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Abandoned Beaver Lodge (Castor canadensis).  The sticks and logs used to create this beaver lodge were taken from the general vicinity, and mud was packed down on top of the sticks and logs that formed their home.  During winter mud hardens like concrete to protect the beavers inside.  The very top of the lodge is not plastered with mud to allow ventilation; on cold winter days snow on top will be melted and steam can sometimes be seen rising from this vent.  After beaver lodges have been abandoned, they provide nesting and hiding habitat for ducks, turtles, snakes, fish, and many other wetland species (Montgomery County Park and Planning). 

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes