Wetland – 2017

[To see stories and photos from other years, see the links on the main Wetland page.]

This was the year of Beaver Lake.  The beavers enlarged their dam so that it made a large lake upstream from our driveway.  We enjoyed the lake, and all the creatures that visited it, until it washed out the driveway.



3/20/2017  The beavers started working on their dam, and the lake started growing.


4/3/2017   Beaver Lake, with the beginnings of a lodge behind the tree in the middle.






4/4/2017  The beavers working hard on their dam.






4/7/2017  The lake extends a long way upstream.


4/7/2017  View of the creek from Sumac Prairie


4/11/2017  Snow on blooming willows


4/11/2017  The dam now covers our culvert.  There’s still water flowing through, but they’re using the road as part of the dam.








4/14/2017  The beaver’s lodge


4/14/2017  Upstream from the dam






4/19/2017  The lake finally overflowed our driveway.




4/21/2017  We decided to try reducing the height of the lake.


4/24/2017  Mike did most of the work.  He would take the dam down a foot or two during the day.


4/28/2017  And the beavers would build it up again at night.


5/10/2017  Marsh Marigolds


5/10/2017  Beaver Lake was creeping up again.


5/17/2017  And again it washed out our driveway.   We finally decided we needed to take out the dam – the beavers would have to build somewhere else.


6/3/2017  Flooding downstream from the driveway.


7/2/2017  Small dam in Willow Bend


7/2/2017  Willow Bend


7/2/2017  Willow Bend;  We’ve been trying to control Wild Parsnip along the banks of the creek.  Mike mows the worst places, and I pull the rest.


7/2/2017  Willow Bend


7/2/2017  Beaver Lake is gone – the creek is back to its normal size.


7/14/2017  We have quite a few areas that look like this – sedges and other natives mixed with Reed Canary Grass.  I can’t tell if the dense sedges are choking out the Reed Canary Grass, or if the Reed Canary Grass is invading previously all native vegetation.


7/6/2017  Water Hemlock


7/13/2017  Michigan Lily






7/24/2017  I spent a lot of time pulling Wild Parsnip this year, but I can see much progress.  Mike still mows the worst of it, and I pull the rest.  Some areas, where I’ve been pulling the longest, have much less parsnip that they used to.


8/21/2017  Monarch on Joe Pye Weed


8/21/2017  Parsnip Meadow – this field used to be all Wild Parsnip.  We’ve had it sprayed a few times, and we’ve mowed and I’ve pulled lots of Parsnip.  It’s much better now – mostly native flowers, not many weeds.


8/21/2017  Giant Swallowtails on Swamp Thistle




8/31/2017   Tall Sunflower


9/11/2017  Wetland, Pine Point Prairie and Big View Prairie