72 degrees Fahrenheit
Breezy, partly cloudy
As I began my descent down the steep bank of the Winooski, I found the the steps slick with fallen leaves. The towering cottonwoods close to the shore had shed nearly all of their leaves. However, the bright yellow-green of the silver maples persisted, as if in denial of the coming winter. The buckthorn had set the underbrush on fire with its dark red leaves. When the breeze picked up I was caught in a torrent of brown and yellow leaves falling from above. As I sat perched on my log, the fallen leaves betrayed the presence of chipmunks and squirrels as they darted across the crunchy surface.
One of the large cottonwoods which thrives in the sandy soil, looked as though someone had begun to chop it down and then given up.
As I got closer I saw the marks of a beaver’s teeth in the trunk. The trunk was went with sap and the wood still yellow, implying a freshly wounded tree, the culprit must have been there recently.
I began looking for other trees that had been gnawed on and saw that a few saplings had wire mesh at their base, probably placed there to protect them from beavers.