[Tweeters] Mountain Beavers/food

Megan Lyden meganlyden at msn.com
Thu Jul 24 00:05:40 PDT 2014

Hi Tweets,

Mountain Beavers are not picky eaters, that is for sure.

One day in June, I noticed one of my heucheras was essentially gone....I
thought maybe I hadn't watered it and it had withered awau. I was rather
surprised, but didn't give it too much thought. I went out four hours later
to water the other heucheras and noticed that another heuchera was gone. I
had no idea what was going on....except that one of my music students had
told me earlier that week that she had looked out my window and seen a
"strange animal with pink feet" run across my lawn with a piece of greenery
in its mouth. By the next day, my one of my perennial geraniums
disappeared, as did some crocosmia and some woody herbs...and several sword
ferns were missing a substantial number of fronds. The next time that
student came for her lesson, I showed her a photo of a mountain beaver and
asked her if that was what she saw. She said "yes."

The Mountain Beaver was stealing my plants and pulling them under the fence
(I went out one day and must have surprised it; a 6-foot tall shrubby plant
was half-way under the fence). I explored the greenbelt behind my house;
there must be a dozen large burrows...the ground so excavated that it
literally caved in as I walked over it. I've got to hand it to this
mountain beaver....he/she has good taste. My beautiful blue geraniums were
arranged around the opening of one of the burrows.

The greenbelt behind my house is a virtual ivy desert. I read that Mountain
Beavers like to eat ferns, and I wondered if it is having difficulty finding
edible plants with all the ivy that has taken over the greenbelt.

Before we fortified the fence, I saw the little gal/fellow myself; he went
running out from under one of my geraniums, shot across the yard, scared the
hell out of the dog, went under my garden shed and out through a hole in the
fence. In broad daylight (I thought Mountain Beavers were mainly nocturnal).

Megan Lyden
Bellevue, Wa

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