As I’ve mentioned before, the coolest aspect of my job is having carte blanche to call up smart people and make them explain stuff too me. Today’s case in point is Paul Polechla, the University of New Mexico’s aquatic mammals expert. When I saw what I thought might be a beaver dam a couple of weeks ago in the bosque, I followed a trail of bread crumbs to Paul’s door. We ended up making the short trek Thursday morning, and Paul confirmed that they are beaver dams – two of ’em in a few hundred yards of bosque drainage ditch, right in the middle of the city.
The sticks that I thought had been too neatly cut were, in fact, the beavers’ work. Paul showed me the teeth marks, and they’re amazing – incredibly neat work. And the dam was amazingly sturdy. It looked like a flimsy stick pile to me, but Paul just walked right across it.