even plowed a portion of the parking lot to make reaching the beach somewhat easier. By contrast, the parking area behind Head Beach is ice covered and worrisome.

3/7/07 Beach marching and beaver watching Ronnie