Hiking Nature

Hiking in Nashville, Tennessee and beyond

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Beaver Dam at Ellington Agricultural Center

April 7th, 2010 · 3 Comments · beaver dams, ellington agricultural center, wildlife

These events occurred on Saturday, March 27, 2010…

beaver dam at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

I was completely shocked and amazed by my discovery this morning during a walk at Ellington Agricultural Center in south Nashville, Tennessee. I had absolutely no idea any beavers made their home so close to a Nashville residential area, and in a relatively small creek at that.

I live very near the Ellington Agricultural Center, and I recently learned about the 1.6-mile hiking trail there called Roger’s Walk. This was a wonderful discovery for me, as it is within walking distance of my new home in the Crieve Hall area of Nashville, Tennessee; even my recent car troubles cannot stand in the way of my near-daily hikes!

beaver evidence at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

This morning I was disappointed to find the creek at a higher-than-usual level, preventing me from taking a convenient short cut through a field beside Darlington Drive. The trick is, I must cross the creek in order to make the shortcut worthwhile, and the water was simply too high – even after I spent 20 minutes tossing large rocks into the stream, trying to make it passable. No dice.

beaver evidence at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

So I walked around to the official entrance and doubled back toward the creek. I looked upstream, thinking there might be a way to cross — something I could use next time, to make the shortcut work. Instead, I noticed a large dam across the creek (pictured), and it appeared that the water level difference in front of vs. behind the dam was significant – more than a foot. My first thought was that I had discovered a beaver dam in this small creek! Could it really be? After all, it might be nothing more than a natural accumulation of sticks and debris from the rising and falling of the creek. I wanted to find out for sure.

I approached the dam and saw that the water level difference in front of and behind the dam was indeed extreme: closer to two feet.

beaver dam at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

To confirm that this was indeed the work of one or more beavers, I looked for – and found — numerous gnawed bush stumps, tree stumps, and wood chips (pictured), along with rings of stripped bark around some of the larger trees. This could only be the work of beavers. However, I could not locate a beaver lodge. I noticed some large holes along the banks of the flooded section of the creek; as there are probably muskrats here too, I am not sure where the beavers actually live.

About the Pictures/Photographs

beaver evidence at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Most of the images in this blog are selected at random from carefully-prepared, themed image folders. For example, this last photo showing beaver evidence (gnawed trees/bushes) comes from an image folder containing several photos of the same theme. If you reload the web page (by clicking your browser’s refresh button), a new image will be selected from the same image folder at random. If you like, you can reload the page several times to see all the available photos as they randomly rotate. This is true for all photos in this post (as well as a large percentage of photos in this blog), EXCEPT for the first photo of the beaver dam.

  1. The top picture (picture #1) shows the beaver dam.
  2. Picture 2 shows convincing proof of beaver activity: gnawed bush and tree stumps.
  3. Picture 3 shows a section of the creek behind the dam: the flooded area where the beaver presumably makes its home. The creek is much deeper for about fifty yards.
  4. The 4th photo is another beaver dam pic.
  5. The 5th photo shows more beaver evidence in the form of gnawed trees and shrubs.

More soon!


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