Beaver Pond -- A Little History
Around 1995 beavers built a small damn and lodge in this area of the Lisha Kill Creek and created a small pond. After a couple years they began building a much more ambitious damn. At the creek it was about ten feet high from bank to bank. The bank on the west side of the creek was much higher, so to reach the high ground on the east side, they built a long winding damn about three feet high and possibly five hundred feet long to reach the high ground on the east side. The water line on the far side of the photo below shows a portion of this amazing engineering project. The new pond created by this new damn had about one acre on the east side of the creek and about nine acres on the west side -- it was more like a lake than a pond! On the sad side, all of the trees, as indicated in the photo below, were killed. Several large shag bark hickories indicated that this area had not been damned for at least fifty to eighty years.

Then about 2005 the Town of Niskayuna ran a pipe under the Lisha Kill Creek and in the process destroyed the beaver damn and the beavers moved up stream. Since that time we have maintained a small piece of the pond as indicated below. Over the years, in this small piece of the original pond, five gosslings have been hatched; dozens of ducklings, and turtles, frogs, dragon flys and a great variety of other plants and animals have thrived. I set out in this photo journal to document some of the happenings in this environmental treasure.

Beaver Pond Diary -- March/April 2009

March 10, 2009 -- Forty-four degrees at 3pm with a little snow and ice still in the pond.


March 10 -- First signs of life. Algae and grass shoots (pretty good "clouds" of algae in parts of the pond.

March 17, 2009 -- Three days of 50 degrees. Algae growing rapidly. First sign of animal life today -- a few little water bugs.

March 21, 2009 -- No new signs of life in the pond except for an explosions of algae throughout the pond at the surface and even more growing from the bottom and the arrival of a few of our duck friends.

April 21, 2009-- Peepers are singing and green algae proliferating.

A New Season: April 15, 2010

Six cabbage plants are set out, peas planted and cold frame planted. A few days of 70+ degree weather but now the temp is back to normal with 50-60 degree days and 30-40 degree nights.

Peepers are peeping, bull frogs are mating, swallows are swooping, one mallard is sitting on eggs (somewhere?) with three males attending to her and the algae is blooming. Spottted a beautiful ten inch turtle this morning sunning on an island. A week ago Noah and Emily went frog hunting and caught six pairs of mating frogs. The six pairs stayed together through the whole ordeal and when thrown back into the pond, continuted to spew out hundreds of eggs.

Go to Pond Diary -- May, 2009