Swimming with Beavers
Coming home one day, while living up in Freshwater Cove, I crossed the low water bridge and saw a critter in the creek. I stopped and watched as a beaver played around in the water. Hmmm.
“Wonder where he’s headed?”
Two days later there were two up at the pond. They started cutting down trees and dropping them in the water. It took them only two days to gnaw through a Tulip popular that was probably 24 inches in diameter. We started to worry about all the trees on the North slope of the pond. A lodge was built pretty fast and then the tree cutting slowed up. Winter came and went. In Spring, cutting began again and baby beavers emerged. It drove the dogs crazy, seeing those beavers swimming around out there in the middle of their pond. Geshen attempted to outswim them a couple of times, but a dog is no match for a beaver in the water. They would circle around the dogs, making them turn and turn, and eventually exhausting them. I had to go out in the canoe and bring Gesh in before she drowned. She would not give up. When I got her back to shore she lay heaving and gasping on the shore for a good while afterwards.
When the water got warm enough for us to go swimming , the beavers were still there. I could get within about three feet of them if I swam quiet with my eyes right at water level. It was kind of cool to swim with the beavers. Then they started expanding their universe. They built a dam right next to the driveway where the feeder creek came in. The water rose and then started swamping the road out. It was getting really mushy and muddy to drive through. Jimi tore the dam down numerous times but they kept building it right back where it was. He even had a backhoe come in a dredge the creek back out to clear it. We would find him down there , waiting with a gun, daring them to rebuild it. They just waited until he went to bed.
I went down and had a little talk with the beavers.
“If you all want to live, you should try heading on down towards my barn and build a little dam on the creek down there. I could use a little drinking pond for the horses.”
They seemed to understand that and they walked over in that direction directly.
“Wow. That was cool. Didn’t know I could talk beaver.”
Unfortunately, the dogs didn’t get the same message, or not in the right way. Before the beavers had managed to get their new dam finished, and a protective pool around them in the process, Gesh and Poss had ganged up on them and taken them out. They were trying to be good dogs. I felt bad for the beavers but at least the trees were safe again. The rest of the beaver family moved on out shortly thereafter. We didn’t see them again.
Writing at http://www.edgewisewoods.com
November 16, 2014