Most beavers in northern New England have been trapped inside their lodge for several months, with their only food supply being the branches they cut last fall and piled up on the floor of the pond or river near their lodge. Ice has sealed them in, not only to a life of darkness and dampness, but to a diet of cambium.
Needless to say, they are quick to take advantage of melting ice that allows them to exit their lodge and make their way to shore to sample fresh food. One of the first delicacies they dine on, if it’s available, is skunk cabbage. The rhizomes, leaves and flowers of both yellow and white pond lilies are also favorites. No longer restricted to woody plants, beavers head for grasses, sedges, ferns, fungi, berries, mushrooms, duckweed and even algae as the water warms. Their palate must jump for joy with the melting of ice in early March.
Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.