No, it's not that. The wreaths are still on the gates. This casualty was totally unexpected.
We have lived on Country Club Pond since May of 2004 and haven't seen a beaver for at least three years. Last week's rain filled the pond-turned-mud flat to overflowing, the spillway running full for over 24-hours. When Tal came in for lunch today he brought the news. Both of our recently planted (and flourishing, I might add) weeping willows have been cut down, the bark stripped and the remains left floating in the shallow water.
The gates on which the Christmas wreaths are, safely, residing were intended to keep the deer from ruining the shrubbery. They work, those gates. But, we didn't count on the return of the beavers. Grrrr.
After lunch Tal returned to the water's edge and placed cages around the dawn redwood and other tender trees. Perhaps the beavers were just moving through; there was no other evidence of their presence. But, in the next few weeks, when we set out replacing the destroyed trees, I suspect we'll take that extra precaution in every case.
Live and learn.