Sunday, September 14, 2008

Zealand Pond, the first beaver pond in the valley chain of beaver dams and pons extending north through the valley

This is Zealand Pond, a geographical feature of the notch for some time, perhaps on and off for thousands of years, but it's existence is somewhat controlled by beavers by means of the dam you see in the two photographs above. The pond is probably of glacial origin, at least the depression where the water collects, and it is fed by springs. It drains in two directions, north and south. The south drainage is a trickle most of the time and flows into Whitewall Brook and eventually feeds into the Pemigewasset and then on to the Merimack River. The north drainage feeds into Hoxie Brook and then into the Ammonusuc andon to the Connecticut River. As you can see from the photos the pond is an extensive with several acres of surface area. It has slowly become slightly smaller and shallower during the 40 years between the two photos. When the older photograph was taken there was an active beaver colony living in a lodge towards the north end of the pond. At the moment there is no beaver activity. The pond has a diverse list of plants growing in it and around the perimeter and up until 25 years ago there was a small population of Sundews (Drosera rotundifolia), a carnivorous insect eating variety of plants, that I wasn't able to find this year and they may have died or moved.

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