The bog is never the same. Right now it is a very watery world, but despite all the rain, the water isn’t as high as it was when we had beavers in the large beaver lodge at our end of the bog, right after we moved here in 2009.
The bog was hard to get to in those days, very overgrown. But soon, the beavers had taken down the alder brush and willows all the way around and the bog attained its current feeling of open wilderness. Then, one day in early spring a couple of years ago, they moved away.
I think I knew it within 24 hours. The dam, originally a mill dam, became a ledge instead of the vanishing edge at a luxury pool. The hound stopped getting on top of the house and sniffing around. We stuck a stick at the high water point. It is still there, and we’ve never reached that level again.
Then the dam sprung a leak. We could see the water run through it. Without beavers to fix it, the water level went down by a foot, two, three. The under water doors of the beaver house became the first floor entrance. The beaver winter wood supply was now a big pile of sticks on a cracked mud flat with a small stream through it. We hatched plans to fix the leak if the pond dried up low enough to expose it.
It didn’t. No beavers have moved into the big lodge it seems. But they have come within care taking range, and the water level in the bog is maintained about two and a half feet below the high point.
The bog is never the same. It invites endless looking, sniffing, speculation. It is a vastly changed world day to day and season to season. Geese come and go. Peepers announce to anyone who can hear that they are in search of a mate. Reeds, sedges, and grasses, flattened by snow and combed by spring flooding, sprout as early as February and wave above my head in August. It looks vast and wild and intimate and parklike one the same day. I can’t stay away and neither can the hound.
I’ve created a small book that walks you through the year in the bog as the hound and I visit it. I think of it as an intro to bog-watching, or perhaps a gift for the armchair bog traveler. It’s called, guess what, The Bog, and you can get it on Amazon by following the link or searching for ‘AgathaO’ or ‘bog’ or both. If you buy it, I hope you write a review on Amazon, because reviews are what make a book visible to the rest of the world. It’s $12.95 and should comparably priced in Europe.
Meanwhile, thank you for reading this far. Check out the daily bog photos on the AgathaO Facebook page. Share it around. I’d love to hear what you think. In answer to questions raised by some, cards are coming. And so forth. Working on it.
— Meanwhile, here is a selection of bog photos through the seasons. Click on a thumbnail to get the album. The photos may take a moment to get sharp.