by Carl Strang
The landscape is a book of many chapters, waiting to be read. Some chapters are fleeting, and must be read within days of their writing (before the snow melts). Others last for years. Near the south shore of Mays’ Lake at Mayslake Forest Preserve there is a decaying tree stump.
A closer examination reveals the tooth marks of a beaver on the ends of both pieces. Looking up, we find that the stem leads to branches tangled in those of adjacent trees.
Cutting this tree probably was a full night’s work or more. All the beaver obtained was the cambium it could reach from the ground. We got a chapter to read, all the more valuable because there have been no beavers resident on this lake for at least 5 years.