At dawn hearing shotguns too close to the property, I later suited up to look for trespassers, and instead found enchantment: a new beaver dam across LaBarque Creek. (Video: 2 minutes 20 seconds.)
Beavers dive and swim beautifully. The dam creates a pond deep enough to discourage predators and hides an underwater entrance to their lodge, where they sleep just above the rushing water. At right is a photo of what they did to a tree. If a tree trunk is too big for their purposes, they gnaw off and use the branches. Beavers eat the tree bark and the cambium (the soft tissue growing between bark and wood), and adults are 40 pounds or more, and sleek.