Saturday, August 29, 2009

Can you ID this plant?

Does anyone know what kind of plant this is? We found it on a mountain
in north-central Maine. I assumed it was a juniper until I read that
juniper leaves are sharp and prickly, and the berries too bitter to be
eaten raw. The leaves of this plant were not prickly, and the berries
were sweet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer kayaking at Delaney - fun photos

A beautiful pink water lily, a posing frog, and - oh my! - a dog jumped
out of a beaver lodge!

Beaver and/or muskrat sign at Delaney

The photos show two different mounds found by Dan, Susan, and Janet
while kayaking. We found the one amongst the grasses last fall and
thought (or at least I did) that it was a muskrat lodge. The mound was
about 2 ft tall, and about 4 ft wide at water level. It seemed too
small for a beaver lodge, and the smallish sticks did not appear to be
beaver cut. It seemed too large for a beaver scent mound. So, we
decided it was probably a muskrat lodge. However, muskrat lodges are
said to consist of largely of grasses and reeds, without so much mud and, the diagnosis of muskrat lodge always bothered me a little.

The picture with the pine branches hanging over, taken 8/8/09, shows
(I'm pretty sure) a large beaver scent mound. It is about 18 inches
high. Note that while shaped a little differently, it consists of the
same materials as the larger mound.

So is that larger mound a gargantuan beaver scent mound? Or is it the
top of a small beaver lodge, that happens to be made mostly of mud and
woody debris that the beavers found and did not have to cut? Or were we
correct first time around, with muskrat lodge?