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 TOUR > Stations 3 & 4

Cattails at station 3
A familiar plant found in the shallow waters of the wetland is the Cattail (left). Getting their name from the sof brown "cat tail" tops visible in the fall and winter, these tall grasses create a habitat at the pond edge for a community of animals.

Also looking like a corn dog, the soft brown cattail is really a package of 200,000 tiny seeds. During the fall and winter, the cattails burst open and the seeds float away in the breeze on bits of white fluff. Cattails are an important aspect of wetlands.

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Cattails (cont)
Recent scientific evidence suggests that the cattail plant is capable of absorbing phosphates and some heavy metals from the water. This would make the an excellent biological solution (bioremedation) to municipal water supplies which have problems with exccess nutrients and contaminants in their water.

Often this area is home to one of the more vocal inhabitants of our wetlands - the red-winged blackbird. Red winged blackbirds use the cattail swamps for food and shelter, and may often be see overhead.






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Station 4


Here you will see the remains of a beaver dam built about the same time that the boardwalk was being constructed. Another is a few paces onward. Look carefully and you will see that the beaver skillfully installed purloined scrap lumber from our project.


As the boardwalk was being built, the existing beaver dams were deliberately breached in order to drain the area and allow construction (with approval of the US Corps of Engineers, of course!).

 


 


This battle over construction rights went on for several weeks. When the project was finished, the beavers were right behind in re-establishing their superiority.


Each weekend, the beaver would use Georgia Highlands College lumber scraps to repair their dams and re-flood the area.

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