Thursday, December 27, 2007

Evidence Found: Bakersfield Beaver Family Still Thrives - By N.L. Belardes

Image by N.L Belardes, Dec. 24

According to an email from the city written to a concerned citizen, the Bakersfield beaver family is still thriving in a drainage ditch along the Kern Recreational Bike Path. The evidence is that another tree was knocked down around Dec. 25. A Christmas present to themselves no less.

That's good to know.

I do hope the beaver family gets moved soon. There's a lot of human activity in the area, which includes discarded trash. I saw a beer bottle right along the drainage ditch.

View More Images Of The Beaver Family Hideout

After looking for the beaver family I did see this whooping crane catching frogs at the man-made ponds at the Park at Riverwalk.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Searching For The Bakersfield Beaver Family: Part Two - By N.L. Belardes

I tried a different tactic to try to spot the Bakersfield beaver family. I showed up at 7 a.m. rather than 1 a.m. I thought a little daylight might help.

It was foggy when I went out this morning: early Christmas Eve. I walked to the area I'm unofficially calling Beaverland, and saw no fresh signs of the beaver family. I did see lots of footprints and bike tracks.

The area is sad actually. There's trash, empty bottles and the watering hole is really small: a stream that dead ends on a mostly empty river. Luckily, beavers are vegetarians or their food supply would be cut off as no fish can get in where they are. Not sure if they're getting any fresh water as the watering hole looks like it's what's left over after the city cut off the flow of the Kern River. Might be some coming from one end though...

There's a drainage pipe where water may be seeping into the stream. I wonder if the beaver family is hiding in it.

I took a walk on the sandy riverbed behind the area where the beavers supposedly live. I saw one gnawed tree and scattered bark, more trash and found a man sleeping in a tent.

I heard dogs barking from deeper in the riverbed but shied from venturing too far in as I didn't want to spook any homeless people or their dogs.

I took a few photos and might post them later in the week. I also shot video of a whooping crane at the park catching frogs...

That's it for now. Merry Christmas everyone... - Nick, ABC23

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Searching For The Bakersfield Beaver Family: Part One - By N.L. Belardes

It was cold, misty, foggy. Did I mention, cold? It was also 1 a.m. Sunday when myself and my two boys ventured into the Park at Riverwalk and onto the Kern Recreational Bike Path in search of the Bakersfield beaver family.

Why? Word is the beaver family is saved. But truth is, someone better get some video of the beaver family so we can make sure they're alive and well. I've seen no videos or photos of the beaver family since this whole controversy. And to be honest, I am a bit skeptical. I work next to a park that's being renovated and ducks keep turning up dead. "Stray dogs" was what ABC23 was told one day. I've never seen stray dogs here in downtown Bakersfield by Central Park. And more ducks died in a rainstorm... don't even tell me they drowned. So the idea was to go in search of these mysterious new city dwellers to make sure they don't mysteriously disappear...

Earlier in the day I set out to find out the beaver family habitat. I didn't want a middle-of-the-night journey searching for felled trees. No way. So once those were discovered in the day time, that made for an easy trek from the parking lot to where the beavers might be lurking.

We listened for gnawing, scuffling and splashing.

We found the ground had iced over in places, which made for a slippery trip through brush, along a creek and through mud, dirt and leaves.

Did we find the beaver family? You'll have to watch the video to see for yourself...

Bakersfield Residents React To Beaver Controversy - By N.L. Belardes

Image: N.L. Belardes
Dec. 22, 2007

I went to the Kern Recreational Bike Path where the controversial Bakersfield beaver family lives and met up with some rather outspoken residents.

Image: N.L. Belardes
Dec. 22, 2007

Check out what they have to say:

Nick 2.0 Blog Discusses Updates, Experts React - By N.L. Belardes

I still don't know how popular this beaver blog will be, but I decided to keep updating it until we find out the Kern River beaver family is safely in a new home.

Check out what a few experts had to say in the comments section of the Nick 2.0 blog. Read "Early Report: Beaver Family Dodges Executioner."

The blog even has comments from the Martinez Beavers blog is also out of California, and from New York beaver expert who provided a link to a beaver wetlands & wildlife web page.

Nick 2.0 Talks About Internet Outpouring To Help Save Beaver Family

Friday, December 21, 2007

Are you Outraged That A Kern River Beaver Family Has Been Slated To Be Destroyed? - By N.L. Belardes

Is this the Kern River beaver?
Photo taken by N.L. Belardes at Hart Park in March, 2007


How rare is it that the lower Kern River experiences a dose of nature's wonders? Not very often. Every once in a while a bobcat, coyote or cougar is seen wandering the riverbanks. I've seen muskrats swimming nearby too.

Now there's a beaver family who has made a home near the Park at Riverwalk. That's pretty much deep in the heart of a city with very little natural wonders to speak of. So the beaver family is hanging out, gnawing trees, working on their tidy home and basically just doing what they do: cutting trees and building.

Now officials say that beaver and its family must die. Why? Because it's going to somehow damn the entire Kern River and lay waste to all the nearby trees? And they won't relocate them. Apparently beavers are hazardous to our health.

Personally I think it's cool that a beaver family is on the lower Kern. I say keep it. Have tours, field trips. Let's be proud of nature and not teach people to destroy and kill in the name of progress (You know, like what's happened to so many Kit Foxes and possibly ducks lately).

Now's your turn to speak out.