By Jeremy Phillips
Dark, damp, roots, branches and mud. A slide into the water reveals a dim, aqua-blue light that shines through the ice as the sun overhead is barely seen through the snow covered ice. Its soggy food cache dwindling, and spring approaches.
With warmer days ahead, the beaver (Castor canadensis) will take any opportunity the melting ice gives to leave its lodge in search of fresh food sources. Buds from trees make a nice change of pace for the beaver that has been eating only tree branches, stored before winter, at the bottom of the pond. Animals will change in many ways because of winter. The cold temperatures force the beavers hand as the ice above thickens, trapping them below. A totally frozen pond and only an underwater entrance, how excited would you be to find that first opening in ice?