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The majority of Port St. James is heavily wooded and has some swampy areas like the rest of the island.  Even here can be found a few beaver, although most are found in the interior of the island.

Taking one of the side roads off the Donegal Bay Road we come upon this beaver chew.  For some reason the beaver was interrupted before he could finish the job and the tree has remained like this for several months now.

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Contrary to most children's picture books, not all beaver lodges are nice, neat, round houses in the center of ponds.  This particular one on the right is a bank lodge, built into the bank of a ditch.  Most people could drive past it and just see a pile of sticks and rubble without realizing it was the home of a mammal.

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What looks like a bunch of sticks is probably the result of a hard evenings work for the beaver family.  All these chews are floating in the water next to the dam.  They will most likely be incorporated into the dam if needed.  The upkeep for the dam is daily.  Leaks appear and people walking on the dams cause damage.  Sometimes the dams are dynamited away if they are causing great damage to road beds or to homes with their ponds.

As you can see, beaver dams aren't beautiful, but they are masterful engineering projects made from sticks, mud and stone.  Most importantly, they do the job they were made for...holding back water.

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