Hauser Creek, Seven Years Later

A view of Hauser Creek from atop the Back Forty, March 27, 2018

A view of Hauser Creek from atop the Back Forty, March 27, 2018

I have not written about Hauser Creek in a long time but this blog has been percolating in my mind since the first of the year and especially the last few days. Some of you might remember back in 2011 Hauser Creek underwent restoration by the State of North Carolina as part of the Clean Water Act. For the most part we have been pleased with how the project turned out because it didn't take long to notice a glut of wildlife drawn to the bottom land. 

Before 2011, I cannot remember a time when beavers were an issue on the farm. That changed in 2013. We started noticing small dams on the creek. No big deal, but it did bring to mind what can happen when one intervenes with Mother Nature. I wasn't too concerned at the time because the State was regularly monitoring the project and they were aware of beaver activity. However, with each passing year the presence of beavers and their destruction has gotten increasingly significant as shown in the photos taken today and yesterday. The photos aren't pretty, sorry!

So I've been reading up on beavers and here's what I learned. They are known as "nature's architects." Beavers are one of the few animals that actually modify the environment to suit their own purposes. In the process, they create a new environment - a wetland. Beavers are attracted to slow-moving streams that have muddy bottoms and plenty of trees or shrubs. Bark and leaves make great beaver food. At one time, beavers were nearly extinct, but they have made a huge comeback. Yes, right!  

You cannot stop a beaver from cutting trees and building dams. A beaver family will cut down as many as 300 trees a year and can gnaw through a good-sized one in 15 minutes. At the farm, this is a real problem because hundreds of native trees were planted in the conservation easement. They all taste good to the beavers! Beavers want their home flooded, and that is exactly what they have done to Hauser Creek which has currently spilled out of its banks and flooded the creek bottoms downstream. I wish the State would have intervened more aggressively when the beavers first showed up. Trapping is sometimes used but not in this case, for reasons I don't know why. No chance the beavers will just up and leave because I've read they are territorial and once established they form tight family groups that are hard to get rid of.

So, I'm not too excited about the creek these days. Having the bottom land flooded makes it near impossible to navigate part of the farm and keep it maintained. Yes, I have asked myself if this project was a good idea after all, and I'm not so sure.... Of course, the State has been notified. Maybe someone will see this post.

 

Spring Soiree at Hauser Creek Farm Coming in May

Yarrow at Hauser Creek Farm

Yarrow at Hauser Creek Farm

Spring officially arrives in 7 days although it sure doesn't feel like it this week! I wanted to let you know about an event at the farm coming in May. Please save the date for Thursday, May 10, 5 o'clock pm until. It will be prime peony time so make plans to come and get a bunch just in time for Mother's Day weekend. Peonies are priced $3.00 per stem. Open to all! Munchies and beverages available. Please feel free to bring a dish to share if you want to stay awhile and eat a potluck meal. Come on down!  

Spring has Sprung at Hauser Creek Farm

Crimson clover cover crop at Hauser Creek Farm April 22, 2017

Crimson clover cover crop at Hauser Creek Farm April 22, 2017

Hello, everyone! Happy spring! The transformation of seasons from winter to spring has been remarkable around here and I am grateful to be keenly aware of it. I missed spring last year, due to the mental fog associated with grief. Happy to be more tuned in now and Mother nature has definitely smiled on the farm this month. You see the crimson clover in the photo? It was planted, oh, maybe 4 autumns ago. It has never looked so good! In my mind, it's not a coincidence but a gift from heaven.    

           

 

 

Peonies at Hauser Creek Farm

Peonies at Hauser Creek Farm

It's peony time! Plus Sweet William and various wildflowers dotting the meadow. Something new for 2017: I'm hoping to host several quickie "pop-up" events on the farm since I will not be doing farmers markets. The first is this Friday, April 28, 4 o'clock to 6 pm. Apologies for the short notice but the reality now more than ever is that no 2 days are ever alike and the nature of "pop-up" events is impromptu. Short and sweet. So if you're out and about this Friday and have time, come on by anytime between 4 and 6 pm and check out the farm, linger awhile, or make your own bouquet (bring clippers, please). Starter lavender plants are available for sale along with lavender goats milk soap and lovely mixed floral bunches for $10.        

Fresh-cut peonies at Hauser Creek Farm

Fresh-cut peonies at Hauser Creek Farm