A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

The work of a disgruntled beaver?

Written July 27th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

Is it possible there are beavers doing their thing in Periwinkle Creek? It sure looked like it when I came across this scene on Monday afternoon.

The Albany Visitors Association mentions two habitats where beavers can be spotted in the Albany area. One is the Talking Water Gardens, and the other is the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area northwest of town in Benton County.

So it’s no great leap to imagine that one or two beavers might have made their way up Periwinkle Creek. But it’s hard to see why any self-respecting beaver would want to do that.

The creek channel is choked with weeds, bushes, and all manner of junk including shopping carts. And this part of the summer, the flow is reduced to the point that algae and other scum are floating on the surface.

So, as waterways go, Periwinkle Creek would not rank among the the nicest places for creatures to exist, let alone build a dam, which I gather is the main reason beavers cut down trees.

Anyway, there it was, a young poplar or cottonwood, gnawed off at the base and flung half way across the bike path above.

I can see a beaver in a feisty mood being fed up with the conditions on this creek. “I’m getting out of here,” he said to no one in particular, “but before I go I’m chopping down this stupid tree.” (hh)

Posted in: Commentary

8 responses to “The work of a disgruntled beaver?”

  1. Marilyn says:

    I live in Millersburg with a very small stream at the back of my property. In summer it is about 2 to 3 feet wide. Several years ago a beaver built a dam across it. Water backed up and it made quite a pond. In building his dam he saw the need to chop down a couple small trees and included them in his design.

  2. don says:

    Some varieties of trees is the food source as well, the sapwood.

  3. James Engel says:

    Perhaps a “disgruntled” homeless making fire wood….. Periodically, “they” camp out on a wide spot in the north end of the Queen Ave viaduct.

  4. PC says:

    Stump cut looks pretty clean. Can beavers do that?

  5. Mike Sims says:

    Not all beavers colonize and build ponds and Huts. River beavers move freely up and down creeks and streams and only stay in an area as long as the food lasts. They live in the river banks like nutria do.

  6. TBOSS says:

    Too bad Periwinkle Creek is quite neglected. Further north of the picture, many trees are down, seems as though made by a beaver. Raccoons (several families), nutria, ducks and many cats enjoy the area as well. Other items that are not welcome would be the plethora of shopping carts, mattresses, bikes, trash, clothing, and individuals living in the area. Some neglected vegetation items: over-grown blackberry bushes, poison oak and dead trees (fire hazard).


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