Human Beings or Human Beavers…

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Trees don’t always follow specific rules. They seek nutrients and sunshine and grow accordingly. I have seen fallen trees in the woods that still branch out trying to stay alive. This lovely tree caught my eye due to the graceful branching from the trunk; an interesting display for passersby.

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This photo is (in my humble opinion) eye candy for the nature lover. The beautiful green in the foreground and the messy natural settings with dead leaves, brambles and a creek in the background reminds me that pretty is not always symmetrical and tidy.

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Beavers, like humans can drastically change a landscape. Beavers dam up rivers to build homes and ensure availability of food supply. Humans change water flow for similar reasons such as this business park built within the wetlands of North Creek in Bothell, Washington near the UW Bothell campus. Beaver Solutions is an organization that works to resolve human/heaver conflicts. They report “The dams, canals and lodges beaver builds have gained them the reputation as “Nature’s Engineers”. No other animal with the exception of man so significantly alters its habitat to suit its own needs and desires. Native Americans revered the beaver and referred to them as “Little People” for this reason.” [http://www.beaversolutions.com/about_beaver_biology.asp]

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This is the flooding caused by the stoppage of natural water flow from building the business park within the North Creek wetlands.

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This nature trail that is a useful byproduct of a dike built to keep the office complex built in the North Creek wetlands from becoming floating offices.

Human beings – like beavers – alter their environment to suit their needs. What makes the human “footprint” more or less harmful than that of a beaver? One might argue that the main difference is that beavers use what is available in nature to alter their surroundings. Humans bring in asphalt, gas and electric lines, concrete and other unnatural objects and materials into a natural environment.

Beavers are interesting creatures. I had the opportunity to live on the Chena River Slough in Fairbanks, Alaska where I observed how quickly a beaver can take down a cottonwood tree. It is amazing to watch these animals work.

Read more here: http://www.landscouncil.org/beaversolution/facts_on_beavers.asp

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