Monday, September 15, 2008

Beaver Dam Break

This past weekend was a fun one. On Saturday, Trevor and I found some excitement near the Green River. We went there after one of our teachers had suggested it, and told us about some "rock stacks" there. Just a short time after arriving, a cop pulled up and told us to watch out  because the water would be rising and getting muddy due to a beaver dam upstream that broke. He was right because shortly after that, it started to happen. We decided to go check it out, so we drove upstream a little ways and found the cop along with another emergency vehicle near this bridge. The bridge was over a small stream that ran into the river, coming from up the mountain. The water was running extremely hard into the river.
This is a picture of the stream that all the water from the beaver dam was running down. One of the guys that was there said the water level was much higher before we got there. I would guess that this stream, if running normally, would probably just be a few inches deep.

So the cop and the other guy left after we were there for a while, and Trevor and I decided we wanted to see the actual dam. So we asked a guy who was working on his car along the road how to get there. On our way up, we realized how much water must have came down the mountain. The road followed the stream at certain spots, and we could see where water rushed over the road in several different places, ran through a llama pasture, and through several fields. 

This is a picture of a field that had been completely washed over(as you can see by the flat grass). Much of the field was pumpkins and gourds, and there were also other areas that had other vegetables. One old woman that we talked to later said how bad she felt for the farmer and how he works so hard on it. We got to the road where the man said to go. It was closed because the water had damaged a bridge, and later they brought in some equipment and started to tear down the bridge to rebuild. As of now, Trevor and I were 2 of only like 5 people on the scene. It was pretty neat. 

This is where the beaver pond had been. It was a very large area behind an old house, on someone's property. You can see the dead trees from where some of the standing water had been. I would say that the area that had been underwater was at least 5 acres in size from what we could see.

Here is the cop and the other guy that were also there. You can see, from the water line, how deep the water must have been. That was a ton of water that ran out of that pond. While we were there, I saw one beaver but didn't get a picture.

In the front right of the picture, you can see where the dam must have broke, and all the water rushed out. Further back, you can see one of the beaver lodges. 

After we left the pond, we stopped and talked to some older women that were near the bridge. They and another man both said that the dam had been there for over a decade. I was surprised that it would randomly break one day after being there for so long. We had quite a bit of rain recently, so that could have been the cause, but they also seemed to think that it may have been done by someone on purpose. The cop must have thought the same thing, because when we went back to the car, he was there and ran our ids and questioned us. I guess it would be kind of sketchy us just happening to be there. But they saw that we weren't involved and then talked to us for a little while about local sights and wildlife.

1 comment:

bojangles said...

Wow! Interestign beaver story! Ya know, I was thinking I've heard how wonderful the fall colors are up there. You'll get some awesome pics I'm sure!