I know this might be hard to believe, but do you see those piles of debris? Those are the remnants of beaver dams. Beavers are itinerant, as it turns out, and will abandon dams for subsequent strongholds upstream.
That was one a few damn cool things that I got to see during my weekend in Mount Vernon; a great friend of mine generously invited me out to meet her family and spend the Easter holiday around George Washington’s home. (That’s it in the last picture.) The third photo you see is an apple tree in her yard — the metal skirt around its base is to fend off beavers. If you peek through it, you can see the damage it sustained when the little buggers tried to chew through its base and carry it right off.
People in Virginia always look at me funny when I say this, but we absolutely do not have stuff like this on Long Island!
Mount Vernon is beautiful. I spotted a … black-winged condor, I think? There is also a wailing nocturnal fox that frequents my friend’s property, as well, but she didn’t put in an appearance.
Anyway, there are also photos halfway down of what is probably the scariest looking tree I’ve ever seen. It’s more than 150 years old, and it looks dead, even if it isn’t. To me, that coarse, gray, clutching swarm of equally dead-looking vines looks like an otherworldly, witch-summoned spiderweb.
I commented that it would be a genesis for a horror story idea. One of my hosts, who is only fourteen years old, spun a tale on the spot that would be far better than anything I could come up with.