I went back to the northern part of the Barnes Park trail system today, which takes me through Tom Poore Park and Pecan Grove Park up near NE 10th. Poore Park is where I spotted the beaver signs last week. This week I took a closer look and surveyed more thoroughly after reviewing some data. I lost all my notes from college days, but it all came back pretty quickly.
After a week, hardly anything significant had changed. Most of what I saw appeared to be nothing more than just random eating off the bark. Keep in mind the Oklahoma beavers eat bark, buds, and grass roots (mostly Johnson Grass). So while another small tree had been gnawed off and dropped into the water, nothing else had been done with it. The one I shot last week with my cellphone hadn’t changed any further, except that the trunk fell over onto the ground.
This image shows a trunk that had been scraped in at least one previous year (darker section), now scraped a little more. There seems no intent to actually fell the tree, but a rather random scraping deep enough that it no longer tastes like food. I saw quite a bit of this over a stretch of a quarter-mile (400m) along Soldier Creek, and always the same species of tree.
Here is one from a previous year that is currently untouched, likely because the tree is dead now. Again, I saw quite a bit of this along the activity zone. I conclude this is likely a single beaver living alone and not bothering with a lodge. The activity seems almost random and nothing much is accomplished. It’s possible it doesn’t even stay here year round, but wanders up and down the creek. However, there are no signs of activity beyond this little section within the parks. This kind of random activity makes for a very poor study, so that’s the end of that, unless something changes enough to get my attention.