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The Hoosierist: Dammed Straight

Beavers, snowy baseball games, and Indiana immigration. Ask The Hoosierist.

Q: I think I spotted a beaver in a creek near my house. Am I seeing things?
A: America’s largest rodent is very much a “thing” in pretty much every corner of Indiana. The creature has an interesting Hoosier backstory, having been hunted to extinction in the 19th century, then reintroduced in the 1930s. If you notice one damming up the creek in your backyard, you might want to do something about it. Besides gnawing down prodigious numbers of young trees with their huge choppers, beavers also love tackling large public works projects. Their dams can turn even the tiniest waterway into a huge pond that can encroach on roads, farmland, or your backyard fire pit. Landowners are permitted to trap and kill troublesome beavers on their property, but you should contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources before altering their handiwork. To get rid of a dam, you will almost certainly need some kind of dam permit.

Q: The Indians’ opening day is April 11, which got me wondering: Has the club ever had to call a game because of snow?
A: Though the team’s season traditionally kicks off during early spring—or, as pessimists call it, “late winter”—the Indians have never, in their long and storied history dating back to 1902 (it’s one of the oldest franchises in the minors), called a game because of snow. From time to time, however, excessive cold has confined them to the clubhouse. The last time was in 2007, when un-baseball-like temps forced the team to cancel games on April 6 and 7. While the Indians have never called a game on account of snow, that doesn’t mean they’ve never had to deal with the occasional flurry. “It was snowing on opening day of 2018,” says Indians director of communications Charlie Henry. “It made for some really pretty photos.” Not to mention putting a new spin on the phrase “sliding into home plate.”

Q: I’ve noticed a lot of New York and New Jersey license places on Hamilton County roads lately. Which states provide Indiana with the most new Hoosiers?
A: If you’re thinking you’re seeing the East Coast plates because folks from those states are moving here in droves, fuhgettaboutit. According to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which keeps track of which out-of-staters apply for Indiana licenses, migration to the Hoosier state is mostly a Midwestern affair. We get the highest number of newcomers from (in descending order) Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan. Perhaps you notice those New York and New Jersey plates because they’re attached to gigantic caddies with tinted windows—and because the drivers give you the finger as they cut you off.

Have Indiana-related questions? Send them to [email protected].

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